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This Villain was Headlined on March, 2010.

O my poor old Henry Jekyll, if ever I read Satan's signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.
~ John Utterson trying to describe Jekyll's appearance in the original novella.
I feel I'll live on forever! With Satan himself by my side! And I'll show the world that tonight and forever, the name to remember's the name Edward Hyde!
~ Edward Hyde singing "Alive" in the musical adaptation.

Dr. Henry Jekyll, also known as Mr. Edward Hyde, is the eponymous main antagonist of the 1886 gothic novella Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by the late Robert Louis Stevenson. He is the dark side of Henry Jekyll, unleashed by use of a potion. Over the course of the novel, Jekyll transforms into Hyde in order to keep his good and evil personalities separate, only to find himself addicted to the potion as Hyde slowly overtakes him. He has been the subject of many films, and was prominently featured in the first two volumes of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, a graphic novel by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill.

Biography

Stevenson's Hyde

In the original novella, Hyde is described as "pale and dwarfish", and has rough, corded hands. Everyone who sees him describes him as giving an impression of ugliness, although he is not physically deformed. Hyde was created out of an experiment by Dr. Henry Jekyll, who wanted to live a wild and carefree existence without losing his respectability, so he decided to unleash his darker side. He created a potion, which allowed this to happen, and he named his new face Edward Hyde. Hyde was shorter than Jekyll because he had yet to exercise the evil in his soul.

For a time after this, Jekyll is the respectable doctor by day, then uses the potion to become Hyde and live a life of debauchery and excess by night. However, the more Jekyll used the formula, the more difficult it was to control Hyde's actions. One night, he trampled a small child who had bumped into him in the street. About a year after that, something worse occurred: Hyde, without provocation, savagely beat an old Member of Parliament named Sir Danvers Carew to death with his cane and feet. After this incident, Jekyll determined never to use the potion again. However, Jekyll began to transform without even taking the potion, and he had to brew more antidotes to change back into himself.

When Jekyll ran out of his first batch of ingredients, he tried procured more to brew the antidote again, but he couldn't reproduce it exactly. For several weeks, Jekyll had to live in seclusion in his laboratory, since he was stuck as Edward Hyde, a wanted criminal. Unable to go on, he wrote a letter confessing his double life as Hyde and the murder of Danvers Carew. Afterward, he brewed a bottle of poison and swallowed it.

Film Adaptations

John Barrymore as Mr. Hyde.

The first film adaptation was a silent film released in March 28, 1920. Jekyll and Hyde were both portrayed by the late John Barrymore. His Hyde had a pointed head, a hunched over stance, and long fingernails. In this version, Jekyll creates Hyde after facing pressure from Carew, his future father-in-law, to live a wild life before his marriage. Hyde's murder of Carew is done out of anger at this behavior.

Fredric March as Mr. Hyde.

The next adaptation was released in December 31, 1931. It starred the late Fredric March as Jekyll and Hyde. This Hyde was clearly more bestial in appearance than his predecessors. Its creators designed him to look like current reconstructions of the Neanderthal man. They gave Hyde flared nostrils, a heavy brow ridge, and fangs. As the film progresses, Hyde grows more apelike. In the film, Jekyll transforms himself after Carew insists he wait to marry his daughter for eight months. Hyde obsesses over Ivy Pierson, a prostitute whom Jekyll had previously encountered. He murders her after she goes to Jekyll for help.

The last major film version was released in August 12, 1941 and starred the late Spencer Tracy as the doctor and his alter ego, the late Ingrid Bergman as Ivy Pearson, and the late Lana Turner as Bea Emery. The film followed the same basic screenplay as the 1932 version, but this version of Hyde had a different design, looking more human than March did. However, Hyde's appearance still deteriorated throughout the film.

In the 1973 TV film, he was portrayed by the late Kirk Douglas

Other Media

Alan Moore's Portrayal

Alan Moore's conception of Hyde.

In their graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill picked up Hyde's story after his alleged death in the original story. In this version, Jekyll faked his suicide and relocated to Paris, where Hyde began murdering the prostitutes he brought back to their apartment. He was found and captured by Alan Quatermain and Mina Murray, sent to Paris by the British Secret Service to recruit him for a special team. This version of Hyde is far taller than Jekyll, who plays a far smaller part in this story. Hyde explains this in the second volume, stating that as Jekyll lost any assertiveness, Hyde lost all restraints.

In the second volume of the story, Hyde even exhibits certain noble characteristics. He forms a bond with Mina, and when Hawley Griffin, better known as the Invisible Man, betrayed the team and humanity itself to the Martians and assaulted and nearly killed her, Hyde sought violent revenge. Hyde could actually see Griffin through the use of infrared vision (which he cleverly kept a secret), and he beat, raped, and murdered him (ironic, as Hawley had used his powers to rape numerous people before). When the Martian tripods where about to enter London, Hyde distracted them just long enough in order for the secret germ weapon to arrive. The Martians incinerated Hyde, but he kept them distracted just long enough to save London.

The Pagemaster

Main article: Mr. Hyde (The Pagemaster)

Jekyll & Hyde

Main article: Robert Jekyll (Jekyll and Hyde)

Van Helsing

Main article: Mr. Hyde (Van Helsing)

Once Upon a Time

Main article: Mr. Hyde (Once Upon a Time)

Dark Universe

Main article: Mr. Hyde (Dark Universe)

Gallery

Images

Videos

Trivia

  • While most adaptations and reinterpretations portray Edward Hyde as Jekyll's alternate personality, in the original novella, Hyde is truly an alter-ego of Henry Jekyll who was fully aware of his actions at all times and still identified himself as Jekyll after drinking the Hyde formula.
  • Along with the Professor Moriarty and Dorian Gray, Mr. Hyde had a large role in the creation of the concept of supervillains.
    • The Batman creator Bob Kane used the story of Jekyll and Hyde as a basis for the villain Two-Face.

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