One thing puzzles me. Why, for an edition of the book only released in 2010, does this have THREE different covers? They're all identical save for wha...moreOne thing puzzles me. Why, for an edition of the book only released in 2010, does this have THREE different covers? They're all identical save for what is included in the "circle" in the top righthand corner. The one I got shows a placid Dr. Jekyll from the shoulders up with "half a Hyde" face, whereas the one shown here on Goodreads depicts a distressed Jekyll from the waist up turning into Hyde, clutching at his throat, etc., and, finally, a third version I've seen depicts the "Hyde stomps on a little girl" scene. Can someone explain?
Anyway, onto the book itself. Holmes pastiches are a bit of mixed bag for me. The Giant Rat of Sumatra was, anyway. But Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Holmes is shaping up to be quite good! The only thing I don't really like is the author's insistence on treating the story as nonfiction. It's well and good to present a book as a "found manuscript" (as Michael Crichton did with Eaters of the Dead) but the overly long and detailed introduction wherein Loren D. Estleman relates how he got the "lost" Holmes chronicle from a gangster (!) was really silly. Do other Holmes pastiche authors do this? I surely hope the other Further Adventures books aren't presented in this fashion.
Anyway, Holmes and Watson are engaged by a G.J. Utterson, attorney and friend of a respected medical researcher named Dr. Henry Jekyll. It seems Jekyll has, for whatever reason, taken a shine to a young man named Edward Hyde, lending him enough money to buy an apartment in Soho and furnish it with princely taste. He's even gone so far as to change his will to make Hyde his sole beneficiary! All well and good, except Hyde is a jerk. More than that, he's an uncouth, monstrous ruffian, and Utterson thinks Hyde has some hold on his client and is blackmailing Jekyll.
Holmes' attempts to unravel the mystery of why Jekyll would associate himself with such a cur come to a dead end. He can find no evidence that Hyde existed prior to a few years ago, and his effort to get answers of of Dr. Jekyll himself get him stonewalled and lead to Utterson worriedly dropping the matter. Then an important M.P., Sir Danvers Carew, is murdered quite publicly by Hyde. Although neither Jekyll nor Utterson is willing to assist any further, Holmes' brother Mycroft comes to 221B Baker Street on orders directly from the Queen herself - find Sir Danvers' killer. Bring Hyde to justice.
And so, backed with no less than Royal authority, Holmes and Watson begin their hunt for Hyde. Because Jekyll seems to be the only person Hyde counts as a friend, Holmes, hoping to learn about the killer by digging into Jekyll's past, learns nothing new about Hyde... but does dig up some interesting facts about Jekyll himself. From his former colleague Professor Armbruster at the University of Edinburgh, they learn about Jekyll's pet theories involving the separation of good and evil. And the closer they get to the truth, the more vicious Edward Hyde becomes, going so far as to hire a Scottish ruffian in an attempt to have his initials carved into Holmes!
This is a great book. Of course, ANYONE knows the secret about the connection between Jekyll and Hyde, but Estleman wisely plays coy, keeping it a mystery just as it was in the original novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Bonuses for Jekyll & Hyde fans includes cameos by oft-overlooked characters from Stevenson's novel such as Utterson, Jekyll's friend Dr. Hastie Lanyon, and Inspector Newcomen of Scotland Yard. Definitely a good read!(less)
This is a very excellent book about the making of The Fly. It contains many interviews and it even contains the original short story by George Langela...moreThis is a very excellent book about the making of The Fly. It contains many interviews and it even contains the original short story by George Langelaan that inspired the movie! So if you're a Fly fan, this is definitely the book for you!(less)
Hitting stores during the height of Goosebumps' popularity, this first of several short story collections is one I never owned until now. I saw it as...moreHitting stores during the height of Goosebumps' popularity, this first of several short story collections is one I never owned until now. I saw it as a kid and wanted it but never got it. Fueled by nostalgia, I decided to buy it. It's a neat enough little collection. The best of the bunch is probably Teacher's Pet. It's also the only one of the books whose cover art doesn't feature Curly, Goosebumps' kinda-sorta mascot. It's probably the best of the story collections.(less)
This is a beautiful comic. It has a gorgeous hardcover and breathtaking artwork, and an interesting story setting up the movie's notion of Godzilla as...moreThis is a beautiful comic. It has a gorgeous hardcover and breathtaking artwork, and an interesting story setting up the movie's notion of Godzilla as Earth's protector from evil radiation-eating monsters.
The Hiroshima sequence seemed a little unusual, but not out of place - although the original Godzilla wasn't created by the bombing, in real life, it did inspire Toho to create him, so Godzilla and that real life incident (as well as Nagasaki) are inseparable, thematically. Besides, Toho themselves haven't been shy about using the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings as plot points in their own films (such as the beginning of Frankenstein Conquers the World).
It's just it seems a little heavy-handed, especially given the implication Godzilla apparently saved (!) the young Serizawa and his father from the M.U.T.O. that was attracted to the radiation of the explosion - effectively metaphorically saving them from the atomic blast itself. However, it makes sense within the story itself, so it's no big deal.
As for the rest of the comic, I liked Serizawa's character arc. His angry teenage years where he is fiercely angry with America for the bombings (understandable in the years immediately following the war), before he slowly blossums into a more sophisticated, laid back man with a deeper understanding of the world. His obsession with Godzilla which drives him to become a scientist and travel the world in search of him (and other monsters) is really great, too. It serves as a really great prequel to the movie, especially since Serizawa in the movie got next to no character development except for the scene where he shows Stenz his father's pocketwatch (which, yes, features here).
