Tag Archive: Irene Adler


 

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:

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Nothing in the past five years has been more fun as far as comic book events are concerned than Dynamite Comics’ ever-growing crossovers incorporating their huge roster of licensed characters.  The New 52 and Convergence events from DC Comics and the Secret Wars event from Marvel Comics are so much more of the same–pulling in dozens of titles and character crossovers over the course of several months.  All of these publisher events attempt to reinvigorate their brands–to bring more people in to try out the regular monthly series featuring their stock of characters, whether you’re looking at the Avengers or the X-Men or the Justice League.  Dynamite’s events also pull from their stock of characters, yet the publisher has managed to unleash something very new in the way these characters come together.

Dynamite’s Masks limited series introduced a pantheon of superheroes from the literary past: Green Hornet and Kato, The Shadow, Miss Fury, Spider, The Lone Ranger, Zorro, the Green Lama, Black Terror and The Black Bat (a second limited monthly follow-on series, Masks 2, is underway now).  Then Bill Willingham expanded and amped up the Dynamite characters with his Legenderry steampunk adventures.  Another limited series, this one introduced the Six Thousand Dollar Man, teaming up with a parallel world, steampunk era Red Sonja, Zorro, Flash Gordon, Green Hornet, the Phantom, and more.  It now has its own expanded event series of sorts with Legenderry universe monthly series featuring each of Vampirella, Red Sonja, and Green Hornet.

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But Dynamite’s best crossover event series may have just arrived with writer Gail Simone and artist Sergio Davila’s new Swords of Sorrow.  A dark prince has enlisted an arsenal of women warriors to defend his interests, including the well-known red, horned villainess Purgatori.  But a mysterious and beautiful otherworld woman called the Traveller has assigned various swords to her own select group of women warriors via the Courier, across time and space–from Everywhere and Everywhen to Nowhen–to defend worlds menaced by this prince.  Her heroines include Red Sonja, Vampirella, Irene Adler, Dejah Thoris, Jennifer Blood, Jane Porter, Lady Zorro, Milan Kato, Masquerade, Black Sparrow, Miss Fury, Pantha, Lady Rawhide, and Jana the Jungle Girl.

Leading a select team of women writers in nine Swords of Sorrow tie-in series and one-shots, Gail Simone has her challenges here, required to pull together more than a dozen main characters quickly, explaining enough to let us know who they are for those unfamiliar with them all, and set up enough world-building to let us understand how they all fit together.  This may be the best we’ve read of any series from Simone so far, as Issue #1 of the six backbone issues gives us all we need to get excited to see what comes next.  Sergio Davila’s artwork is as detailed and interesting as his work on Legenderry, sure to keep us interested to come back for more each month.  Check out the full checklist of the crossover series below.

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By C.J. Bunce

Several stories have been reported across blogs and UK journals over the past few weeks about Matt Smith and Karen Gillan soon wrapping up their roles as the Doctor and his companion, Amy Pond.  So let’s wade through what appears to be fact and what appears to be rumor.

First of all, it will be a sad day when Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are replaced.  I tried watching Doctor Who when Christopher Eccleston became a Doctor and then when David Tennant became the next Doctor.  And neither hooked me into how fun this series could be, after years of giving the show a try through several changes in Doctors.  But Matt Smith’s youthful energy and Karen Gillan’s beautiful Scot look and comic timing made the series the most enjoyable around, and caused me to go back and finally dig into the series with the two prior Doctors.  And made me a fan.

But the beauty of Doctor Who is the fact that the Doctor regenerates into new people–so the show can go on for generations, as long as new writers can continue to write exciting stories.  I overheard a kid in a local comic store who must have been no older than 13 say “you always remember your first Doctor” and it made me laugh.  He’s probably right.

So what news is true?  The producers of Doctor Who have reported on the official Doctor Who website that the next actress to play the companion to replace Karen Gillan is 25-year-old actress Jenna-Louise Coleman from Blackpool.

Jenna-Louise Coleman–the next Doctor Who companion.

Writer and executive producer Steven Moffat had reported this past Christmas that the Ponds (Amy and hubby Rory) would be leaving.  The website makes clear that Coleman will replace Gillan after one more season with Amy and Rory in the story.  Coleman has had roles on British TV and a small role last year in Captain America: The First Avenger.

Coleman in Captain America: The First Avenger.

The website suggests that the new companion will accompany Matt Smith’s eleventh doctor for 14 episodes in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the series on British TV.  Here is the sneak preview at the new season coming soon to BBC One and BBC America, and HEY!–note that it features a cool cyborg, right out of the movie Westworld:

So that’s the next companion story.  But what about the next Doctor?

The British tabloid the Daily Express, known for sharing rumors, this week claims an insider has disclosed that Matt Smith’s replacement will be the first woman Doctor of the series.  And one of the front runners (again, per the reported rumor) may be a very cool choice, the new Irene Adler in the third season of the Sherlock series, also produced by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat.  Adler is portrayed by British actress Lara Pulver.  Pulver was a regular on BBC’s Robin Hood series as Isabella, Erin Watts on MI-5, and is currently Claudine Crane on True Blood.  Although this has aleady aired in the UK, here is a preview for U.S. viewers of Pulver as Adler in the new Sherlock (and ignore the reference to Pulver as “naked”–it’s all innuendo with a lot of clever filming):

What is clear from the above clip is that if Pulver can hold her own opposite both Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes (soon to star in the next Star Trek and The Hobbit films) and Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson (starring this year in The Hobbit), there is no doubt she would make a great, sassy and smart 12th Doctor in the Doctor Who franchise.  If we’re going to lose Matt Smith–my vote for the best Doctor of all–why not try something really new?

So… new companion?  True.  New Doctor?  Nothing confirmed to report yet.