Jack the Ripper
By Francois Debois/Jean-Charles Poupard
Jack the Ripper’s crimes are well known, and well documented. There have been films, TV shows, plays, not to mention one of the most highly regarded true crime comics in history, From Hell. Every angle of the crime spree has been covered and recovered, with all manners of different conclusions so far as the killer and motive. With that extensive coverage, there have been many twists on the story, not to mention dips in quality. The story was told.
Francois Debois and Jean-Charles Poupard’s Jack the Ripper provides a fresh take on that “told” story though, operating in a much more modern context, not worlds removed from Sherlock. Adapting a much wider scope to the Jack the Ripper mythos, Debois presents a much more personalized telling of the story, linked more to the investigators than the crimes themselves.
Typical of Dark Horse’s import books of late, the art is beautiful. Poupard creates a vivid vision of late 1800’s England, combining in supreme detail the well-oiled mechanics and fine dress of the time period. Interestingly, while the crime scenes themselves are not shied away from in the least, there’s much more attention paid to the setting and face work, offering a greater anchor emotionally than most Ripper stories.
The twists here may be initially jarring, as, while the procedural element is intact, the angle from with the story is told comes out of left field to a degree. Not a twist exactly, but certainly a new take. That said, the strength in construction and presentation here is obvious, and certainly worth taking home.