by Carl R. Jansson
He survived his apparent death at Reichenbach Falls, and now, washed ashore, penniless, without his network of thieves and murderers to help him, will Moriarty survive his battle with a man more cunning, more evil than him?
David Liss has crafted an exciting tale, told from James Moriarty’s own perspective, of a bad man forced to do good, due to forces out of his control. They say no one is the villain of their own narrative, and Liss is using that idea to his advantage here, showing that no man is bad all of the time. Liss’ dialog is spot on, sounding authentic to the time period, and each character’s social standing. Blending a good mix of action and quieter moments, the script bounces from beat to beat quite well, not too quickly, yet not too slow as to become boring.
Liss gets the character of Moriarty, what makes him the man he is, and runs with it, telling a compelling story, and making the reader empathize with a man well known to be evil incarnate. And then he goes and makes the Baron far more malevolent, truly a man to despise. The king of manipulators may have met his match, and I’m excited to eventually see their final showdown. Hopefully sooner, rather than later.
Daniel Indro’s artwork is obviously well researched and fits the period well. His attention to detail is superb, his clothing and architecture look period appropriate, with just the right blend of elegance and squalor. His panels are dense and full of life, not an inch is wasted bringing Liss’ story to life. His characters have such emotional weight, especially in the eyes, and he uses their body language to tell their back story. Along with colorist Josan Gonzalez, he brings
Over all, this book was not what I expected. At the beginning I was upset that Sherlock himself would not be making an appearance, but by that final page I was thinking, “Sherlock who?” For fans of Arthur Conan Doyles creations, Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives is a pleasant surprise that you should definitely check out. This team expands upon the mythos, without upsetting the original author’s stories or intents. Good show!