Written by, Kelly Thompson
Art by, Jenn St. Onge
Colors by, Triana Farell
Letters by, Ariana Maher
In this issue, Nancy and her team regroup after she finds the body of Pete’s mother near Deadman’s Cliff. Pete goes from a handsome stranger to a potential suspect after Nancy discovers that he was the one who sent her a threatening letter. Nancy’s opinion of him changes however when she discovers that his intention was to elicit her help in finding his mother leading to him becoming a team member. Nancy discovers numerous clues that point to Mariana Vega’s death to be a murder and to be connected to several other murders pointing to a serial killer.
The story grows more interesting with every new issue due to the layers added to the murder mystery and the relationships amongst team members. Bess and Joe Hardy trade flirtatious behavior while George expresses deep concerns about Nancy’s lack of communication with the team. The contrast in these two examples flushes out the diversity in the characters. The characters are whole, autonomous people despite being all the same age. The artist depicts each character with different body types; some are chubby, some tall, some short, which matches the real world experience and adds to the buy-in for the reader.
Still, the entertainment value in this story centers around Nancy Drew, her adjustment to discovering the truth about her mother’s death, and how it wasn’t what she wanted it to be. Spoilers aside, Nancy learns something about herself, how it’s painful for her to not have control, and how difficult it is for her to let go. The support she receives from George is heartwarming and beautiful. Meanwhile, other characters get plenty of opportunities despite the crowded field. For example, Frank, a well-respected investigator in his own right, appears to be underutilized; however, the writer pays homage to this within the context of the story in a self-aware way that makes sense within the story.
Overall = 9
The pace of the story is perfect, paying close attention to the relationships within the team, bolstering Nancy’s story, while moving the murder mystery aspect along. The art, while cartoony, shows emotional expressions in faces and body language perfectly making the book feel appropriate for young teens. The writer has done a masterful job capturing the essence of Nancy Drew that pays homage to the numerous fans who know her prowess as an investigator while adding layers that reveal her sensitivity as a friend and close confidant to her team members. I highly recommend that readers jump on board this wonderful story before the train is too far from the station.
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