ADLER Issue #1 Spoiler-Filled Review: Jane Eyre Makes For A Brilliant Gender-Bent John Watson

Not long ago we brought you the report of Titan Comics' new Sherlock Holmes' spin-off series Adler and with this week seeing the release of Issue 1 we dove in and now we have a spoiler-filled take for you!

Of all the new comic book releases that hit the shelves on Wednesday this past week, one that I was most excited to get into was the title of Adler from Titan Comics. As a big Sherlock Holmes fan myself, I was initially enthralled by the idea of learning about this character a bit more considering her importance in the great sleuth's life. Once I realized however that Ms. Adler would be joined by other famous faces from literature and history to set up a League of Extraordinary Gentle(wo)men, I was immediately all-in and on board for the ride.

Combining the stupendous talents of Fantasy-Award Winning Author Lavie Tidhar (Osama) and artist Paul McCaffrey (TMNT, DC's Men of War) results in the perfect storm of brilliant imagery and compelling storytelling set-up. The characters are familiar enough to introduce multiple in a single issue without bogging down the reader with too many initial details - but we'll dive into the full depth of that later into the article.

You likely noticed that we mentioned this twice already, but we want to give you one last warning that this article is going to contain massive spoilers for Adler #1 which just released on Wednesday, February 5th. Thanks to Titan Comics - the book's publisher, we were able to get a review copy sent our way to share our honest thoughts on the break-out issue from the brand new series. They were also nice enough to share cover images and interior art with us so I will be splattering imagery throughout the review to keep things spicy! Without any further adieu, let's dig into Adler #1!

They say don't judge a book by its cover but I'm going to get this review started by doing exactly that. Titan provides four different covers for the first issue of Adler, with the first being captained by Butch Guice - a veteran comic book artist who has lent his style to the likes of Captain America, Aquaman, The Flash, and numerous more recognizable intellectual properties. Immediately upon looking at the first cover (pictured below) one notices the number of weapons brandished as well as an abundance of the color red with scarlet even dripping down the side of a knife aimed in our titular heroine's direction.


The second of the four covers was put together by the interior artist himself, Paul McCaffrey, and it personally makes for my favorite of the four. I love the way the main character is depicted with everthing from her stance to her outfit (more red, by the way) helping to center her as memorable cover art.


Many peoiple are going to love the next cover I believe as it is a Victorian Homage which not only meshes perfectly with the theme of the book and the characters featured in it but also serves to distance itself a bit from the normalcy of the other three covers, as they bear similarity to one another. Adding the Victorian Homage to the four available covers for Adler Issue # 1 allows for fans to have more of a range of options.

To come full circle we wind up with a piece of art that probably looks extremely familiar. That would be because the image below is a black and white version of the regular Adler Issue #1 cover art done by Butch Guice. Fans that prefer to enjoy the cover imagery without all the red will love the last cover which rounds out the four for this initial comic issue.

Getting into the interior of the comic, we begin with the page below which sets up our most important supporting character in this issue and most definitely the entire series of Adler to come. Pictured in the first page which we've shared below is the familiar scene of John Watson's war injury - though this time we are seeing what happens to Jane Eyre as she serves as the Watson to Adler's Holmes for our series.

The next character to be introduced is another figure from literature in the form of Lady Havisham - the notable figure created by the legendary Charles Dickens for Great Expectations. Havisham fills the role needed to introduce our titular heroine to Jane Eyre so their adventures can get a proper start. 
Above, both Ayesha and Carmilla can be seen although they don't play a heavy role in the first issue. The main focus is centered around Irene Adler coming into contact with her new partner and flatmate Jane Eyre. It makes for good fun to watch as the main character uses the science of deduction to figure out her new friend in an extremely paralelled way to the first time Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet.

Speaking of the great detective and his partner, they are mentioned in the initial issue of Adler, even if it is a minor point to the plot. We see them mentioned by another famous face from the Holmes universe in the form of Professor Moriarty - the longtime nemesis of Sherlock and the villain of this new title. The character seems as vicious as ever in the panel below, which is evocative of the way Moriarty generally treats his pawns.

When the issue comes to an end readers are left with the cliffhanger that the evil Moriarty will be attending an upcoming show of Adler's to thwart our heroine while Holmes and Watson are away on business related to hounds in Baskerville. In addition, we also get the tease of another upcoming character to be featured in the form of none other than Marie Curie herself.
Overall, I loved the issue and I truly loved Adler #1. There was a bit of action mixed in with an issue that not only is responsible for launching a new series but is also tasked with introducing and connecting the likes of numerous female figures from history and literature. Not only was that task delivered on, but this comic has found a brilliant apex of something new and something familiar to reel in and keep readers interested.

Titan Comics proves they are up to the task with the team of Tidhar and McCaffrey delivering an exciting new tale that still manages to check the box of nostalgia for one of the greatest intellectual properties that has ever existed - Sherlock Holmes. The work of the unparalelled Sir Arthur Conan Doyle isn't something that is easy to follow in any regard, but this creative team does a fantastic job of writing a new tale that feels as though it genuinely fits in an already-existing universe. - Five out of Five

What do you guys think about this comic from the images and the information we've shared? Does this seem like the type of book you can get into? We've also included the trailer for the first issue below so take a look for yourselves and let us know your thoughts in the comments section like usual!

For Sherlock, there was only ever one woman - now Irene Adler is on a mission to take down Moriarty! It's the League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen, as Adler teams up with a host of famous female faces from science, history and literature to defeat the greatest criminal mastermind of all time!

An alternate history of the greatest literary characters of the 19th Century featuring Moriarty, Jane Eyre, Lady Havisham, Marie Curie, Carmilla and Ayesha!

Adler Issue #1 is currently on sale from Titan Comics with a ticket price of $3.99.
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