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After an astounding first issue The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde returns
with a second issue that’s even better. As I said in the review
for the first issue this book is Hyde meets Ripper with Silence of the Lamb
undertones. The story continues its same set up of showing Jekyll’s decent into
madness as he became to rely more and more on the serum and its effects on him.
In the present Inspector Tom Adye is trying to use science to compare the scrapings from under one of the victims nails to the original serum of Hyde’s, but finds
that all the files and evidence from the case has gone missing.
This results in Adye consulting with Hyde once more to find out if he has a secret stash of the serum. Hyde agrees to show him where his stash is and even tells him that it’s there in case he ever sees the light of day again. When they get to Hyde’s secret safe one of the vials rolls out into Hyde’s hands. There’s a moment of panic as everyone in the room knows that if he takes any of the serum they’ll all be dead, but Hyde hands it over as the game he’s playing is more fun with Adye in control. Upon leaving Hyde tricks Adye into letting him help in narrowing down the suspects in exchange for more time out in the real world. Adye talks to a prostitute and receives some information on man that’s notorious for hurting whores. From there the Inspector and Hyde are in for nothing but trouble as they think they’ve solved the case.
The first issue really presented the story as if Tom Adye was the main character, but he really takes a back seat in this issue as Hyde becomes the star. Of course Tom still narrates the book, but even his narrative shows his increasingly passive nature as Hyde steals his spotlight. That’s the greatness about the Tom and Hyde relationship is that Tom is constantly trying to prove his intelligence to Hyde, while Hyde is constantly challenging him to do so. They’re almost kindred spirits, but with Hyde’s personality Tom is more susceptible to turn to Hyde’s side than vice versa. Cole Haddon writes an amazing story that captures your interest and keeps you reading for the dialog as much as to see the events of the story unfold.
The art by Corley continues to be top notch, but they're similarities in looks between Tom and Hyde that are either very intentional or unfortunately intentional. If very intentional it could be a major insight into the story and things to come, if not then Corley really needed to make the characters more distinct so that they didn’t appear as siblings which is how they look now. All together Corley is a great talent and matches the tone and feel of the book perfectly. He really captures the atmosphere of the world and nails the arrogance of Hyde with his facial expressions.
I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s one of the best comics of 2011 by far. This week there are a lot of second issues coming out and this is yet another one that stands out as being better than the first. Sure the first issue established the world and the plot, but this issue has developed the characters and let them play in that world. Don’t let the name of “Hyde” fool you into thinking this is just another retelling of the classic novel as it is something truly special and not to be missed. Do yourself a favor and pick up the first issue if you missed it along with the second issue; you will not regret it.
Overall Score – 9.9/10