Welcome back, comic book lovers! This week, we’ll be delving into Watson and Holmes #6, from New Paradigm Studios. The series is a reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic “Sherlock Holmes”, with modern day Harlem, New York taking the place of London, England and the characters recast as African-Americans. Our intrepid investigators are looking into what appears to be the murder of a prominent politician’s wife, and their adventure pits them against human traffickers and Russian mobsters, in a tale that has received a number of prestigious honors, including four Glyph Comics Awards and an Eisner Comic Industry Award nomination.
Watson and Holmes #6 is a $3.99 comic book published by New Paradigm Studios and originally released on December 11, 2013. This issue was written by Brandon Easton, featuring art by N. Steven Harris, colors by Jay David Ramos, and lettering by Wilson Ramos. Watson and Holmes #6 has two covers: Cover A is by N. Steven Harris and Jay David Ramos, and Cover B is by Rick Leonardi and Jay David Ramos.
Watson and Holmes #6 opens with the presumed murder of Hazel Wainright, the wife of Harlem’s own City Councilman Dex Wainright. Holmes and Watson are assisting the NYPD’s Lieutenant Leslie Stroud with the investigation. After interviewing Councilman Wainright, who is in the midst of a heated campaign for district attorney, Holmes makes him the prime suspect in the investigation, much to the chagrin of Watson, who is an admirer of the good work Wainright has done for Harlem. Upon “acquiring” the Wainrights’ cell phone records, Holmes finds both of them had numerous daily calls to a common number, that of Dominique Jiminez. The plot thickens! No sooner do Watson and Holmes arrive at the apartment of Ms. Jiminez and begin to interview her, do they get interrupted by Russian mobsters crashing through the front door with guns blazing. The thugs are looking for Dominique, but she manages to slip away during the chaos, while Holmes and Watson engage the two gunmen. After the whole mess is through, our investigators are left with far more questions than they have answers, and to top it off, Dominique is in the wind. The race is on, to find her before the Russian mob does, and along their way they will uncover a sex trafficking ring at the center of everything. Can Watson and Holmes find Dominque Jiminez before it’s too late and figure out who murdered Hazel Wainright??? You will have to read this one for yourself to find out. You will not be disappointed.
Off to the art department! N. Steven Harris handles the art duties with aplomb. His style is clean and classic “comic book”. He draws faces and clothing very well, and with this book being outside of the superhero norm, those qualities really get the chance to shine. Harris also does a fine job drawing Holmes’ signature dreadlocks, which can be tricky for some artists, so I find that worth noting. He does a commendable job illustrating the action sequences and fights, as well. His characters flow nicely through the fight choreography. Colorist Jay David Ramos does a wonderful job throughout. His colors brought great depth and definition to the artwork. The colors felt simultaneously realistic yet bold.
Watson and Holmes #6 is just damn great comic book. It is an entertaining read and a compelling mystery that takes on prevalent issues of marital infidelity, sexuality, and, one of the great blights on our time, the growing criminal industry of trafficking human beings for sexual purposes. I see what all the fuss is about. Watson and Holmes #6 is a MUST read. If you see it in your local comic book shop, buy it. If digital comics are your thing, head on over to Comixology, and get it digitally.
Watson and Holmes #6 has been nominated for an Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best Single Issue. It is also the winner of four 2014 Glyph Comics Awards: Story of the Year, Best Writer, Best Artist, and the Fan Award for Best Work.
I rate Watson and Holmes #6 a strong 4 Long-boxes out of 4.
All images are property of New Paradigm Studios Co.