Hardy Boys #14: Haley Danelle’s Top Eight original graphic novel
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Paulo Henrique Marcondes
Colors: Laurie E. Smith
Letters: Mark Lerer
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Price: $7.95 US/$8.95 CAN
Like many boys, I grew up on Franklin W. Dixon’s series of Hardy Boys mystery novels for young readers. I didn’t have a complete collection, but I had a bookshelf full of them. I rather enjoyed them, and my parents were thrilled that I read them, as they had a hard time getting me to read anything other than comics. Papercutz has purported to update the Hardy Boys concept for the 21st century, retooling them with a manga look and more modern sensibilities. The thing is, this “Undercover Brothers” (yes, that the subtitle for these books) series of graphic novels doesn’t really update the well-known characters; it completely reshapes them into something pretty unfamiliar. While they’re still teen sleuths, they’re not amateurs anymore. Associated with a secret crime-fighting organization and armed with gadgets that James Bond would covet, these Hardy Boys seems more like super-spies or super-heroes than down-to-earth, well-meaning sons of a law-enforcement officer. To make matters worse, the mystery the characters set out to solve isn’t really a whodunit, as the answer is revealed rather than deduced.