What appears like 20 years in the past, however was truly in January of this 12 months, Dynamite Comics introduced a brand new miniseries, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew. In honor of the beloved sleuth’s 90th anniversary, it appeared like she was going to… die? The concern was bumped from its unique launch date, because the comics business struggled with coronavirus shutdowns, but it surely hits cabinets right this moment and introduces an intriguing new Nancy Drew thriller in a enjoyable, if predictable, means.
When The Death of Nancy Drew was introduced, longtime followers of the lady detective, together with this one, have been involved. The new sequence is a follow-up to the corporate’s noir-inspired Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie, by which the three well-known teen detectives examine an organized crime syndicate. Was Dynamite actually celebrating Nancy Drew by resorting to the drained trope of using her death to propel a narrative about males?
For his half, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys author Anthony Del Col requested that readers give the primary concern an opportunity earlier than judging it.
“If you read the first issue,” Del Col informed Polygon following the backlash to the announcement, “I think any concerns that you might have will be allayed.” Though he talked round spoilers, Del Col dropped loads of hints main as much as the guide’s (delayed) publication, teasing that Nancy’s mysterious dying wasn’t fairly what it appeared.
[Ed. be aware: this publish accommodates spoilers for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #1.]
Even with out Nancy Drew’s eager eye for clues, readers related the dots. The Death of Nancy Drew follows Joe as he returns to Nancy’s hometown of River Heights and makes an attempt to search out out what occurred to her. The authorities say that Nancy died in a freak auto accident. Joe’s satisfied that it was homicide. It seems that Nancy Drew is, after all, not truly useless. She seems on the final web page of The Death of Nancy Drew #1, to chastise a shocked Joe Hardy for meddling in her investigation.
Dynamite has acknowledged that The Death of Nancy Drew doesn’t have to be learn alongside its predecessor, The Big Lie, however I’m not satisfied that The Death of Nancy Drew can be compelling with out having learn The Big Lie first. It offers some a lot wanted context, each when it comes to story, and the work the primary guide does to ascertain a really totally different tone than the unique Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys tales.
Anthony Del Col and Werther Dell’Edera’s sequence is a noir-inspired tackle the traditional thriller novels. In the vein of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and the CW’s Riverdale, author Del Col and artist Dell’Edera modernized the characters, aged them a number of years (they’re college-aged in Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys,) and dropped them right into a a lot darker story than the youngsters’s literature they spring from. (Joe Eisma changed Werther Dell’Edera because the artist for The Death of Nancy Drew.)
The Big Lie opens on Joe and Frank Hardy being accused of murdering their father, a former detective. Nancy helps them examine, and collectively they uncover an organized crime group referred to as the Syndicate. That sequence ends with Joe, Frank, and Nancy vowing to search out out extra in regards to the shadowy group. Joe offers some exposition in regards to the Syndicate and his dad’s muder initially of The Death of Nancy Drew, but it surely’s a fast data dump that gives even fewer plot particulars than this paragraph does.
According to Anthony Del Col, The Big Lie and The Death of Nancy Drew have been conceived as a single 12-issue arc, with the primary six points set within the Hardy Boys’ hometown of Bayport and the ultimate six points set in Nancy’s River Heights. The Death of Nancy Drew #1 feels extra like the primary act of a sequel than the start of a standalone story. By separating the 2 arcs, Dynamite did each of them a disservice.
Though Nancy’s look on the finish of The Death of Nancy Drew #1 isn’t as stunning a reveal because it’s offered, it’s nonetheless a compelling cliffhanger; I’m admittedly interested in why and the way Nancy faked her personal dying! But whereas the will to take care of that noir-ish shock does clarify Dynamite’s tone-deaf framing of the story, it doesn’t excuse it. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, The Death of Nancy Drew reads as a compelling sequel to The Big Lie, and would have benefited from being billed as such from the get go.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media might earn commissions for merchandise bought through affiliate hyperlinks. For extra info, see our ethics coverage.