Friday, July 19, 2013

Graphic Novel Review: Mystery Society by Steve Niles (Author) & Fiona Staples (Illustrator)

Release Date: August 27, 2013
Published by: IDW comics
Source: Netgalley
Buy Links: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Together, Nick and Anastasia - husband and wife - are the Mystery Society. They are rich, resourceful, refined, and determined to uncover the paranormal secrets of the world's underbelly... and in need of new recruits. Their first case: finding the missing skull of Edgar Allan Poe. In the 2013 Special, our outlandish heroes plumb the depths of the ocean to carry out an exchange with an eccentric collector who isn't what he seems. This hardcover collects the five-issue series and the 2013 Special into one oversized book.

Mystery Society was a fun story with outstanding characters complimented by Fiona Staple's wonderful artwork.

What I enjoyed most was the introduction of characters with supernatural abilities that weren't your typical superheroes. When pushed into a tight spot, the members of the Society weren't saved by men with super strength or powerful weapons. In fact, of all the new recruits, the ones most likely to save the day were two small girls named Nina and Sally.

My first impression when starting this graphic novel was that Nick Mystery ran the show, but we quickly learn that his wife, Anastasia, is more than just a pretty face. The back cover of the novel describes her as "Beautiful. Smart. Seductive." It's such a boring description that completely underestimates her ass-kicking skills. She is his equal in every way and does her share of rescuing as well.

There were humorous moments scattered throughout the story in between the action, explosions, and introductions to new characters. Jules Verne's butt-rocket, a thief named Culprit, and a ghoul wearing a skull mask being judgmental toward a group of kids dressed up for Comic-Con all had me laughing.

Mystery Society proved to be a quick, entertaining story and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read it. The actual mystery itself was lacking, which I realize is ironic because of the title, but the rest of the story made up for it. I'll definitely be looking out for more novels by Steve Niles.


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