The world's most famous fictional detective has had a couple of high-profile makeovers during the past year. Hollywood re-branded him in a big-budget blockbuster, and now Sherlock Holmes has been converted into a manga hero in British publisher SelfMadeHero's The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holmes' most famous case. This atmospheric re-telling of Conan Doyle's novel is a thrilling way of bringing new fans into the world of Holmes.
We are in London in the year 1889. Holmes and his best friend Dr Watson are visited by a Dr Mortimer, who has travelled to London from the countryside to ask the famous detective to solve a mystery surrounding the recent death of Sir Charles Baskerville.
Dr Mortimer tells Holmes and Watson about a terrible curse that hangs over the Baskerville family. Centuries ago, the evil Hugo Baskerville was savaged and killed by a gigantic dog as he was walking through his country estate late at night. Ever since, the Baskerville family has been haunted by a mysterious black hound.
Giant paw prints were discovered by Sir Charles' dead body and Mortimer suspects the worst.
Holmes discovers that Sir Henry Baskerville, the heir to the Baskerville estate, has received a threatening note warning him to stay away from Baskerville Hall. Sir Henry also reports that one of his boots has been stolen from the hotel where he is staying. The mystery deepens.
Holmes announces that he is too busy to travel to Baskerville Hall in Devon, and he asks Watson to go spend a few days there and discover what he can. When Watson arrives at the Hall he finds the police already there. A convict has escaped from a nearby prison and everyone is in danger until he is recaptured.
Watson meets the mysterious Mr and Mrs Barrymore, who run Baskerville Hall. They are obviously hiding something. And the Stapletons, Baskerville's neighbours, seem to know more about Sir Charles' death than they are letting on.
One night, Watson sees a mysterious figure running over the hills and he hears the howling of a dog. Is the hound of the Baskervilles a reality and not just a legend? Will Sir Henry become the latest victim of the hound from hell?
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a classic mystery story and it sends shivers down the spine. SelfMadeHero's graphic version perfectly captures the tension and surprises of the story.
The drawings are full of atmosphere and the adapted dialogue is crisp and to the point.
John Millen can be contacted on [email protected]