Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie

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Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #5

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Writer: Anthony Del Col

Artist: Werther Dell Edera

Colors: Stefano Simeone

Letters: Simon Bowland

Review by PeteR

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #5 continues the saga of Frank and Joe Hardy trying to discover who murdered their father, Detective Fenton Hardy. The two, normally clean cut all-American boys team up with female sleuth, Nancy Drew. The three of them go undercover with a local gang of juvenile delinquents called the Rover Boys. One of the Rover Boys, Sam is murdered and the trio of young detectives realize that whoever killed Sam also murdered their father.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #5 writer, Anthony Del Col is attempting in this series to update the characters and bring them into the 21st century. Where as in the books, Frank and Joe Hardy rarely, if ever argued, in this issue the two of them engage in a three page, knock down fight that leaves them both bloodied and emotionally distant from one another. Nancy Drew’s main role seems to be to attempt the keep the brothers focused and stay on course.

The choice of using Werther Dell Edera (House of Mystery, Loveless and Dark Entries) as the artist of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie is another example of how Dynamite is changing the tone of the characters. Instead of going with an artist whose style is reminiscent of The Mickey Mouse Club or an ABC television series, Werther Dell Edera’s art is dark, angry and diffused. It is very reminiscent of Tim Sales’ work.

Stefano Simeone’s coloring on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #5 feels limited. He relies very heavily on shades of blue and purple as if to show that the characters are being forced into a binary choice of options. Lettering for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie is done by Britain’s 2000 A.D. veteran Simon Bowland.

Why you should buy this book? Because this is the new, modern incarnation of the characters, the primary focus of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie appears to be deconstructing the previous portrayals of the Joe and Frank Hardy as well as Nancy Drew. There is more reacting than actual detecting going on. If you grew up reading either of the series of novels, other than the names, there are not a lot of similarities between the portrayals of the characters in this comic and the long running series of young reader books of yore.

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