Adler (Collection)


The Adler miniseries, promoted as a “League of amazing Gentlewomen”, has now been collected. It’s written by Lavie Tidhar and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey. I was not fond of the first issue.

The story didn’t substantially change in future issues, but I was a lot more entertained by it, read all at once. The action careened from one absurd happening to another. In one issue, that felt slight; as one longer ride, it was less annoying to me.

Plus, there were a lot more cameos. In addition to Jane Eyre (in the Watson narrator role), miss Havisham, and Ayesha, we wound up seeing an orphan named Annie, the Crown prince of Ruritania (from The prisoner of Zenda), Inspector Lestrade, Raffles (for one panel – I would have liked to have seen more), Colonel Moran, Tesla, and others I won’t spoil.

I was still disappointed that Adler was mapped too closely to a Sherlock Holmes-like role, only with battling instead of brainwork. (The exception is an early scene where the first meeting of Holmes and Watson is loosely rewritten. and her later pricing quote Raymond Chandler was mildly amusing.) but that’s the kind of comic this is — there’s a bunch of action, chases (including a zeppelin), and violent murders. This is a steampunk thriller, after all. Irene Adler is merely a plot device in this comic, even though it’s titled after her.

As well established in the first issue, the art is stiff, with each panel considered as a staged moment. There is little storytelling flow or sense of movement, and all the women have the same over-developed body type. (You can see that in these few preview pages.) The boob armor on Ayesha’s Amazons never got any better or much easier to tolerate.

There is no Sherlock Holmes in this comic, although he is referenced, but we get three panels of Mycroft. (The publisher supplied a digital review copy.)

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