Moriarty #7 Review
Moriarty #7 was released in 7th December 2011 as the third installment of the Lazarus Tree storyline; published by Image Comics, scripted by Daniel Corey, creator of Dangerkatt Creative Studio, who also authored the graphic novel titled Prophet; illustrated by comic book artists Anthony Diecidue, who covered the art in pages 1 and 22 of this issue, and Mike Vosburg in pages 2 to 21. The protagonist of the story, Professor Moriarty is based on the eponymous criminal mastermind and archenemy of the greatest detective in the world, Sherlock Holmes in one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, ‘The Adventure of the Final Problem’, initially introduced in order to kill off both Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes.
In this issue, Moriarty reminisces on his life while heading out toward a brewing storm ahead, past events of considerable significance tied to the situation at hand and whatever should lie beyond the horizon. Once a professor of physics at Durham University, Moriarty had already put himself on the map running a major criminal enterprise as well as experiments to his own ends yet to be unveiled. Here, Moriarty took on the mad scientist role without flashy theatrics commonly attributed to the line of profession in the course of one of his experiments meddling with the fabric of nature.
The following pages show Moriarty’s ties with Eustis Morely, presently missing and the main reason as to the professor’s presence in Burma, who declined Moriarty’s offer to work as director of operations in Bombay by Moriarty, on account of the fact that he would be aiding his father in the family’s Jamaican sugar plantation. Moriarty’s face adopted a wolfish ruthlessness in response and perfectly in line with the person he was before his rise to antihero status in the story, indicative also of one who does not take ‘no’ for an answer’ and by any means necessary achieve his personal goals.
Featured later in the issue is Colonel Moran, referenced by Moriarty in the previous issue as a potential suspect behind the murders at hand and employed as in this flashback by the professor in his insidious scheme to convince Morely into working for him as well as a witty reference to another one of Doyle’s stories, ‘The Adventure of the Red-Headed League’. Moriarty demonstrated his sharp tongue, expertly maintaining grace in his demeanour throughout his peers’ futile attempts in intimidation, including Eustace Morely Sr., the father of Morely’s missing associate.
The artwork is one of a seemingly antique and crude persuasion, which fits in well with the general background of the story, with several panels projecting the person’s skin with a slight redness. All in all, the issue primarily depicts Professor Moriarty at his prime, before his encounter with Sherlock Holmes: manipulator, pulling everyone and everything into place to his own villainous ends; expert provocateur, abolishing establishments with a tug of a fraying string; and opportunist, living up to the Latin expression he was portrayed as quoting, ‘ex chaos facultas’, which means, ‘from chaos comes opportunity’, the case of present circumstances the professor had found himself under.