Coming this week is a new story from the steampunk crossover genre, those mash-ups featuring stories that blend the adventures of the real and the imaginary with Victorian charm. It’s Adler–after Arthur C. Doyle’s Irene Adler, who he created for his story A Scandal in Bohemia, a popular character in his Sherlock Holmes stories and novels. The new comic book series features Jane Eyre from Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Lady Estella Havisham from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Ayesha from H. Rider Haggard’s original Amazon Queen in his 1887 novel She, her confidante Carmilla, a vampire from an 1872 Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu novella, The Dark Blue, and little orphan Annie, from the 1920s Harold Gray comic strip, plus real-life physicist/chemist Marie Curie and Queen Victoria, among others.
A follow-on to the 2014 Adler mini-series also written by Lavie Tidhar with artwork by Paul McCaffrey, the band of heroines are readying to again face their nemesis, also Holmes’ nemesis, Professor James Moriarty. Artists McCaffrey and Jackson Guice will provide variant cover options, along with a silhouette cover series created by Andrew Leung.
Author Kim Newman (interviewed here at borg in 2013) has become the master of the crossover and mash-up genres, but the story device has been around for centuries. Examples in recent comics history include Bill Willingham’s Legenderry, which merged Red Sonja, Six Thousand Dollar Man Steve Austin, Zorro, Vampirella, the Green Hornet and Kato, the Phantom, Ming the Merciless, and Doctor Moreau. And then there’s Chris Roberson and Alex Ross’s Masks, including The Shadow, The Green Hornet and Kato, Zorro, the Green Lama, Miss Fury, Black Terror, and the Black Bat, and Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen have included Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Invisible Man, and Tom Sawyer, and others. Years before Moore, Newman’s several award-winning novels pulled together more than anyone else, literally thousands of characters, many real, historical people, many others fictional and from other famous works. (We reviewed Newman’s characters in comic book mash-up form, Anno Dracula 1895, here at borg). As with Willingham’s Legenderry, look for plenty of steampunk elements in Adler.
Here is a preview of Adler, Issue #1, courtesy of Titan Comics:
Look for the first issue of Adler at Elite Comics or your local comic book store Wednesday, February 5, 2020.