Monday, February 10, 2014
Return Of The Devil!
Return of the Devil is a relatively short two-part tale from Martin Powell and Seppo Makinen, revisiting again the world of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective Sherlock Holmes. This yarn follows on the success of Scarlet in Gaslight and A Case of Blind Fear. In this one Watson and Holmes are nearing the end of their long partnership when word gets to Holmes that Irene Adler once again needs his assistance. It turns out it is not Adler directly but a colleague, a beautiful contralto named Violet Fortier who has been hallucinating apparently and reveals that the Devil himself, in his horned and cloven-hoofed glory has visited her. Violet's sister Veronica appeals to Holmes for assistance and frankly just flat-out appeals to Watson who misses his late wife Mary terribly. Things get much more serious thought when Violet kills herself. Later Holmes himself is suffering from delusions, or at least he thinks they must be since he sees his old enemy Moriarty seemingly returned from his death so many years before.
There is an answer to all this, a somewhat mundane answer after it's all said and done, but this story introduces Alestair Crowley to the scene, a character who will play a much larger role in the next Powell-Makinen Holmes story, their last. More on that later.
I originally read Return of the Devil in its two-issue format years ago from Malibu's black and white Adventure Comics brand. I have never found the collected edition from Caliber's Tome Press seen above. But I feel fortunate to have the story in the second volume of Moonstone's Sherlock Holmes Mysteries.