The Woman Never Left: ‘Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia #4’ Reviewed

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Irene Adler reveals that the phone is her life insurance against powerful and malevolent people and that she will do whatever it takes to get it back from Sherlock. Adler then drugs Sherlock and beats him to the ground. She gets away with her phone as John Watson discovers what happened. John takes Sherlock home and the detective dreams of Adler and the mysterious death of the hiker. Sherlock regains his consciousness back at Baker Street and he begins receiving text messages from Irene Adler.

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 cover by Alice X. Zhang
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 cover by Alice X. Zhang

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 continues to retell the episode from the Sherlock BBC show in manga form. I’ll admit that I wasn’t too enamored with the previous chapter, and I’m still not sure what this presentation adds to the Sherlock experience. Presumably, they’re intended to be a collectible for those who adore Sherlock so much that they want to own the show in comic book form. With that in mind, I’m not too sure what my evaluation of the comic would do for someone looking to pick this up. 
I will say that, where the last issue reminded me of Sherlock’s shortfalls as a show, this issue brought to mind how entertaining it could be. Sherlock shows off his more aggressive personality traits while John plays his beleaguered caretaker. This rendition of Irene Adler was especially enjoyable and the show could be quite funny at times.
The manner in which the show is divvied up into issues is a bit strange. There doesn’t feel like a natural start and stopping point in the book and I feel like there could have been a better way to chop up the episode into a comic mini-series.
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 art by Jay and letterer Amoona Saohin
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 art by Jay and letterer Amoona Saohin

Jay’s artwork is clean and often feels a bit sterile. That said, he does an impeccable job of recreating the likeness of the characters from the show. The background detailing of the hiker murder scene is a bit more lively than the other sequences of the comic. I know monochrome is the tradition of manga, but I will almost always vouch for color in a comic book.
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 is a decently entertaining recreation of the Sherlock episode. I do wish that there were some degree of reimagining instead of a one-to-one transcript of the television show. That said, I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy my time reading this book. If you loved the show and want to experience it again in a new format, feel free to pick this one up.
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia #4 comes to us from writer Steven Moffat, artist Jay, letterer Amoona Saohin, cover artist Alice X. Zhang, and variant cover artist Jay.
Final Score: 6/10

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