Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Holmes!

After his terrifically successful collaborations with Martin Powell on the Sherlock Holmes canon, artist Seppo Makinen dived in one more time, this time with writer Steven Philip Jones, to offer up a speculation about what if the great detective had been involved in the sinister case of  Edward Hyde. This classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson is the perfect fit for Holmes, especially a Holmes who isn't afraid to trade in the supernatural from time time.

What we have in The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Holmes, a 1994 Caliber Comics one-shot tale is the classic story of Jekyll and Hyde, but this time blended into the mix throughout is the deductive skill of Sherlock Holmes as well as his able comrade Dr.Watson. They are brought into the case early when the repulsive Edward Hyde presents a check from the esteemed Henry Jekyll to pay for the care of the young girl he had brutalized on the streets of London. After confirming the check was legit, Holmes takes up the case in earnest and for a time keeps tabs on Hyde hoping to discover the secret of this strange and clearly dangerous lout. Eventually the full horror is revealed, but not until a great deal more tragedy is unleashed. What makes this story so potent is that Holmes is perfectly grafted into the already known story of Jekyll and Hyde but nonetheless adds to the whole.

Makinen's art is not as robust this time as I liked in his previous Holmes outings. What he has gained in skill he to some extent has lost in energy, but then a sure-footed storyteller he was likely merely following the script he was given.

This story collected recently by IDW in a volume titled Curious Cases of Sherlock Holmes is worth checking out for fans of Scarlet in Gaslight and other Makinen Holmes efforts, but don't get your hopes up too high.

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