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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

A Study in Pink #5


Writers: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss
Artist: Jay.
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99, Cdn $4.99
Age: 15+
40 pages
Publication Date: 19 October 2016

The police raid Sherlock’s home, mysteries about Jennifer Wilson are solved, and the killer makes his next move… A drugs bust at 221-B Baker Street leads to a revelation regarding the victim’s phone… but when Sherlock gets a call – and a ride – it’s from the last person he suspected! With the serial killer revealed, Sherlock faces his most taxing criminal investigation yet. Can a man really talk his victims to death? Is Sherlock strong enough to prevail in the face of blind chance? There’s only one way to find out…!

FIGHT! Oh, wait, I’m getting Sherlock Holmes mixed up with Harry Hill again, aren’t I? No, the only way to find out in this instance is to go with the killer and take a life-or-death risk… apparently. This is a plot development that never entirely convinced me.

This is the part of the episode in which my attention wandered during the television version, and it does so again here. Sure, it contains some entertaining personality clashes, as numerous members of the police force who have recently had their feathers ruffled by the consulting detective jump at the chance to get their own back. However, the most famous line in this section of the story – “I’m not a psychopath, Anderson. I’m a high functioning sociopath. Do your research” – is rather spoiled by the fact that, in psychiatric terms, Sherlock isn’t either of those things. On this occasion, Steven Moffat is the one who should have done his research.

The page count jumps up again, as this episode runs to 34 pages as it takes us from 221-B Baker Street to Roland Kerr Further Education College. Perhaps as a result of the increased page count, there are some signs of haste in the English lettering, with some misaligned text and a misspelling of the word “desperate”.

The serial killer isn’t as potent a presence here as he was on screen, owing to the absence of Phil Davis, the actor who played him. On the plus side, though, more is made in the comic-book version, by way of a visual throw-forward, of the person who warned the villain about Sherlock Holmes – a person who will figure strongly in stories to come…


Richard McGinlay

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