Hello Again Readers! It’s time to venture into the adventures of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and the famous illusionist Harry Houdini. Some of you may recall my review of the first issue of Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery’s Sherlock Holmes VS Harry Houdini #1. This time, we will be exploring the remaining parts of the story and discover whether or not Sherlock Holmes can deduce who is behind these mysterious death threats and if Harry Houdini is all that he claims to be. The worlds of real life and fiction collide in Del Col & McCreedy’s Sherlock Holmes VS Harry Houdini.
The series begins with the one and only Harry Houdini performing his usual escape acts and illusionist performances within the city of London, England 1900. Attracting the attention of the sceptical consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, Houdini offers the challenge of proving that all magic is just tricks and illusions to be explained and that through these illusions he can even trick the most deductive of audiences. Sherlock Holmes accepts the challenge and accompanies Houdini to his performance at The Alhambra Theatre. Before the performance, Houdini is warned by supernatural spirits that if he continues to deny that there is truth in magic, he or someone close to him will die. Not heeding these warnings, the show goes on as planned. But during the performance, mayhem ensues. Supernatural ghosts appear and cause the death of one of the show assistants; making it look like suicide. Not being able to comprehend how this illusion and murder is taking place, Houdini enlists Holmes’ expertise to solve the mystery and catch the person responsible before more people are killed.
Can Sherlock discover who is really behind these strange attacks and suspicious suicides? Will Houdini be able to prove that it really is all an illusion and that there are no real ghosts or spirits? Can both of them work together to save the citizens of London from whoever is really behind all this murder and trickery?
When I first read issue #1 of this series back in October, I completely fell in love with the idea of putting Sherlock Holmes and Harry Houdini together. Both men having intellectual and analytical minds with an attraction to weird and unexplained circumstances, makes a great rivalry. It was very creative to see these two men battle against each other’s wits in the beginning of the story and just brilliant to have them work together to solve a haunting and intense murder mystery throughout the remaining issues. Their working relationship and partnership is very humorous and entertaining. Del Col & McCreedy do an excellent job capturing these characters’ different personality traits, showing just how well they would have worked together if one of them had not been fictional. The story itself is very compelling and exciting all the way through. Each issue flows beautifully into the next, having its reader on the edge of their seat wondering, “How will Holmes and Houdini get out of this one?” The climax of issue #5 in particular is both breathe-taking and exhilarating, keeping you highly invested and wanting more.
I really enjoyed how the story incorporated real people that would have been working within this time period, like the reference to Thomas Henry Blair’s work in cinema within issue #2. References to these people make the story more realistic and relatable. I also loved how Sherlock mentions that Thomas Henry Blair was originally from Nova Scotia. Thank you for the shout out to Canada! It also made me very happy to see the different tricks of Harry Houdini being referenced throughout the issues and not just focusing on how he was a brilliant escape artist, like in issue #3 when Houdini’s appearing/disappearing elephant illusion is referenced. That has always my favourite trick of his. Now if you are someone who has never read any of the stories of Sherlock Holmes and know nothing about Harry Houdini and his illusions, you will still enjoy this comic series. It is a self-contained story, so if you enjoy mystery, crime, the supernatural, logical thinking/problem solving and magic you will enjoy these two characters and the mysterious adventure set before them.
The artwork of the series is beautiful and captivating. Carlos Furzono, Aikau Oliva and Rob Steen’s illustrations, colour scheme, lettering and panel layout are extraordinary. The well known characters are perfectly captured within the brilliant drawings and the time period is perfectly depicted in the different visual emotions, conflicts, language and situations these characters experience. The art is flawless throughout all five issues and attracts both new and old fans of this time period and beloved characters. John Cassaday, Aaron Campbell and Colton Worley’s cover art is radiant and simply draws the reader to the comic. These stunning images only compliment this brilliant and smart story pulling at the reader’s imagination.
If you delight in stories filled with adventure, mystery, magic and strange supernatural presences, then you will love this comic series. Fans of Sherlock Holmes or Harry Houdini and his wondrous illusions will enjoy Anthony Del Col & Conor McCreery’s Sherlock Holmes VS Harry Houdini. If you’re looking for a captivating story of murder and mystery, Holmes and Houdini are the intellectual guides for you. Entertainment and excitement are guaranteed within the pages of these comics.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!
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