The minds behind the Mr. Hyde comic have done it again by way of a smashing follow up to The Strange Case of Mr. Hyde #1. When we last left Inspector Adye, he was seeking the assistance of one Henry Jekyll to help solve the string of murders occurring in Whitechapel. Assistance which he sought out against the direction of his superiors. Adye soon discovers he’s bit off more that he can chew, whether he’ll admit it to himself or not.
While the first comic in the series was a tad slow, the second installment takes off at breakneck speeds and doesn’t let up. We get a deeper look into the mind of Dr. Jekyll, a man as brilliant as he is dangerous. His time spent incarcerated has obviously not dulled his intellect, and he seems intent on playing with the minds of those who allow him to get close enough. We also get another peek backwards into his past and the darkness he unlocked within himself, giving rise to his alter-ego: Mr. Hyde. However, the book leaves us to question who is really the true monster of the two.
It is refreshing to read a comic that is so intelligently written. It’s more than just a murder mystery; it’s about what measures even the best amongst us will take to do what we believe must be done, and what costs we’re willing to incur in the process. Adye, like Jekyll, is a man who starts out full of good intent. But, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Adye has tough choices to make, and the consequences could cost him more than he ever suspected.
The dialog, especially in the cases of Adye and Jekyll, is quick and witty. Drizzled with quotations, and riddled with mind games, you can’t help but keep turning the pages. It’s got a rhythm all its own, which is greatly due to writer Cole Haddon’s passion for the project, and his familiarity with works fitting of the time frame.
The art is still sharp and works well with the story. There are some especially interesting panels, including one displaying the interior of the Black Museum of Scotland Yard. I also enjoy the facial expressions of the characters. It can sometimes be hard to capture emotions that feel genuine, but Corely does a wonderful job of it.
I definitely recommend picking up a copy of Strange Case #1 and #2 if you haven’t already. Victorian-era fan or not, this is an exciting title that has an engaging story to tell.