Most are more familiar with the Sherlock side of the Holmes family, but if you haven't met Mycroft yet, you're missing out.
Sherlock's older brother is front and center in writer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's newest series from Titan Comics, Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook. Alongside artist Raymond Obstfeld, Abdul Jabbar looks to flesh out the lesser known Holmes brother, partly based on how Sherlock once described the character.
"I have always loved Sherlock, so naturally I was drawn to his brother whom Sherlock describes as being even smarter than he is," Abdul-Jabbar told ComicBook.com. "Sherlock’s intelligence and skills have made him a great detective, but alienated him from humanity. What effect would it have on your life to be like to be even more intelligent and skillful. That’s where I started. The novel gave me an opportunity to explore one path such a life might take, while the comic book allowed me to go down a completely different path."
Fans will discover that Mycroft is different from Sherlock in ways you might not expect. Mycroft has the ingenious mind of his younger brother but carries much different baggage. That results in an at-times rigid, but somehow endearing relationship between the two.
"The differences in their personalities provides a lot of irony and humorous interplay," Abdul-Jabbar said. "But I was also interested in exploring their relationship even deeper. Mycroft feels some guilt for Sherlock’s isolation from humanity and therefore feels protective of him."
Sherlock's quite good at deducing clues in a mystery, but family motives are something else entirely. "Of course, he can’t let Sherlock know that or he would completely alienate his brother," Abdul-Jabbar said. "That delicate balance of emotion and humor is what makes their relationship endearing."
Hit the next slide to find out about Mycroft's delightful supporting cast.
Sherlock, Lark, The Queen, And More
While Mycroft is the star of the show here, Sherlock still plays an important part in the story. Mycroft's regrets don't stem from himself, but rather his inability to guide his brother through tragedy.
"He feels guilt that he wasn’t able to guide Sherlock through his isolation from humanity," Abdul-Jabbar said. "His failure is part of what makes Mycroft so disillusioned with himself. What’s the point of his intelligence if he can’t help his brother? Part of his journey as a hero is to channel that need to protect to cover the rest of humanity. Where he failed his brother he might not fail society."
Sherlock informs Mycroft's journey but doesn't overshadow it. That carves out a spot for the delightful Lark Adler to enter the picture, who in many ways becomes Mycroft's version of Watson.
"I like that she’s Mycroft’s equal in most ways and superior in other ways. She has his wit and adventurousness, but surpasses him in grit, weapons skills, and espionage savvy," Abdul-Jabbar revealed.
Those aren't the only positive aspects she brings to the story either, as much of Mycroft's endearing qualities surface thanks to her presence. That said, she's worth getting to know on her own merits.
"She brings out Mycroft’s humanity, which he has tried so hard to suppress," Abdul-Jabbar said. "Yet, she has her own backstory that embodies America’s missteps regarding slavery and the treatment of Indians. Despite that, she still believes in the promise of America and that inspires Mycroft to step up."
Fans will notice a few familiar faces from history show up, including some unexpected royalty. "Queen Victoria is a major part of the story," Abdul-Jabbar revealed. "I did a lot of research on her life, most of which I had to cut out because it cluttered the story. Instead, I went with some historical facts about her and used that to craft the tough, intelligent woman I imagined her to be."
Fair warning, but we are about to get into some spoiler territory, so if you don't want that spoiled for you feel free to hit the next slide.
With that out of the way, there is a surprising twist towards the end that brings a familiar name into Mycroft's life. Granted, the name doesn't quite mean what it will in the future, but it wasn't introduced by accident either.
There are several allusions to the Sherlock canon. The Moriarty factor is one, so is the fact that Lark Adler has the same last name as Sherlock’s only love, Irene Adler. This is groundwork for future stories that will develop the connection that binds the brothers together.prevnext
The world of Mycroft Holmes is brought to life by Joshua
"When I first saw Josh’s art, I was shocked because it didn’t just capture what I had imagined as I wrote it, but it surpassed my imagination," Abdul-Jabbar said. "There’s so much texture to his work that it brings the time period alive. His art
The creators have built quite a world in a matter of a few issues, and the book ends with plenty of hope for more adventures with these characters. So, what's next?
"I’m looking forward to more adventures for Mycroft," Abdul-Jabbar revealed. "I have a storyline I’ve been working that I think is even more exciting and outrageous."
That bodes well for future issues, as the Apocalypse Handbook wasn't lacking in either of those factors. Those future adventures will also benefit from the lessons Abdul-Jabbar learned along the way on Mycroft Holmes.
"Unlike a novel, the comic book is a very regimented format," Abdul-Jabbar said. "You’re limited by the number of pages per issue and the number of panels per page. It’s much more like writing a sonnet than a story. I had to learn to pare back on dialogue and plot in order to make everything fit. But, as with a poem, this actually gave the work more power."
While you wait for his next adventure, fans can check out Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook, which is in comic shops now.0comments
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