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Moriarty: The Dark Chamber #1 – Review

London town has always been the perfect setting for a good detective story and this spin-off from Sherlock Holmes into the world of his arch-nemesis Moriarty is an interesting one that leaves something to be desired, but still makes me want to continue reading. It is the early eighteenth century in London and Sherlock Holmes' archenemy Moriarty has lost his motivation to rule the underworld after Holmes' death. His fall from power has given rise to another dark organization The Black Hand, which has recently killed Arch Duke Ferdinand.  Moriarty's services as a detective are soon requested and he is brought back into the action when the English Secret Service asks him to find Sherlock Holmes' brother. Image Daniel Corey's Moriarty: The Dark Chamber #1Daniel Corey knows how to immerse readers into the dreary and fascinating world of London. He manages to include several variations of the cockney accent (which show the different social status of Londoners) and mentions several cultural and spiritual beliefs of the people; like the left hand representing natural evil... maybe that's why I have an attraction to the dark side, because of my left-handedness... But by bringing in various characters to show off accents Corey introduces too many characters that are used as mere plot devices to forward the story, some with interesting personalities that I distinctly remember and a lot with insignificant attitudes that you find you care less about. The most important character, our protagonist Moriarty is luckily not one of those boring characters thrown in for convenience. His narration cleverly written in typewriter print gives readers a deep look into his psyche. Moriarty's views of his life and Holmes significance to him all help us learn a great deal about his character in only one issue. Whenever he enters a room you can feel the air of arrogance he carries and the intelligence he has through every sentence he says and thinks. Especially thinks, though sometimes his narration can get a little too deep and detracts from the story, which is one of this issue's weakest points. The entire story is perfect for a detective novel but runs into some problems when in the comic book format. If you try to read this comic in one sitting you may get a headache trying to understand everything that is going on. This comic is very in-depth and requires complete concentration. I usually read comics with some background music matching the tone to enhance the story, but had to pause it in order to focus my full concentration on the story. It has the depth of a novel with some... interesting artwork choices. The art from Anthony Diecidue can be very sporadic, specifically with the characters' eyes. They vary from Moriarty's mostly shut eyes, the creepy circles of a peasant and the lazy work of a single oval with no iris. The multiple techniques are confusing and keep the art from having consistency. Sometimes the art takes on an abstract watercolor feel, other times the shading becomes so dark a character nearly disappears under all the black ink and sometimes images are almost completely neglected with a surplus of lines. The only reason the art can be seen as a redeeming quality for the comic goes completely to the colorist who is again Anthony Diecidue, and if he could bring half his color work into his actual penciling the comic would be gorgeous. The dingy-colored backgrounds perfectly set the noir feel for the comics. One of the best panels in the comic is Moriarty walking down a corridor into a beautiful room. Not beautiful because of the penciling, but because of the out-of-place yet strangely alluring pink-tint layered over the scene. Decidue's colorful choices manage to make some of the art eerie and enticing, a tough mix that the art could never achieve alone being the bland mess it is. The story is one of the deepest I have ever read from a comic book and should not be taken all in during one sitting. Most of the characters are not memorable and by the end the only character both memorable and fascinating was Moriarty and for now that is enough. He has a clever attitude and a touch of arrogance (well, maybe more like a hard slap to the face of arrogance) and his reaction to Holmes' demise is a continually subtle sub-plot that did manage to become more interesting than the main plot of the story. Hopefully that will balance out in future issues, which I am very interested in trying, though not jumping off my seat in anxious anticipation like I have been for some other titles out there. But for fans of Arthur Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes mythos or any fans of the detective genre in general, this comic book has the in-depth plot you've been waiting for – while still carrying some problems you didn't want, but not enough to keep you from enjoying Moriarty #1. Overall Score – 7.6/10 Good *A solid book overall, might not be for everyone but does have a fan base and they will definitely enjoy.*


Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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