Comic Review: Victorian Undead: Sherlock Holmes Vs Zombies

Synopsis: In 1854, a meteor streaked across London’s skies, bringing with it a zombie plague. For twenty years, Her Majesty’s Secret Service kept the threat under control. But now dastardly fiend Moriarty has begun using the zombies in an attempt to overthrow the Victorian Government. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson must face off against their favorite foe, MI-5 and zombies at the same time.

As readers of Monsters and Critics’ smallscreen section will undoubtedly know by now is that I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, and was one of the biggest supporters of the new BBC Series “Sherlock” last year when it aired.

This graphic novel by Ian Edginton, who is one of my favorite comics writers does Holmes and Watson in the Victorian era, and really sells you on the era thanks largely to some superb artwork by Davide Fabbri.

My one concern when first encountering this book was are they going to parody Sherlock Holmes or write him as the serious character he is. From the first page I couldn’t put this down. It is a fantastic Sherlock Holmes adventure, and is a true mystery for Holmes to unravel with some help from his best friend and confident Doctor John Watson.

Edginton is no stranger to Holmes having written the comic book adaptations of three of the Arthur Conan Doyle stories for Self Made Hero, Edginton has no trouble finding Sherlock Holmes voice, and what’s more he writes a fantastic Doctor Watson as well, and doesn’t make the mistake that a lot of people make when they write Watson as somewhat bumbling.

The driving narrative is a mystery concerning a zombie outbreak, which eventually leads Holmes and Watson to an old enemy, which provides one of this books great twists.

Helping Holmes track down the cause is his brother Mycroft, who works for the secret service, and engineers things so that Holmes helps the Prime Minister and Whitehall sort out this most deadly of zombie outbreaks.

There are some lovely moments in the story, but the best for me was a flashback sequence to a very big event in Sherlock Holmes past, which was lifted from the Conan Doyle books and is part of a pretty big story twist in this book.

I have no doubt that we’ll get the odd Sherlock Holmes purist out there expressing great distain at a Sherlock Holmes and Zombie mash-up, which is a shame because they don’t know what they’re missing.

Despite this being a mash-up. Edginton goes to great efforts to stay true to what Holmes and Watson would do if confronted by Zombies, and as a result you get a rip roaring Sherlock Holmes adventure, which speeds along at a clip, and entertains right to the last page.

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes, Zombies and the undead I can’t recommend this graphic novel anymore highly when I say go out get it, read and enjoy. And if you like it keep a look out for Victorian Undead Vol 2 – Sherlock Holmes Vs Dracula, which should be out later this year, and is also a lot of fun.



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