News & Events Review: Cole Haddon - "The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde"

Cole Haddon - "The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde"

The Dark Horse Comics miniseries “The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde” is currently on the fast track to become a full blown movie. Written by Cole Haddon and illustrated by M.S. Corley, this tale brings a fresh, chilling new twist to the well-known Robert Louis Stevenson classic “Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde”.

This graphic novel pits two Victorian terrors against each other – the monstrous Mr. Hyde and the real-life terror Jack the Ripper. The story is not only an adrenaline rush from start to finish, it’s also fascinatingly stellar! The character development and surprises throughout are also laudable. In fact, The Crowgrrl loves this revisiting of the classic tale better than the original.

We’re introduced to Dr. Jeckyl in 1883 at a party of London’s elite – including such character cameos as Dr. Moreau – right on the verge of the unleashing of his alter-ego.

Segue to 5 years after the reported death of Hyde, Jack the Ripper has begun his crime spree in the Whitechapel district of London. Young Inspector Thomas Adye has been assigned to the case, and finds an incredible element at the crime scenes. Jack displayed almost super-human strength, and the ability to run up walls – much like his predecessor Hyde!

Then Adye finds a horrible truth. Although the headlines from five years prior read, “Edward Hyde Dead – Inspector Newcomen Declared Hero”, Newcomen confesses to Adye that an elite cadre of London doctors and scientists wanted to study Hyde, and he was actually captured and imprisoned in a cell in the bowels of Scotland Yard itself.

Adye takes it upon himself to seek out Hyde – now declared by his caretakers as returned to normal, back to his Henry Jeckyl persona. But the Jeckyl Adye finds is a scary-smart entity who plays a cerebral game of cat-and-mouse with the young detective. The scene of their first encounter reminded me very much of the first encounter between Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter in “Silence of the Lambs”.

However, desperate times call for desperate measures, and Adye doesn’t have a prayer of catching Jack the Ripper without Hyde’s help. Trust me, these two “monsters” are evenly matched, and only one will be able to survive.

But the conspiracy that spreads through some of the most elite of London’s society is even more disturbing than these two horrors going head-to-head. These dangerous secrets are what spawned Jack the Ripper to begin with.

One of my favorite parts was during Jeckyl’s first transformation into Hyde, where Haddon used the quote from the original Stevenson novel: “At first breath of this new life, I knew myself to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, a thought I embraced and delighted in like wine”. That’s the exact same quote used by actor Sid Haig in the intro to the song “Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde” by Horror-Punk band The Young Werewolves. When I read the line in the graphic novel, I could hear Sid’s voice reciting it in my head, and it sent chills down my spine.

Definitely a nail-biter! The Crowgrrl highly recommends that readers check this graphic novel out. It’s a spine-tingling experience, to say the least. I can’t wait to see it on the big screen!

 

By Athena Schaffer