Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1 – Review
Writer – Anthony Del Col
Artist – Werther Dell’Edera
Colorist – Stefano Simeone
Letters – Simon Bowland
Covers – Fay Dalton, Emma Vieceli, Robert Hack
Publisher – Dynamite Entertainment
Small town lives are turned upside down in this first issue of Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie. A modern and edgier take on the famous teen detectives you may have read as a child. This first issue introduces us to Joe and Frank Hardy, their small town and the crisis they face, which began with their father’s murder. I was at first hesitant to read about such wholesome characters being given a darker edge. However, this first issue was pretty tame and kept things simple.
The story starts off with Joe and Frank Hardy being interrogated as suspects in the death of their father. The writer wastes no time establishing that both boys are very smart and handle themselves well under pressure. The majority of the issue is setting up the story, giving us a little bit of background and information on the area they live in and their personal lives. There isn’t any hard-hitting detective action, yet. We don’t get to learn too much about the characters in this first issue. Just a few bits of their personality and the other characters around them. It’s clear they have an uphill battle against them as they fight against small town mentalities while finding out the truth about their father’s demise.
Fans of the old books series may enjoy a few Easter eggs. One of the brother’s friends is Tom Swift and they attend a house party hosted by Fred and Nan Bobbsey -and, of course, Nancy Drew. She isn’t a major character in this first issue much like with the Hardy Boys. However, it’s established very early on she’s smart and I liked that. I look forward to seeing more of her.
The art style in The Big Lie is rather dark and gritty. It helps reflect the gravity of the situation surrounding the main characters. There isn’t a lot of color used either, a lot of red and then blues and yellows with some green as well. The dominance of primary colors has a very bold effect, especially when mixed with the black and grey tones. While I am not an art expert, I did get a very film noir vibe from the style used in this book, which fits the detective story playing out. There is a distinct lack of details, however, especially when it comes to faces. Backgrounds are also very sparse and background characters amounting to just human shapes. However, there is still plenty of emotion shown despite the lack of details. Very often more so with body language than facial expressions.
Despite my trepidation towards this title and the darker take on such childhood classics, Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie left me wanting more. I want to see Joe, Frank and Nancy really use their brains to solve the mystery behind the murder. Also, I’m eager to see how the writers do this, though I do personally hope they also add in some humor. Readers of this series don’t need prior knowledge of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys to enjoy this comic, this has no connection to any previous books, stories or games featuring these characters. This is a brand new adventure for these teen detectives and their fans, new or returning.