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It took a bit for this issue to sink in after reading it the
first time. Not because I didn’t like it, but because it just didn’t feel as
spectacular as the last issue. Of course part of the problem is that it’s a
comic narrative and you can’t have all of your reveals fall to the end like you
would typically in film or television. The story’s conclusion is still very
rewarding and solidifies the series as one of the best of the year for sure.
Fair warning that if you haven’t read the series up to now
that there are spoilers ahead, of course the fact that I had to drive to four
comic shops to find the issue tells me that people were very receptive to the
series and this issue in particular. The core of this issue is Tom figuring out
what type of man (or monster) he is while he watches helplessly as Hyde and
Jack have their final battle. That’s basically it. Tom figures out that’s he’s
been played this entire time and it makes him a smarter man for next time.
Hyde may have stolen the show earlier on in the series, but
the character development that Tom goes through really shows that he was the
driving force behind not just the narration, but the story as well. Cole Haddon
really slips in a lot of deeper metaphors in this final issue and surprisingly
the story eases up on the mature content choosing not to show the Ripper’s
final gruesome murder. It works to keep the reader undistracted by the death
and move Tom forward as a character. I have to say that Haddon really nails his
first comic series putting together a well thoughtout idea that is filled with
layers and subtext. That’s really what makes this issue good is that at the
surface level it’s just a battle and a wrap up, but if you actually dig into
the story there’s quit a bit more going on below the surface.
I struggled to determine if the third issue was in fact
better than the fourth. The third issue was very intense and full of reveals
and practically felt like there was nothing left for the fourth outside of the
obvious show down. But the psychological break down of Tom and the true nature
of Hyde makes this issue all the more better. The third issue is great and I
would say that the fourth is equally great due to just the character
development. Also it helps significant that Hyde solidifies his place as a top
comic villain with just one line of dialog, “Call it a point of professional
pride…” and so forth as you’ll have to read the rest on your own to know what I mean.
If you missed out on the series I recommend trying to pick
up the back issues or when the chance comes along pick up the trade/hardcover
of the series which will make for a much better read as you won’t have the
interruption between the different issues.