Illustrations by Hikaru Miyoshi
This story follows the young life of James Moriarty, the acclaimed nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. This James is loosely based on the Professor of Doyle's works - he's a math professor, and he is a mastermind of crime. As a child, James and his younger brother, Louis, were adopted by the wealthy Moriarty family, but the parents and youngest Moriarty brother never treat them like equals. The eldest Moriarty, Albert, first met James and Louis at the orphanage, and want nothing more than to be a true family.
Now a young man, James has a Crime Consulting Agency where he uses his intellect to punish the nobles of England who are abusing those of lower status. His ultimate goal is to make-over the British Empire and the world into a casteless system where all can be on equal footing. Along with his brothers, Moriarty breaks down the nobility one mysterious case at a time.
This is a really interesting look into the origins of Moriarty. It is common knowledge that Moriarty is Sherlock's arch enemy, but the criminal mastermind only appears in two stories, and is mentioned in four others. For as ubiquitous as the pairing is, little is known of Moriarty, and he is in very little of Doyle's stories. Takeuchi has taken the pieces that are known and crafted an entire life for Moriarty that is intriguing, especially for fans of righteous vengeance stories like Venom or Punisher. Miyoshi's illustrations beautifully depict the lavish aristocratic life of the Victorian Era, although a few of the noble youth at Moriarty's university look very similar to each other.
VIZ rates this as Teen Plus for "realistic violence, drug use, and criminal activity." The violence at the beginning of the volume would definitely make this a title I would reserve for older high school audiences.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss This graphic novel will be on sale October 6, 2020.
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Historical Fiction, Mystery
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