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Cole Haddon, along with his artist M.S. Corley, has created an astounding illustrated tale based off of the classic novella ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. Haddon has given the classic novella his own twist to the story but importantly, stayed true to the original source.
The story itself is an elaborate crossover between the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novella and the historical murders of Jack the Ripper. The plot, which takes place five years after Hyde’s rampage, is an intriguing “Holmes VS Moriarty” detective thriller where the reader follows Inspector Thomas Adye of the Scotland Yard as he begins his investigation into the Whitechaple murders.
Once on the case, Adye finds himself in a situation beyond his control and realizes he is on the trail of someone, or something, that may be too much for him to handle alone. So Adye turns to a similar case of gruesome murders for helpt and finds the one man who may know how to stop the Whitechaple murderer (AKA Jack the Ripper). We are introduced to Dr. Jekyll in the same way Clarice met Hannibal Lecter. This event really sets the tone of the comicbook and the conflict between Adye and Jekyll.
The characters in the story are very interesting and aid the pace and details that really brings this story to life. Adye is a young detective whose goal in life is to become a prestigious members of society, believing that true justice will prevail. On the other hand we have Dr. Jekyll, who used to have the same ambitions as Adye for his science experiments, but after taking the serum and becoming Hyde, now sees the darker side of humanity and believes it should be embraced. These contrasting ideologies are really what drive this story.
The illustrations are another astounding success for ‘The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde’. The action scenes are expertly crafted, very visual, and beautiful to look at. The style owns a mature, cartoonish feel with very vibrant colors. The designs are extremely detailed and you can tell that a lot of effort has been put into making this comic book look truly beautiful.
Probably the only gripe with the book would be some of the character designs of the background characters. In one scene when Adye and Jekyll enter a manor, they are greeted by two butlers. The two butlers look as though they have the same exact facial design, which I find slightly troublesome, and the same could be said about some of the police officers. However, this issue can easily be overlooked (and forgiven) when considering how great the illustrations are in general.
Overall, the ‘The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde’ is an amazing work of art and a must read for comic enthusiasts. I found myself giddy when Inspector Adye was introduced to many of the characters from the original novella and the historical figures from the real Whitechaple murder case.
I was especially excited beyond comprehension when Adye received the ‘Dear Boss’ letter from Jack the Ripper. I personally loved this comic do death and found myself wanting more and would implore comic readers to pick this up once it hits shelves on February 22nd! Click here for more details from Dark Horse Comics.