Not exactly what Stevenson had in mind

The first time you meet Edward Hyde in Alan Moore’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a scene of terrifying action.  As you can see from the panel below, Mr. Hyde bursts onto the page, shirt torn to shreds wielding a bloody cane.  To be honest, when I turned to this page for the first time, I burst out laughing.  I know what you’re thinking: “What kind of sick human being are you?” (or something to that effect).  Let me clarify.  I was not laughing at the scene taking place in the frame, but rather in the ridiculous manner in which Mr. Hyde is displayed.

I read Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde less than a year ago, and I assure you nowhere in the novel is Edward Hyde described as an enormous hulking monster.  Instead, this is the description found within Stevenson’s original work: “Mr. Hyde was pale and dwarfish, he gave an impression of deformity without any nameable malformation, he had a displeasing smile, he had borne himself to the lawyer with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness, and he spoke with a husky, whispering and somewhat broken voice.”  Now take another look at the scene below and see how the portrayals match up.  The small, timid, pale figure with a weak voice is nowhere to be found, replaced instead by a massive monkey-like animal bellowing at the top of its lungs.  I know Alan Moore wanted to make his work as exciting as possible, but come on, can you see why I was laughing now?

Stumpy367

~ by rlkeyer on October 23, 2011.

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