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The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #1 – Review and Preview

In general I don’t like to describe books by comparing them to other stories, but for this series I feel I must. My description will either put you off form the book, or it will peak your curiosity. The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde is part Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (obviously), part Jack the Ripper and part Silence of the Lambs. It’s an interesting combination that not only works, but makes you wonder why no one ever did it before.

The story begins with the creation of Mr. Hyde as Dr. Henry Jekyll injects himself with a formula he’s been working on that unleashes the beast within. Five years later a man in a red trench coat is standing over a prostitute killing her with precision blades. He leaves her dead body and strolls off into the night. The next day Thomas Adye is contacted to investigate the crime scene. He looks over the body counting the stab wounds and compares the number stab wounds found on the first murder victim. He can tell that the killer is not only being more precise, but that he also understands anatomy as he becomes a better killer.

The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde 1 CoverWhat’s peculiar is that the killer, after stepping in blood walks away and his stride of bloody foot prints is almost double that of a normal man. The prints also lead up the side of a building with just a simple push up from a fence below. Adye is baffled by the crime scene. He then learns that Jekyll is alive and well underneath the police station. It was reported that he was killed five years ago, but in fact he was taken as a prisoner to study. Adye must speak with him if he is going to get his help in solving the case.

This book right away is my pick of the week. Hands down it was one of the most interesting things I’ve read in comics and has that awesome Dark Horse feel. It looks and feels like it belongs in the world of Hellboy and the Amazing Screw-on Head. At first you kind of want to blow it off thinking it’s just another book in a long line trying to do something interesting with the Jekyll/Hyde formula, but then when you add in the other two elements suddenly the story is very different.

Writer Cole Haddon has taken a simple concept of multiple personalities mixed with transformation and made it into something refreshingly different and equally dark. A serial killer with Hyde-like powers is just one of those ideas that you hear that makes you stop and think about it. If you find yourself nodding your head, it’s okay because that’s what the concept alone can do to you. The dialog is enthralling and holds your attention the whole way through the issue.

The art captures the era of London perfectly and really helps drive the story along as well.  M.S. Corley is a very good visual story teller and really sets up his panels to enhance the story and give it a real sense of movement. The most striking thing in this story is Hyde and the Killer’s eyes. Both are intense and scary looking and that is very gratifying to see while reading. It gives the story a real personality that tends to be missing from a lot of comics. This book screams intense and dark.

Like I said this is my pick of the week. It’s a great story that has a mix of history, detective stories and classic fictional elements all with a dark edge. Hyde has a little something for everyone and all of it is really good! If you miss this book this week you’re missing out on a real gem from Dark Horse that’s for sure.

Overall Score – 9.8/10
*Great for Mature New Readers*

Here's the preview for the issue so enjoy!

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