Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The Loch Ness Horror!
The final Sherlock Holmes collaboration between Martin Powell and Seppo Makinen appeared in serial form in the four issues of the Caliber Comics magazine Sherlock Holmes Reader. Titled "The Loch Ness Horror", the story is a sequel of sorts to Return of the Devil. Actually I think it's best to consider the latter as a prequel for the much more ambitious Loch Ness story which is surprisingly sprawling in its scope for a Sherlock Holmes yarn.
The story concerns itself with the "The Spear of Destiny" no less and begins as Holmes is called out of retirement in Sussex by the Pope no less to investigate how this relic has been taken from inside the Vatican itself. Holmes finds himself pitted against Aleister Crowley, the infamous Satanist called by some "The Beast". Crowley is trying to use the Spear to bring out the end of the world itself and has enlisted the aid of a veritable horde of demons to help him accomplish that bloody goal.
The story touches many familiar notes as much of it is set at Baskerville Hall and involves intimately Sir Henry Baskerville and his daughter Magdeline. Watson leaves his new wife Veronica to join Holmes in this epic quest to stave off doomsday. It's a true spectacle with monsters great, small, and historic on hand.
This story features some of Makinen's most vibrant and powerful artwork, as he is a much more assured and confident artist since those halcyon days of Scarlet in Gaslight. I"m not sure I'm totally satisfied with the ending of this tale, but there's little doubt that Powell left it all on the table when he put this one together. It's the duo's blockbuster for sure.
I read this story in Moonstone's Sherlock Holmes Mysteries Volume Two. Along with Return of the Devil, this story forms a vast story which makes for a solid Holmes experience, at least for those who don't mind the Great Detective pitting his wits against the supernatural.