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SYFY WIRE Titan Comics

Titan Comics' new Irene Adler solo series is a League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen

By Jeff Spry
Adler Hero

The game's afoot as Irene Adler, the wily woman who matched wits with legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and stole his cold heart, is assembling her own dream team to track down the diabolical Moriarty in a new creator-owned miniseries from London-based Titan Comics — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive preview of the premiere issue, dropping Feb. 5, 2020.

Adler 1

Penned by World Fantasy Award-winning author Lavie Tidhar, with stimulating artwork by Paul McCaffrey (TMNT, DC's Men of War), Adler #1 finds the titular heroine hunting down and clashing with the most brilliant villain of all time, the genius called the Napoleon of Crime named Professor James Moriarty.

Her perilous journey brings together an impressive roster of famous Victorian heroines from world literature, science, and history, with classic figures such as Jane Eyre, Lady Havisham, Marie Curie, Carmilla, and Ayesha joining the adventurous outing.

It's a five-issue, gender-bent nod to Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's iconic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which first saw light back in 1999.

Adler Slice

We asked acclaimed Israeli-born writer Lavie Tidhar (Osama, Central Station) how this Sherlockian alternative-history series germinated and why McCaffrey's art captures the perfect tone and style.

“Paul and I have worked together from very early on, and we were plotting for a new project when the opportunity to work with Titan arose," Tidhar tells SYFY WIRE. "So we grabbed it! I’m a big Holmesian fan – I even own the two-volume Annotated Sherlock Holmes, which still reeks from its mysterious former owner’s pipe smoke! And I was struck by how Irene Adler – one of the great creations of Victorian literature – was reduced to a prop in several recent adaptations. I mean, the whole point was that she was better than Holmes!

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"So I originally wrote a sort of outline of this out of sheer stubbornness," he notes. "Which is how I end up writing most things! And it was nice writing something more fun, harking back to my earlier work, like The Bookman Histories. I can’t claim much credit for this work – Paul did all the heavy lifting, and his artwork is simply stunning. Even if he complained I made him draw overly complicated stuff, like a Victorian death-ray machine or an airship battle over London.”

Titan Comics' Adler #1 lands in comic shops Feb. 5, 2020, and comes dressed in four evocative covers to collect, including a sharp variant by award-winning comics veteran Butch Guice (X-Men: Phoenix Rising, Captain America).

Adler Slice 2

Now embark on a tempting trip into our exclusive 5-page preview in the full gallery below, then alert us as to your intentions of keeping this enticing offering on your radar for next year.