Introduction by Laurie R. King
The most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles features the phantom dog of Dartmoor, which, according to an ancient legend, has haunted the Baskervilles for generations. When Sir Charles Baskerville dies suddenly of a heart attack on the grounds of the family’s estate, the locals are convinced that the spectral hound is responsible, and Holmes is called in. “Conan Doyle triumphed and triumphed deservedly,” G. K. Chesterton wrote, “because he took his art seriously, because he lavished a hundred little touches of real knowledge and genuine picturesqueness on the police novelette.”
This better than average comics version of the quintessential 1901 Sherlock Holmes novel shows the first private detective's cool rationality confronting gibbering horror in order to thwart an ancient curse, a hound from hell that kills the male heads of a wealthy family. Patriarch Sir Charles Baskerville just having been frightened to death, Holmes and Dr. Watson set out to protect the family heir, Sir Henry. Few trappings of gothic mystery are missing from the action, but they are countered by Holmes's instructions that Watson should observe closely and analyze skeptically everything he sees. Edginton's script is much closer to Conan Doyle's original than most adaptations, although that does mean that the characters get to talk a lot. Culbard's energetic layouts and darkly sinister backgrounds are effective; when he turns to the story's people, unfortunately, the Seth-like brushwork stretches their heads until they look like animated kidney beans. Overall, though, Hound gives modern readers a taste of what makes Sherlock Holmes an immortal character.