Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying #1 - Review. Elementary, My Dear
1. Newbury and Hobbes: The Undying #1, published by Titan Comics
NOTE: As I spool up a new comic book reviews podcast, I’ll be doing less formal write-ups of comic book reviews and instead will include my talking points and notes for the individual issues that are discussed on Off His Own Bat, a new podcast on the E2KG Network (YouTube channel link is at the top of the page!)
- written by George Mann
- Artwork by Dan Boultwood
- is a Victorian era comic, topically similar to Sherlock Holmes and the League of extraordinary gentlemen
- I had high hopes going into this, as I love Victorian era period pieces, but I was worried that it might ape Sherlock Holmes too much; the main diff here being that the partner, Veronica Hobbes, is a woman
- IN the opening pages, I liked that the expository narrative is done in Hobbes' voice, and right out of the gate she is engaged in fisticuffs right alongside Newbury
- This comic I feel is a bit risky; there's def room for it in publishing right now; I don’t think any other pubs are taking on this sort of material, although there was a Conan/Red Sonja crossover earlier this year that took place largely in the same era
- my problem with this book is that it just didn't hook me with anything unique of its own. There are elements of Homes here, as well as League, but I couldn't put my finger on anything that made Newbury and Hobbes a new thing in and of itself. There’re some elements of the macabre, but nothing shocking in nature, and the places where Veronica could have made the story take on a unique tone didn't feel capitalized on. I get that maybe you don’t make the fact that Hobbes is a woman a thing, and just make it like, "she's just her, and she's here in this material, and it's not a thing", but it is Victorian England and if you're not going to speak to it why bother?
- the artwork was fine, nothing particularly captivating in colors or shading, although there are a few panels of well-done fight choreography in the opening pages. It's a really flat color palette and even the reds don’t pop out, which I would have preferred
- overall, the pace of the book felt really slow, and it actually caused me to take the first 4 days of the reading cycle to read this, which caused me to be behind in my reading the rest of my pulls. It's not bad, it's just not for me, not right now.