Viz Media announced the upcoming publication of Moriarty the Patriot Volume 1, a manga that offers not just an adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but a spinoff and alternate take on the canon.
Sherlock Holmes has always been popular in Japan, which has a huge and voracious readership for detective stories. Japan also has a particular fondness for British culture – they love the Victorian era and the pomp and circumstance of the Crown and the class structure. The Japanese are not blind to the inequities of the class system, and the plight of the poor and working-class are just grist to the mill for fiction.
Moriarty the Patriot is an alternate version of the Sherlock Holmes story that takes place in series archvillain Moriarty's younger years when he was a heroic crusader against the corrupt upper classes… and a twist in the nature of Sherlock Holmes himself.
Moriarty the Patriot Vol. 1
Written by Ryosuke Takeuchi
Art by Hikaru Miyoshi
Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The official synopsis reads:
"The untold story of Sherlock Holmes' greatest rival, Moriarty!
Before he was Sherlock's rival, Moriarty fought against the unfair class caste system in London by making sure corrupt nobility got their comeuppance. But even the most well-intentioned plans can spin out of control—will Moriarty's dream of a more just and equal world turn him into a hero…or a monster?
In the late 19th century, Great Britain rules over a quarter of the world in Moriarty the Patriot. Nobles sit in their fancy homes in comfort and luxury, while the working class slaves away at their jobs. When young Albert James Moriarty's upper-class family adopts two lower-class orphans, the cruelty the boys experience at his family's hands cements Albert's hatred of the nobility he was born into. He asks the older of the two boys – who has a genius mind and a killer instinct – to help him rid the world of evil, starting with Albert's own family!"
Moriarty the Patriot Vol. 1 is out on October 6th