“Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom” by Kelly Thompson

Thanks to Dynamite Entertainment and Netgalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a young girl (The Sign of the Twisted Candles was my jam) so I had to check this one out. In this graphic novel, Nancy Drew has been rebooted for a 21st century teen audience and some of the key characters we know and love have been updated accordingly.

The art itself is colourful and vibrant. The characters look cute although there is a tendency for them all to look very similar to one another. There has been a good effort to ensure there is a variety of representation including racial diversity and LGBTQ characters. Bess is chubby (properly chubby, not just pleasantly plump as she was described in the books) and one of the hot guy characters is attracted to her. Might not seem like a big deal but as a chubby teen this was not a dynamic that I ever remember seeing except when it turned out the popular guy was playing a joke on the fat girl so it was nice to see.

The comic also touches upon current themes like racial tensions with the police and inequality but still feels fresh and fun and it would appeal to old and new fans alike. The main story was interesting enough, if a little simplistic and predictable, but I know this can be one of the limitations of the genre.

Overall, a modern and topical update to the Nancy Drew universe with cute art and a fun, fresh feel. What’s not to like?

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