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Review – The Death of Nancy Drew #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • Writing - 8.6/10
    8.6/10
  • Art - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 8.3/10
    8.3/10
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The Death of Nancy Drew #1

Writer: Anthony Del Col
Artist: Joe Eisma
Colorist: Salvatore Aiala
Letterer: Crank!
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Maturity Rating: Teen 
Release Date: April 1, 2020

The Hardy Boys (well, one of them) are on another case. The death of Nancy Drew! She had only recently helped the boys solve the case of their father’s death undercovering a crime syndicate. Now Nancy is dead, and it can’t be a coincidence.

 

Celebrate 90 Years of Nancy Drew With The Death of Nancy Drew #1

After helping the Hardy Boys solve their own father’s murder, Nancy Drew has met her demise in Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #1. Yes, the beloved Nancy Drew is dead, but it couldn’t just be a simple car wreck, could it? Surely it has something to do with finding a secret crime syndicate and solving the Hardy Boys’ father’s death. But, it looks just like a simple, tragic car wreck. Joe Hardy can’t and won’t believe something more sinister is not at play, while his brother Frank tries to bring him back to reality. Nancy Drew is dead, but even in death, she leaves a mystery to be solved.

The Death of Nancy Drew #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) cover A by Joe Eisma
The Death of Nancy Drew #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) cover A by Joe Eisma

Quick thing, I have never read a Nancy Drew story and it has probably been a good 20-something years since I read a Hardy Boys story. Who would have thought Nancy Drew has been around for 90 years! This is a direct follow up to Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie if you want more backstory before this issue.

Writing

So, not to have read the previous series before The Death of Nancy Drew #1 and not being a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys fan (unless we are talking wrestling); I was absolutely astonished at how much I enjoyed this issue! Anthony Del Col does an incredible job writing and putting everything out there.

You do not need to know anything about Nancy Drew (though I think everybody knows a bit about her just from being around so long) or anything about the previous series. I am sure that would all help, but Del Col delivers everything you need to know to enjoy this issue and series in this issue.

It is wonderfully written—it bleeds that noir vibe and feel. It is melancholic and tragic. Del Col frames most of the story through the inner monologue of Joe Hardy, as he won’t let Nancy’s death be other than another mystery to solve, as everyone, even his brother, tries to tell him it is not.

Del Col builds up the story so well from the first page until the shocking ending. He really engulfed me into this story and had me feeling for characters that I had no interest in. It is a fantastic mystery story, as well, as Joe starts his investigation from the ground up and starts to build his case.

Art

Joe Eisma delivers the art for the noir-inspired The Death of Nancy Drew #1. I mostly know Eisma’s art most recently from Jughead: The Hunger, but many fans will recognize him from his work on Morning Glories. Now, Eisma’s style is not my personal favorite, just to get it off my chest. Not saying his art is bad; it has just never been my cup of tea. That being said, he builds the world of The Death of Nancy Drew #1 incredibly well.

I love the perspective he puts on the different “shots”. It is a very uncomplicated and “straightforward” type look and feel, and it fits the story superbly well. There is nothing “fancy” or stylish; it is more “by-the-numbers” work and it is exactly what this book and series needs for the mystery story. At times it feels a little bit too plain. I would like a little more background details or the world to feel a bit more “lived in”, but all in all, excellent work.

The coloring work by Salvatore Aiala works with the story as well. It is also very straightforward and simple. It has a flatter hue to it and, again, fits this dark mystery story well.  

Crank! on letters is the real workhorse in The Death of Nancy Drew #1. There is a ton of word balloons and caption boxes for Joe’s dialogue throughout the issue. Crank! does an exceptional job with all the lettering work and the design of it to again just works with this story.

Conclusion

I was not expecting to like The Death of Nancy Drew #1 as much as I did. Wow, what an exciting mystery story this creative team has delivered. No worries if you have never read a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys story, or you have not read the previous series. If you want to read a good mystery comic book then you can just jump right in on this series. You won’t be disappointed.

Quick disclaimer: when I googled searched The Death of Nancy Drew #1, shockingly, there has been controversy over the internet about killing Nancy Drew on her 90th anniversary (I mean, she lived 90 years, that is a good life). I mean, I know I shouldn’t be shocked that people would be outraged on the internet, of all things! That they had the gall to kill Nancy Drew only to let the Hardy Boys investigate her death! Look, you ever heard the phrase “act like you have been there before”? Well, I am not going to spoil anything, but I will assume you have read a comic book or a good mystery before. So, I will leave you with this tidbit: act like you have, and enjoy.

 


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