Capital. Simply capital. With issue 2 of Ian Edginton and Davide Fabbri's story pitting Holmes and Watson against a horde of the undead, the mystery deepens as more threads of this weird skein of malevolence, plotted by a criminal mastermind, are woven.
For Sherlockians, there are a few pleasant surprises in store. A certain relative of Holmes leaves the Diogenes Club to put in a timely appearance, and a certain Colonel of ill-repute (bad heredity according to Holmes) has the Great Detective and his Boswell squarely in his gunsight.
Edginton's pacing and dialog, while not as flamboyant or outrageous as Robert Downey's Sherlock Holmes, ratchets up the tense situation methodically, providing a lively encounter with mobile corpses in the London Underground while introducing important new players into this deadly game of hide and go seek; for what reason are the undead being created and stockpiled? (I wonder if Edginton's influence for this came from reading Jonathan Maberry's Patient Zero?)
There is a well-toned classic horror movie sensibility to how Edginton and Fabbri lay out their story. I still find Fabbri's art too clean; his layouts are quite good, but perhaps a touch of Downey's Holmes' flamboyance would sharpen the edginess. There is a bit of that stiff upper lip overdone here. Edginton and Fabbri's splash-page finale is superbly and quietly melodramatic, showing the Napoleon of Crime at the heart of this undead conspiracy.
Providing much of the atmosphere for this issue is Carrie Strachan's colors, especially when Holmes, Watson, and zombies meet underground. More attention to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's literary details would be appreciated: Sherlockians may gasp in horror when they see Holmes' old mouse-colored dressing gown replaced with a bright red and gold-cuffed one.
But this series, so far, is the one I would have liked to see onscreen. Even with Robert Downey. I daresay even Johnny Depp playing Holmes, directed by Tim Burton, mixing it up with zombies, would be exquisite.