MANGA REVIEW | "Moriarty the Patriot" - Volume Twelve
How do you take down a bad man? Simple: find someone badder. After dealing with Mary’s situation in the previous volume, Homes and Watson must find a way to protect her from a terrible blackmailer. And what better way to deal with a rat like that than for a viper to slither in and eat him up. That’s exactly what goes down in the twelfth volume of Moriarty the Patriot!
“The Two Criminals” has Holmes and Watson dealing with Charles Augustus Milverton, who is basically sentient garbage. Knowing full well that the info he has on Mary would send her into exile, Holmes will do all that he can to keep Watson’s fiancé safe. However, since he has dealt with Milverton in the past, Holmes might not have a firm plan in place. That is, until the blackmailer shows up to 221B Baker Street.
Milverton is framed here almost like a cartoon villain. He’s got no room for empathy or sympathy, nor does it appear like he’s got a human soul. To put it bluntly: he’s a piece of shit! But Moriarty the Patriot do a damn good job making him a believable piece of shit, cartoonish personality not withstanding.
Not only does Ryosuke Takeuchi’s adaptation of Doyle’s original works frame Milverton as a disgusting person, but Hikaru Miyoshi’s visuals cement him and his crew as detestable. Forcing Holmes to drink ash-filled tea, pissing on his violin, and going so far as to step on Miss Hudson’s sandwiches without a care in the world show why this is a man not worthy of breathing the same air as Holmes, Watson, or even Moriarty. It’s also these actions that allow both Holmes and Watson to come up with a plan to take the blackmail items from Milverton’s clutches. To do that, they’ll need to get a little wet.
It’s in the interactions between Milverton’s maid staff and Watson where we get some solid comedy in such a serious narrative. The way Watson flirts with the maid, only to be riddled with guilt over his actions never dulled. He’s a good man, and has always been portrayed as one, so it’s funny seeing him have to save his fiancé by pretending to be a lady’s man. (I’m sure Mary would forgive his actions…hopefully.)
This leads to the crème de la crème of Moriarty the Patriot: the ultimate standoff. At long last, Holmes sees the Lord of Crime, and his reaction to the reveal is as cool as a cucumber. Milverton taunts both Holmes and Moriarty, to the point where it looks like they’re just waiting for him to shut up. And then…well, iconic moments shan’t ever be spoiled here, that’s for certain.
Volume Twelve of Moriarty the Patriot delivered the moments we’ve all been waiting for. From Holmes seeing the Lord of Crime to how Milverton’s handled, every page of this volume oozed with greatness. While the original Doyle books of Sherlock Holmes may be the truest way to experience these stories, Moriarty the Patriot has gone to great lengths to demonstrate why it’s in its own literary adaptation class. Try not grinning sinisterly while the final pages are being turned.
Promotional consideration provided by Chantelle Sturt of VIZ Media.