Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: Death of Nancy Drew #1
Art by Joe Eisma
Written by Anthony Del Col
Teen detectives Frank and Joe Hardy have investigated many crimes in their lives, but nothing that hits this close to home. Their best friend died mysteriously after taking down a major crime organization. They must put together the clues to uncover the truth about this shocking crime, but the clues lead them to a stunningly unexpected direction!
I’m not sure it’s 100% accurate to compare this series to the recent relaunches like Scooby Doo and The Flintstones, but I do think think the similarities are many, and almost all of those similarities are why I enjoy all three series as much as I do. All three are a completely different take on a beloved property, that some how maintains all the charm and fun of the original series, while updating the characters for a new audience. I believe it takes a special stroke of genius to be able to do that.
The Death of Nancy Drew is still about solving mysteries other people won’t take seriously, but the tone and writing are much more serious. I hesitate to call it a “darker” take on the children’s classic, because it’s not at all about a darkness, it’s just a bit more realistic. Think Riverdale, in comic format. And perhaps best of all, the writing is solid and the story holds it’s own without the assist from having famous characters. My only complaint about the writing, actually, is that so much of the story is told by narration, that the first half of the book drags on quite a lot. But once the reader is caught up on the background and the story starts to progress through action, all is forgiven.
I do wish, however, that the art was as well done as the story. While it’s not bad overall, there is plenty to complain about. The backgrounds can be minimalist, and some of the panels feel like their sketches slipped through unfinished. That sudden lack of detail or depth is so much more obvious when it was there on the last page.
Still though, after finishing the book and putting it down, I was left with only positive feelings, and that’s almost all that matters to me. The ride wasn’t perfect, but it was fun, and I loved the hint of nostalgia in a brand new world. That masterful storytelling means much more to me than any blurry faces or boring backgrounds.
Celebrate Nancy's 90th Anniversary with... her Death?!
Taking a much different tone than the books most of us know and love, similar to the recent Scooby Doo and Flintstones comic series, Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys may look quite unfamiliar, but all the fun and mystery is still there.