Kareem AbdulJabbars Sherlock Holmes Comic is Weirder Than That Sounds

first_img ‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast UniverseDamon Lindelof Starts Beef With Alan Moore Ahead of HBO’s ‘Watch… Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a basketball legend. One of the greatest players of all time, he’s set countless records, earned numerous awards, scored tons of points, and established himself as second only to maybe Michael Jordan during his 20 seasons of play. He’s a United States cultural ambassador, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and a key reason why anyone cares about the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s a big, 7-foot 2-inch tall deal.He’s also the author of a new Sherlock Holmes comic book. What? Mycroft Holmes and The Apocalypse Handbook from Titan Comics is a graphic novel set in the world of everyone’s favorite sociopath detective illustrated by Josh Cassara and, along with Raymond Obsfeld, written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It’s even weirder than that sounds.If you, like me, were expecting the plot of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Mycroft Holmes comic to somehow reflect the author’s basketball background, temper those expectations. This isn’t League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Space Jam, although how great would that be? In fact, aside from some informed side conversations about a certain character’s race, I never would’ve guessed this was written by a celebrity as random as Abdul-Jabbar. I guess that’s a good thing, that the work stands on its own, but it’s so strange.Even stranger, this is actually a continuation of Abdul-Jabbar’s previous takes on the character. Last year he released a novel simply titled Mycroft Holmes. Sherlock Holmes books written by fan authors are nothing new. Not too long ago I read a book called Warlock Holmes, which is exactly what it sounds like. Remixing Arthur Conan Doyle’s wry world is one of the original fandoms. But most of those fans aren’t also six-time NBA MVPs.However, after reading Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook, the existence of that previous book began to make sense. The graphic novel collects the first five issues of the comic book series into a debut volume, but the writers are already confidently and intimately familiar with their interpretation of the title character.I’m no Sherlock super fan. I only watch that dumb Benedict Cumberbatch BBC show because it only puts out three episodes a year. But my understanding is that most versions of Mycroft typically depict him as Sherlock’s older and lazier but smarter jerk of a brother who vaguely controls the British government as part of the shadowy Diogenes Club. He’s usually fat, too, right?But here in this prequel, while Mycroft is definitely still Sherlock’s smarter and older jerk of a brother vaguely working for the British government, he’s anything but fat and lazy. Instead, he’s this roguish and arrogant academic adventurer, a kind of colonialist Great White Hunter, an Indiana Jones or vintage James Bond-type hero hooking up with hot ladies, getting into shootout and fist fights, saving the world, and solving mysteries with blisteringly intelligent deductive reasoning that puts his annoying elementary kid brother to shame.Mycroft is different than Sherlock. Here that’s demonstrated through their antagonistic and intellectually competitive relationship, as well as their opposing responses to a family tragedy. But as lead characters, they’re not that different in practice.They’re both British crime-solvers always ten steps ahead of everyone else. Mycroft just has high-level government access instead of Scotland Yard, Bond girls for sidekicks instead of Dr. John Watson, and a slightly more human outward personality instead of a deerstalker cap. Aside from an epilogue teasing a future for Mycroft fans are more familiar with, you could easily swap him with his more famous younger brother in this story without changing too much.As for the story itself? It’s good enough. It’s a kind of globe-hopping steampunk adventure involving deadly biological weapons, secret societies with members like Jules Verne and Mary Shelley, and schlocky medical monsters that look like Big Daddies from BioShock. There’s a surprising amount of graphic violence as well as nudity, tastefully rendered for the most part thanks to Cassara’s art. Again, Mycroft’s large-scale Bond-like tendencies are some of the only things he and his adventures have going for them to seem distinct.My favorite bits involved some Native American reinterpretations of key characters from Holmes lore, while also not shying away from America’s horrible treatment of natives during the time, but by the end, I was pretty much just reading one of those Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies from a few years ago.But you notice how I stopped even bringing up the fact that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of all people wrote this? The weirdest thing about Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook isn’t just its author, but how ultimately ordinary it is considering its author. It’s like if Shaquille O’Neal wrote a vampire book that was totally normal and not called Shaqula or something.Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook is a perfectly fine, fast, and fun adventure story, and maybe a good pick for Holmes fans who want something familiar but a little alternative. It’s like a modern Star Wars spin-off or prequels and sequels like The Thing 2011 and the new Flatliners that are really just stealth remakes. But if the series continues, it’ll really be showtime once Mycroft starts pulling off skyhook shots on the London basketball courts. Heck, he probably invented the sport. The Hounds of Basketballville.Mycroft Holmes and The Apocalypse Handbook is available for $10.64.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Mycroft Holmes the novel is out now for $9.76.View as: One Page Slides1/51. Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook is a graphic novel about Sherlock’s older brother co-written by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of all people.2. It’s a fine, fast, and fun globe-hopping Victorian steampunk adventure.3. You never would’ve guessed this was co-written by a six-time NBA MVP.4. As a lead hero the roguish academic adventurer Mycroft is different, but not that different, from his more famous younger brother.5. There is a fair amount of sex and violence, too, tastefully conveyed through Josh Cassara’s art.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img

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