- Cham Smadi
Review: Jekyll and Hyde Reimagined
Title: The Glass Scientists (TGS)
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy Webcomic
Creator: Sabrina Cotugno
Bias: Full disclosure, I am absolutely obsessed with anything Jekyll and Hyde, and this webcomic is a unique retelling of the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So, naturally, when I found out of about this webcomic, I ran to the first page. But for good reason. Who doesn’t like a retelling of a deeply visceral and interesting story about the human psyche?
In a Nutshell: The webcomic is still ongoing, so there is no ultimate ending just yet. But, without spoilers, this webcomic is about Dr. Henry Jekyll and his journey of being a gentleman scientist who is responsible for an entire building of like-minded scientists, while balancing Hyde’s choices.
The Critique: I had the expectations that I was walking into this dark and sinister comic where Jekyll tries to manage his inner demon, Hyde. Though this theme still exists in the comic, it does it in a very fresh way that gives the story’s retelling a much better taste. We’ve had so many retellings of the famous Jekyll and Hyde so far, but most have been pretty similar in terms of characterization; Jekyll is the clumsy, sad scientist while Hyde is the evil, smooth, often incredibly hot, bad guy who screws Jekyll up. In The Glass Scientists (TGS), Hyde isn’t another sexy, sinister, cookie-cutter inner demon. In the fan community and the comic alike, he is very much a lost little kitten trying to find his way into being, and honestly aren’t we all this way? The webcomic still, however, handles a dark and moving theme of the self and its troubles in a lighthearted way but bold way. Hyde’s malicious intents are carried out through the subversion of this age-old trope. He is funny, clumsy, whimsical and, for once, he’s blond. Dr. Jekyll is not another meager scientist; he deals with difficult problems, like being responsible for an entire society of scientists and lodgers, managing his own terms, ambitions and relationships, and dealing with Hyde whose intentions and consequences have a constant presence in Jekyll’s life.
The art is absolutely stunning. Sabrina Cotugno’s style is very recognizable and fresh. Also very magnetic about this webcomic is Sabrina’s interesting way of weaving in characters and themes that we so love, like Frankenstein and her creation. And yes I did say 'her', because in the webcomic, Dr. Frankenstein is a woman. Aside from Dr. Frankenstein, TGS also features a diverse and gorgeous cast of characters that are as important to the story as Jekyll is. It’s truly refreshing to see something as beautifully done as this in a very Victorian and not-so-diverse story as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Where to get it: This webcomic is completely free, and you don’t stand to lose much by reading it. It’s definitely worth your time if you’re interested. You can find it by Google searching for “The Glass Scientists Webcomic” or go to the website: www.theglassscientists.com.