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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook #5


Writers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $3.99, Cdn $4.99
Age: Mature readers
32 pages
Publication Date: 15 February 2017

1874. Despite the best efforts of a cadre of international thieves, criminals and assassins, Mycroft Holmes and Lark Adler have finally found the Apocalypse Handbook – a collection of working blueprints for deadly, highly advanced weapons. But their young ward, Kerry, has been abducted. Now, they await delivery of the ransom demands. The fates both of Kerry, and of the free world, rest in their hands…!

After a relatively sedate #4, writers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld pack a lot of incident into this concluding issue.

As a result, artist Joshua Cassara is forced to cram in up to thirteen (but more often eight or nine) pictures per page. Some of the action during this final showdown flies past so quickly that it can occasionally be hard to make sense of it all. Some of it is quite gruesome, too, including gouged eyeballs and a beheading – but then we’re used to that by now, aren’t we?

However, there is still time for a touching flashback to an incident from the past of Mycroft and his brother Sherlock, and mention of a name that will be very familiar to Sherlock Holmes fans. From real-life history, there’s also a fascinating reference to Henry Fleuss (1851–1933), the inventor of the first SCUBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) gear.

Though it’s the end of Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook, it’s also a beginning for Mycroft, as the last scene sets things up nicely for his future role in the government. In this position, the elder Holmes sibling says, “I may need the services of my brother Sherlock from time to time. I’m certain there is nothing that would give him greater pleasure than working for his brother,” he adds with relish, “His smarter, cleverer brother.”


Richard McGinlay