Sherlock Holmes has been part of fictional lore for as long as there was a mystery to solve and if there wasn’t a mystery, by George, he’d find one and solve the shit out of it. He’s classy, he’s sassy, and he’s probably addicted to morphine, but hey, it’s Victorian England, you gotta do something to keep your mind off the piles of dead babies lining the streets. (That’s a real thing, by the way; Victorian England was no joke.) Anyway, Sherlock’s legacy has led to hundreds of adaptations spanning dozens of different entertainment and creative outlets. This particular adaptation focuses on a young Sherlock, not as a child in the dusty streets of London, but as a modern student solving small time mysteries with his faithful dog companion, Watson.
Before you get too excited, this is very much a young reader comic instead of the more popular ‘all-ages’ tag a la Adventure Time. That being said, if you’ve got kids, this is a pretty fun read! In issue three, Sherlock and Watson are very excited to finally get first pick of toys for recess when, GASP, the toys are gone! Somehow, all the balls and bats have been getting checked out but not getting checked back in. Who would be so dastardly as to steal the toys from their classroom? The two are pretty sure that it’s the older kids, especially when Sherlock’s keen eye spots an obvious classroom number forgery on one of their balls, but he has little evidence to prove that they are the actual responsible party. With no other options, Sherlock is forced to turn to the one person he never thought he would have to, his big brother.
Kid Sherlock definitely plays to its audience and adds in a bunch of fun activities at the end for those bored afternoons at home. On top of the comic, the reader gets a maze, a crossword puzzle, a coloring page, and even lessons on how to draw the characters. So while you may shell out $4 for an issue, you get a good couple of hours of use out of it. The whole comic is very straightforward and easy to follow, making this a good read for kids who are just getting into comics and are getting burned out on Tiny Titans. Even the art is very simple, keeping to a Highlights-type aesthetic (you know, those magazines in every dentist office), and would make a very easy transition to the small screen or the back-log of “Ages 5-12” cartoons on Netflix.
Perhaps the only complaint is that there is no way for the reader to solve the mystery along with Sherlock. The reader simply rides along as Sherlock explains the clues right as he finds them, making it more of a mystery story than a mystery help-solve-it, which I think kids would have more fun with. But regardless, Kid Sherlock is a great way to ease your young reader into both mystery and comics without demanding too much of the child’s attention. Also, if you’re on the picky side, there are no swears, no blood, and nothing scary, so it won’t scar them for life. Unless you want that, then, uh, I suppose a Garth Ennis comic is the way to go.
Kid Sherlock #3 on sale now!