Dynamite Entertainment 2017
Written by Anthony Del Col
Illustrated by Werther Dell’Edera
Coloured by Stefano Simeone
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Frank and Joe Hardy were devastated when their father committed suicide – but Nancy
Drew, a childhood friend, suspected foul play. Now the trio are on the hunt for their father’s murderer, and hope to find some clues by going undercover with Bayport’s own Rover Boys,
small-time crooks with knowledge of most of the resort-town’s criminal activities. But the elder
two Rovers haven’t taken too kindly to how the three sleuths cheated the youngest Rover at an
illegal poker game... or the loss of their money!
One of the things I felt immediately when reading this issue is that it gives me an old pulp feel. Yes Anthony is writing a very current story but Werther and Stefano bring that old school feel to this so that it’s such an incredible blend. Not only do we get a retro feel and vibe but the story is so now and fresh and dare I say dark and brooding. So let this be a lesson to folks that sometimes you can bring back a classic, freshen it up and make it new and original again all it takes is a little effort, elbow grease and know how.
While these characters bear little resemblance to the trio of detectives I grew up with, it’s much too street savvy for that, it is what a modern take on them should be. Growing up in this world rather than the one they did would drastically change how we view them. This gives them an edge when it comes to counting cards, breaking and entering or their personal drama, Nancy’s distant father for example. It’s also a great gateway, I hope people discover this for the first time, or re-discover it, and go back and search for the classic stories. I’d love to think that people who love to read comics read novels as well.
The way the artwork comes out here is beautifully done. I like the darker more modern noir look and feel of the characters that are interjected with the way page layouts are worked. There’s one page with a blue and a pink use in the panels that give off that 60’s vibe but still maintain the noir feel of the characters and it shouldn’t work or play out that way but for me it does and that’s impressive. I do like that the kids come across so young too, it makes what they are attempting to do that much more realistic. High School students who look their age it’s a rare commodity these days.
So in order to get in with the Rover Boys the group has to prove their worth. See how the action unfolds and who comes up with the plan in this issue. It’s smart, interesting and extremely well thought out and executed. There’s a real intelligence behind this story that you don’t always get to see as it unfolds but kudos to the team here for being able to get the reader to see that.
Be here as next month as we see more revelations and continue the search for who really killed Fenton Hardy!