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Marvel’s New Mutant Is The Real Sherlock Holmes

Surely one of the most perplexing things about the Jonathan Hickman era of X-Men, to new readers, was that the name of one of its biggest characters is Irene Adler.

Better known by her mutant nickname, Destiny, the fate of Krakoa seemed to revolve around her, the question of whether she could be resurrected, and the dire consequences that resurrection seemed to promise. She was big trouble! She and she inexplicably shared a name with a famous 130-year-old crime fiction character.

The early 1980s, when Destiny was created, were a simpler time. Superhero comics were still niche entertainment and Irene Adler was still mostly an obscure reference to a Sherlock Holmes story, not a mainstay of basically every Sherlock Holmes movie or TV franchise. You could get away with naming a character who had nothing to do with Irene Adler after her without too much cognitive dissonance. Modern comics were necessary to complete the referential circle.

With Immortal X-Men #8, what was once implied is now canon: Mystique, Destiny’s changeling wife, was Sherlock Holmes.

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What else is going on in the pages of our favorite comics? We will tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books our comic editor enjoyed last week. It’s part superhero lives society pages, part reading recommendations, part “check out this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the latest edition, read this.)


A man walks out of 221 Baker Street and exclaims,

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Image: Kieron Gillen, Michele Bandini/Marvel Comics

Veteran X-Men readers will know that the comics have heavily hinted that Mystique was Sherlock Holmes before. When Mystique and Destiny first got together, Mystique was living in London posing as a renowned (and male) consulting detective, and readers had to connect the dots.

this week Immortal X-Men, writer Kieron Gillen and artist Michele Bandini draw the line canonically: Mystique was Sherlock Holmes, and her detection prowess came directly from Destiny’s clairvoyant sight. Elementary.

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“It's time to meet God,” says Blue Marvel, to a huge, glowing, androgynous figure who speaks in big, all-caps headlines instead of speech bubbles.  “I see through many eyes.  I build with many hands.  They are themselves but they are also me.  I am almighty.  My only weapon is love.  The mystery intrigues me.

Image: Al Ewing, Javier Rodriguez/Marvel Comics

Hats off to Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez for their equally gorgeous sequel to defendersbut it’s double Ewing for doing somehow Defenders: beyond a sequel to his Ultimatesits Loki: Agent of Asgardand even a bit of a coda in his immortal hulk. That’s called flex, folks.

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“Gentlemen,” says Mister Freeze, walking in the dark in his cold suit, with the inhuman round lenses of his goggles the only visible part of his face, “The next decision you make will determine the course of your lives.” in Batman — One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze (2022).

Image: Gerry Duggan, Matteo Scalera/DC Comics

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I’m a person who has been reading pretty much every Batman comic in the last 20 years and it’s hard to show me something I haven’t seen before or seen done better. It’s a personal issue, but that’s probably why I found the Batman: One Bad Day books—highly regarded one-shots that give DC’s best current creators a stab at revamping their villains’ origin stories—decent to the point. now, but nothing to write. house about.

So it should carry weight when I say that the story of Mister Freeze by writer Gerry Duggan and artist Matteo Scalera is a landmark. Not a true revamp, just a calculated hardening on the revolutionary Freeze. Batman: The Animated Series origin, which recalls also being a story about Batman. And it’s set during the holiday season! The art is simply beautiful, Scalera’s compositions and color work are delightful, and Robin wears this cold weather outfit with a yellow hooded cape that makes him look CUTER.

Doctor Strange fights various fantastical armored enemies, in a detailed and maximalist double page spread filled with warped mosaic surfaces, huge sound effects and many panels, in Doctor Strange: Fall Sunrise #1 (2022).

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Image: Tradd Moore/Marvel Comics

I have been waiting Doctor Strange: Autumn Dawn, written and drawn by Tradd Moore, from the moment I read that combination of title and artist. And Moore did not disappoint.

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“I'm Lee Harvey Oswald,” says a man with a cigarette in a trench coat.  “For the last sixty years I have been a member of a covert branch of our government called the Department of Truth.  And you are about to reveal all my deepest, darkest secrets to this country in your newspaper”, in Department of Truth #22 (2022).

Image: James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds/Image Comics

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This is just to say that The Department of TruthQuietly one of my favorite indie series of recent years, it looks like it’s starting to wind down, if you need an excuse to catch up.

Alicia Masters and Ben Grimm/The Thing get in their truck and drive out of the town of Cedar, talking about a guy named Sandy.  Ben says that the fact that they are here is proof that Sandy either lost his superpower or never used it again, but he prefers to think it's the latter.

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Image: Ryan North, Iban Coello/Marvel Comics

A mea culpa: I actually got lost Fantastic four #1 the week it came out and I had to read it later. What won me doubly about the book was not the solid little story of a single theme, nor the hint of a larger mystery. It was the clear feeling that writer Ryan North is bringing the same superhero spirit from squirrel girl — those bumps and oddities will happen, but many villains are just people who need a little outside help with their problems — to Marvel’s First Family. The FFs are often considered as goofy and old-fashioned as Superman, despite the 30-year age gap between them, and if North knows anything, it’s how to remind the reader that sincerity isn’t boring.

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