Few characters have the staying power of London’s Great Detective. Since his introduction in 1887, Sherlock Holmes has moved far beyond the original short stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that were printed in The Strand magazine, and has teamed up with other characters across media, universes and time periods. Here are not all but just some of the oddest team-ups he’s had!
DC Comics Detectives
Although Batman became its main star, the series Detective Comics has featured many sleuths and gumshoes. So to celebrate the 50th anniversary issue, Detective Comics featured a story that teamed up the Dark Knight of Gotham City with human detective Slam Bradley, and stretchable sleuth Ralph Dibny AKA the Elongated Man.
After solving a case that was connected to the late Sherlock Holmes villain Prof. Moriarty, the detectives were surprised to meet the Baker Street detective himself, still alive and looking fairly spry for a man who at that point would be somewhere around 140 years old. Though Holmes credited his longevity to the atmosphere of Tibet and a specialized diet, Batman’s expression implied he suspected a greater secret behind it all. Batman and Holmes later fought alongside each other again in the cartoon series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
In the Star Trek universe, Holmes is definitely a fictional character, but that doesn’t mean his legacy hasn’t touched those who explore the final frontier. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, we learned that the famous Spock was descended from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Holmes‘ greatest enemy Moriarty was literally brought to life during a holodeck session, leading to a battle of wits against Lt. Commander Data, Commander LeForge, and Captain Picard. The real Holmes didn’t show up here, but Data was a pretty fair stand-in and looked quite good in the famous cap.
The Real Ghostbusters
That’s right. On an episode of the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters, we saw the detective team up with the New York quartet of heroes. Interestingly, the episode didn’t imagine that Holmes was real and lived in the Ghostbusters universe. Instead, it was said that the number of people who loved and believed in Holmes, particularly children, had brought him to life as a spectral entity. Likewise, Moriarty also showed up as a telekinetic ghost, accompanied by the demonic Hound of the Baskervilles. This led to a strange, heroic, sad, and surprisingly layered story for what was considered to be a kid’s show.
One is the greatest detective in England. One is a centuries old Time Lord. Neither like playing by the rules. Both are used to being the smartest man in the room. So you can bet that when the 7th Doctor landed in 19th century London and met Holmes in Andy Lane’s novel The All-Consuming Fire, egos did clash. Things took an even stranger turn when the group found themselves face to face with alien creatures and a Lovecraftian threat.
The book indicated that Holmes was not real in the Doctor Who universe but was based on a real person whom the Doctor met and worked alongside. In the Eleventh Doctor’s on-screen adventures years later, we learned that the inspiration for Holmes is actually Madame Vastra, a member of the species homo reptilia, a race of lizard people who lived on Earth long before humans evolved. The original book The All-Consuming Fire was recently adapted into a full-cast audio drama by Big Finish Productions, so check it out on BigFinish.com.
As a fan of both the Great Detective and the immortal Count of Transylvania, I was very nervous about picking up this book. To my amazement, Sherlock Holmes Vs. Dracula by Loren D. Estleman is a great, character-driven story that takes place parallel to the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker. Just as Stoker’s novels showed us newspaper articles that alluded to the Count’s presence, this book has Holmes directly investigating those same news stories, causing him to make enemies not only with Dracula but with Prof. Van Helsing as well.
Holmes has never believed in the supernatural, but when confronted with a truth he can’t deny he puts his fears aside and is determined to protect England from the lord of vampires. This is also a very strong story for Watson, as he proves just why he has the very rare privilege of being able to call himself Sherlock‘s best friend.
There have been other stories that have pitted Holmes and Dracula in the same story, but Sherlock Holmes VS Dracula still holds up as perhaps the best of them.