Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak the Night Stalker: Cry of Thunder

Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak the Night Stalker: Cry of Thunder
by Joe Gentile (author), Andy Bennett and Carlos Magno (art) [741.5 Kol]

This graphic novel compiles the entire storyline of a 3-issue comic book miniseries from 2009. Having been a huge fan of both Sherlock Holmes and Carl Kolchak for decades, I was initially leary of any attempt to cross them together. Gentile, however, manages to tell a story with elements set in both the 1890s and the 2000s -- Kolchak having been updated from his original 1970s era -- with surprising effectiveness. While I found the artwork incredibly uneven -- at times excellent and at times awful, Gentile's characterization was top-notch. Holmes is brilliant, sharp-tongued, crafty, manipulative, physical and surprisingly compassionate in his pursuit of justice in the name of an unjustly imprisoned immigrant. Meanwhile in modern times, reporter Kolchak is approached by a woman to investigate a mystery in her family's history. Gentile's narrative voice for Kolchak perfectly captures Darren McGavin's noirish voiceovers and downtrodden schmuck-who-won't-give-up personality. The Kolchak part of the storyline involves unusual supernatural elements, which provide the method by which the characters sort-of cross over with each other...the weakest plot element. However, the strengths of each of the separate storylines make this a highly recommendable entry for fans of both sleuths. I particularly appreciate that there are writers trying to keep the Kolchak character alive -- he's always been a "cult" figure, and it's a pleasure to see some well-told stories featuring him, over 35 years since he was first introduced in The Night Stalker. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try other Kolchak stories from this publisher -- Moonstone. Also, the excellent original Kolchak novel "The Kolchak Papers: Grave Secrets" by Mark Dawidziak, available through Interlibrary Loan.] -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [subscribe to Scott's monthly newsletter - "It's All Geek to Me!" - and others on the Books, Movies & More subscription page]
[ official Kolchak page on the Moonstone publishing web site ]
Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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