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Webcomic / The Search for Henry Jekyll

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The Search for Henry Jekyll is a webcomic loosely based on The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It follows the exploits of Dr. Henry Jekyll and his alter ego, Mr. Edward Hyde.

While attempting to solve the latest in a string of grisly murders, Henry Jekyll is shocked when the clues appear to point to his ex-friend, Police Inspector Utterson. The truth is much worse, however—the murderer is Jekyll's alternate personality, Edward Hyde, brought out by an experimental serum he created. With his secret out, Hyde decides the doctor has no further use to him and plans to stay in control forever, leaving the police to follow his trail of bloodshed.

As Utterson enlists the help of Oswald Carew, the police commissioner, Hyde's body count and general villainy escalates every day, while Dr. Lanyon also develops an alter ego with catastrophic plans for London. The driving question is whether Jekyll is still alive deep inside Hyde—and, if so, what can possibly save him?

Provides examples of:

  • 90% of Your Brain: Believing that humans only use 30% of their brains, Dr. Jekyll accidentally created Hyde in an attempt to discover what the other 70% held.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Hyde and Al escape down one when being pursued. It even has places where the bums of London regularly hang out.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Utterson's name was changed from Gabriel John to Aloysius, and Lanyon's first name was changed from Hastie to Randall.
  • Aerith and Bob: Henry, Edward, Randall, Aloysius, Molly, Oswald, Ann Marie. One of these names is not like the others.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Utterson's cat clutches a letter in its mouth as it escapes the cultists.
  • Anachronism Stew: The comic is set in Victorian London but the characters use a lot of modern American terms in their speech.
  • Animesque: The comic is done in a manga style.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Utterson partly believes this. He has a good reason for doing so, as his father was a jerk, Jekyll's father was a nasty piece of work, and Carew's father was no better.
  • Art Shift: The mostly humorous end of chapter bonus pages are frequently drawn in a less detailed and more cartoony style.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Chapter 11 is almost entirely composed of Jekyll arguing with Hyde for control of the body.
  • Blind Black Guy: A female example with Delilah "Daisy" Bonnay, the star of the opera house.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Jekyll is very near-sighted and can't see a thing without his glasses. Hyde has no such issues.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Taking HJ7 tends to result in this, as does not taking it when Jekyll's body starts to reject the drug.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Jekyll is occasionally able to regain control if something sufficiently agitates him or Hyde, represented as him tearing himself free of the strings wrapped around him.
  • Breather Episode: Chapter 24 is mostly lighthearted and consists of Al and Oswald recovering from injuries and interacting humorously with other characters.
  • Cane Fu: When Hyde isn't using a sword cane, he's beating people to death with his cane.
  • Catch Your Death of Cold: Al notices Hyde shivering from the cold and gives him his scarf, while scolding him that he'll get Jekyll sick with his carelessness.
  • Chained Heat: Early on, Al handcuffs Hyde to him in the hopes of either arresting him or stopping him from causing harm. It doesn't really work out.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the otherwise serious Confrontation chapter, Jekyll and Hyde argue and this exchange occurs.
    Jekyll: You murdered those people for fun and then hid away in my body! I owe it to them to stop you!
    Hyde: Hm, I suppose that's true. Murdering all those people never ceased to be fun.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Despite being a villain himself, Hyde created a villainous rival when he injected Dr. Lanyon with HJ7.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Lanyon has things to discuss with Jekyll, but the comic often cuts away without revealing what his business is. Chapter 25 finally reveals what he wants.
  • Cult: The Masked Society, led by Lanyon.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It'd be easier to count the characters who don't have one.
  • Death by Origin Story: Lord Utterson. He kinda deserved it.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Hyde, although the creator confirmed he's actually pansexual.
  • Dramatic Wind: These tend to crop up when dramatic moments happen, even if characters are indoors.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Hyde is quickly established as a monster when he accepts Molly's hug... and impales and kills her with a sword cane.
  • Evil Feels Good: Hyde feels an adrenaline rush after first murdering someone, decides he likes it, and sets out to do more.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Hyde gains a rival in Lanyon, who has a personal interest in him and Jekyll.
  • Fainting: Lanyon blacks out after being attacked, letting his other personality awaken.
  • Fantastic Drug: HJ7, which brought out Hyde and needs to be taken regularly for him to stay in control. Chapter 25 reveals it can also resurrect the dead.
  • Fatal Flaw: Jekyll's pride is noted to be a major flaw, as is his habit of selective memory, intentionally forgetting or repressing his darker urges.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Jekyll tries to do this but is rarely successful. He finally succeeds when the shock of Lanyon's conspirator being a resurrected Molly is enough to ward off Hyde.
  • First-Episode Twist: Molly dies very early on in a splash page at the end of chapter 2, which comes out of nowhere and immediately establishes the tone and stakes of the story.
