A missing husband, a murdered chemist and an Egyptian curse. Can the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes unravel the Case of the Vanishing Man?
Opening with a swirl of London fog, the victim of the title is pursued by a mysterious assailant through the back alleys of London, where the swirling white transforms into laundry hung to dry. Before his fate is revealed, we drift to the familiar environs of 221B Baker Street, were a bored and drug-addled Sherlock is producing great clouds of pipe smoke. Writers Leah more and John Reppion work with artist Julius Ohta to create a compelling sense of place, setting in motion a classic detective story which does what great detective fiction should do – makes the reader believe that they might be able to solve this riddle, if only they can spot the hidden clues.
You might find yourself pouring over dialogue, checking the details in the background, searching for anything that might make you feel as smart as the consulting detective.
Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Vanishing Man hints at the supernatural, but retains a sense of bloody realism and brings the more unpleasant aspects of the character and his world to the forefront. This is no marketable Cumberbatch – Holmes is a drug addict, careless with the lives of others, driven only by a desire to escape boredom.
The inclusion of uncoloured pages highlights how Ellie Wright’s colours add depth to this world. Some backgrounds aren’t so much coloured as textured, and there are subtle shifts in the colour scheme between scenes which adds to the sense of place.
What starts as an interesting case slowly becomes more complex, as strange events hint at a darker riddle, and motives are revealed.
We’d recommend picking up Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Vanishing Man. See if you can solve this mystery before the turn of the final page.