M.O.R.I.A.R.T.Y. Clockwork Empire by Fred Duval and Jean-Pierre Pecau
Pencils and Inks: Stevan Subic
(Titan Comics, 2023)
Reviewed by John Dodd
Some time ago now, there was the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG), a retelling of the stories of old where all the fantastical creations of that bygone age came together to form a group that could take on any foe and stand a chance of beating them.
In the beginning, the Clockwork Empire very much has the feeling of that story, when Hyde is found rampaging and Sherlock Holmes finds himself on the case, to find that rogue automatons and strange cults are afoot and nothing is quite what it seems. The feel of this Holmes is very much one more akin to the more modern Holmes stories, where he feels a need to explain what he’s doing and what he’s found, how he reached his conclusions and how easy he found it. On the one hand, it makes it more accessible to those who are not familiar with the methods of the great detective, but on the other hand, it does mean that there’s no sense of mystery as there was in the earlier books.
The art style is reminiscent of LXG, and the palette through which we view is very much of the age, with the fantastical elements being more brightly coloured than everything else in a manner similar to Frank Miller, but in beige.
Overall, an interesting start to the story, I’ll be curious to see where they take it next.