All told, a really great, well put together comic. My only other comment is I'm a little iffy about the sympathetic portrayal of Douglas MacArthur. Patton he isn't. And the artists drew him looking a little too much like Eisenhower for my tastes. However, it's only one brief scene, and it's essentially just one of the "fictional character meets real life historical figure" kind, so it neither makes nor breaks the comic.(less)
This was great; I missed the beginning (we arrived slightly late and came in just as Joe was being told about the seismic activity at the plant) and s...moreThis was great; I missed the beginning (we arrived slightly late and came in just as Joe was being told about the seismic activity at the plant) and so I was nice to see what I'd missed, with Serizawa and co. finding the Godzilla skeleton in the mine.(less)
As soon as I saw this in a Barnes & Noble, I knew I had to have it. It's both beautiful and funny. Very witty and charming, all things considered....moreAs soon as I saw this in a Barnes & Noble, I knew I had to have it. It's both beautiful and funny. Very witty and charming, all things considered. The artwork is beautiful as well. Seeing Jabba in that hat talking to Han Solo in buckle shoes and tights is simultaneously hilarious and awesome.(less)
When I got Verily, A New Hope, the checkout lady at Barnes & Noble recommended this, which had just come out. I took her advice. It's just as amaz...moreWhen I got Verily, A New Hope, the checkout lady at Barnes & Noble recommended this, which had just come out. I took her advice. It's just as amazing as the first one. Best part? Talking AT-ATs! I can't wait to get The Jedi Doth Return too!(less)
I remember first reading S.D. Perry's novelizations of the Resident Evil games way back in the early 2000's and enjoyed them quite a bit. It's nice to...moreI remember first reading S.D. Perry's novelizations of the Resident Evil games way back in the early 2000's and enjoyed them quite a bit. It's nice to see them getting reprinted in new editions. :)(less)
I wasn't terribly impressed with Rob MacGregor's novelization of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, however, his stab at The Phantom is a different s...moreI wasn't terribly impressed with Rob MacGregor's novelization of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, however, his stab at The Phantom is a different story entirely. It provides a lot of interesting backstory, including a several-chapters-long expansion on the film's prologue detailing the attack against the ship by the Sengh Brotherhood and the death of the first Phantom's father, and even the full story of Quill's tangle with the 20th Phantom and the circumstances surrounding his death. Definitely worth a read if you liked the film.(less)
Got this because I like the movie series so much. It's an interesting and enjoyable read, told from Nick's point of view. So far, it seems like the fi...moreGot this because I like the movie series so much. It's an interesting and enjoyable read, told from Nick's point of view. So far, it seems like the first film was a pretty faithful adaptation, excepting the addition of a prologue with Wynant (the book begins with Dorothy approaching Nick in the bar, which doesn't occur until several minutes into the movie). My only complaint is that the chapters are all so dang short! Oh well. It's still a great read so far, and I can see why it'd be popular enough to warrant not only a movie, but a movie series!(less)
Many times, people's endless praise of a graphic novel (or movie, TV show or book) is unwarranted, and I come away from it feeling let down. Not so he...moreMany times, people's endless praise of a graphic novel (or movie, TV show or book) is unwarranted, and I come away from it feeling let down. Not so here. Frank Miller's most well-known take on Batman is definitely a classic. I love the Reagan-era political commentary and Miller and co.'s disdain for liberals and conservatives alike - they seem to regard the entire political process, left-wing or right-wing, as being one big waste of time, or, at least, handled by a bunch of idiots on both sides.
The villains are hit and miss. Mostly hit. The Joker is fantastic, and I love the butch Neo-Nazi woman "Bruno." The Mutants seem a little corny, but somehow they're both terrifying and hilarious at the same time and I love them, especially their leader, who has become one of my favorite Batman villains of all time (thanks primarily to his portrayal in the film, admittedly, although he's no slouch here). Somehow the guy is both articulate, Hannibal Lector-like psychopath and savage, primal beast all at the same time. The Mutant lingo is also loads of fun.
If there's one villain I didn't like it was Two-Face. Not in and of himself, mind you; the story of him being cured by plastic surgery but his belief that the doctors didn't actually fix him and are having fun at his expense, and his rage which stems from it, is intriguing... but it felt like it belonged in a different comic, and felt shoehorned in. I also thought that Harvey Dent tended to look like either Lex Luthor when unmasked (due to his head being shaved) or Darkman when bandaged. Still, whether it felt like it belonged or not, I really liked the concept, and felt unbearably sorry for poor Harvey.
'Course, I knew I'd like it when I bought it at Books-A-Million, because I'd seen the two-part animated film based on it, and loved it. The artwork took a little getting used to, but by and large, I liked it, and there was a lot of stuff in the comic I wish they'd kept in the film, while other stuff, such as the manner in which Dr. Wolper dies, is done better in the movie (I also liked that we got to see Mary in the movie, whereas she's only mentioned in the comic). But all things considered, The Dark Knight Returns is definitely an epic story of Batman's return to crimefighting, and one of the best Batman stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading.
I even bought a second copy of it when I picked up the sequel on a whim! So now I have two - one to read and let get all bent and such, and another to keep safe along with The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
Anyway, without further ado, as those lovable psychopathic street punks the Mutants might say, I billy berserk as ever for this comic, spud! :)(less)