  • First-Name Basis: Henry and Al, Al and Oswald, "Eddie" and Ann.
  • Forceful Kiss: Hyde forces a kiss with Utterson to taunt him.
  • Gollum Made Me Do It: Once Henry became aware of what Hyde's up to, he suddenly has a lot of regrets.
  • He's Back!: After being out of commission since the end of Chapter 21, Hyde reappears seemingly for good at the end of Chapter 35.
  • Hearing Voices: Unlike most adaptations, Hyde first appeared as a voice in Henry's head.
  • Helpless Good Side: Jekyll tries to fight Hyde but is rarely successful. Randall Lanyon has it even worse and lets his evil side run amok.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Jekyll originally created the serum to figure out what humans did with the 70% of their brain not in use.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll: Hyde does this in the first half of chapter 10. Fortunately, Al notices the small differences and calls him out on it.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapters are named after songs from the musical Jekyll & Hyde.
  • Important Haircut: Henry cut off his ponytail after feeling betrayed by Utterson, keeping his hair short from then on.
  • Internal Reveal: The first part of "This is the Moment" is almost entirely composed of a monologue where Lanyon reveals everything that's happened to Parliament.
  • It Amused Me: Hyde's reasoning for a lot of his actions? He thought it'd be fun.
  • The Ingenue: Molly sees the good in every situation. It ends up getting her killed.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Hyde is Jekyll's evil split personality that began as a voice in his head. Lanyon has one too.
  • Kill the Cutie: Molly, the sweet, kind maid, is killed in chapter 2. Much later, she's brought back as a zombie.
  • Last-Name Basis: Despite Dr. Jekyll frequently being called by his first name, Henry, his alter-ego Hyde is almost never referred to by his given name, Edward.
  • Laughing Mad: Hyde cackles hysterically after killing his first victim.
  • The Law of Conservation of Detail: Hyde doesn't know or care about his first murder victim, but the fact that she keeps coming up gives clues as to her importance. Her sister wants revenge on Jekyll for it.
  • Masquerade Ball: Lanyon's family holds a masquerade ball every New Year's, and he plans to use the serum on London's ruling elite there. Al and Carew use the opportunity to look for Henry.
  • The Napoleon: Jekyll and Hyde are both short, and Hyde is very dangerous.
  • Nerves of Steel: Hyde's only response after being whipped is to mockingly ask if it was supposed to hurt.
  • Nervous Wreck: Randall Lanyon is a mortician who's terrified of blood and death.
  • Opium Den: Al goes inside of one while searching for Hyde.
  • Revenant Zombie: Lanyon resurrected Molly for his plans, bringing her back to life as, essentially, a zombie with no memories of her past life.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Sort of. Oswald Carew is biologically a woman, but was made to live as a man after his brother died. He keeps the male pronouns and name, and his original name was Emma.
  • A Sinister Clue: Hyde is left-handed while Jekyll is right-handed.
  • Slasher Smile: Hyde tends to give these when killing people or relishing in the memory of doing so.
  • The Social Darwinist: Lanyon believes that Jekyll's drug is a key to rooting out the weak and the strong in people, since it exposes the true self. He likens it to peppered moths with the rarer ones moving the species forward and the common ones being left behind.
  • The Sociopath: Hyde feels no remorse whatsoever for his crimes, nor does he care about anything but himself. Lanyon's evil side takes it even further and seems unable to feel anything.
  • Sore Loser: Hyde refuses to give in to Lanyon's demands and let Jekyll take over simply because he hates to lose.
  • Split Personality: This is a Jekyll and Hyde adaptation, after all. Randall Lanyon has one too.
  • The Stoic: Al Utterson. His expressions and reactions are generally a muted reflection of other characters', and he rarely smiles.
  • Sword Cane: They turn up several times within just the first few chapters and are a signature weapon for several characters, including Utterson and Hyde.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Hyde regularly uses pet names when menacing people. He is more than willing to go further in his flirting in order to unsettle his opponent.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: That's Inspector Utterson to you, Hyde.
  • The Unfettered: Hyde lives according to his whims and no one else's, caring nothing for the law.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Despite Al being both rather tall and Albino, two thugs don't recognize him until they see his long, flowing hair.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When his plan to gas Parliament fails, Lanyon gets trigger-happy and starts losing control, deciding to just kill them all.
  • Villainous Crush: Hyde's constant flirting and occasional advances really make Al confused and uncomfortable.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 18 ends with Al apparently being shot and killed with a Gory Discretion Shot, with the pages where it happens having the most comments of the entire comic and entirely consisting of people freaking out. The following events, where Hyde is captured, are only made possible by him being out of commission even though he doesn't die.
  • Wham Line:
    • After spending almost the entire comic making excuses for Henry's behavior, Al finally tells him off for feeling bad about things later instead of acknowledging them, and that sometimes he sees Henry and Hyde in each other.
    • The latter half of "This Is the Moment, part 2" reveals Ann is one of Lord Utterson's children too.
  • World of Badass: Almost every character in the comic is an awesome strategist, a good fighter, an expert improviser, or all three.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Al only calls Hyde Edward when he's trying to get his attention or especially horrified with his actions.