In Nancy Drew #2, Nancy wakes up at the bottom of a cave she was thrown into when someone cut her spelunking rope to find a stranger she may or may not be able to trust in rescuing her. The issue gives us more details about the newly developing mystery, but does it offer enough clues to keep the reader interested?
For the most part, yes. I have to say, there’s a reveal in this issue that I don’t love and I feel somewhat undermines the tension established by the first issue. I appreciate how mature Nancy is about the revelation, but the stakes immediately drop to zero in that moment. The issue does an excellent job raising the stakes again by the end of the issue though, so the series doesn’t lose its central conflict for long.
In scripting the issue, I appreciate how Kelly Thompson takes a very intersectional approach in developing Pete’s character, further showing how good Thompson is in giving the reader characters that feel very grounded in reality. The action of the plot doesn’t pick up a ton in this issue, but there’s a comedic bit that occupies a few pages that made me laugh.
Jenn St-Onge’s pencils and inks continue to be consistent and expressive. There are still a lot of backgrounds that feel a lot less detailed, but this detail continues to not be a huge issue for the overall enjoyment of the book. The character renderings are expressive and charming, and I particularly liked the fashion choices used in a flashback segment. It’s fun seeing how the characters’ sense of style have evolved over the years, but their outfits during the flashback still look like they fit the characters’ personalities well.
Triona Farrell’s coloring continues to fit the mood well and feel appropriate to each scenario whether the scene is set in a cave or hospital room. There’s a panel where a young Nancy receives some news over the phone and the lighting from the background effect and the flashlight she’s holding do an excellent job of conveying the tone of the panel. The shadows falling over Nancy’s already expressive eyes really take the panel to the next level in conveying emotion to the reader. Ariana Maher’s lettering is solid throughout the issue and I continue to like the handwritten feel of Nancy’s narration boxes.
Overall, this issue feels a lot like the first issue with regards to quality, which is a good thing for a series with a really solid start. The things it does well, it continues to do well and the same goes for where it is slightly lacking. The introduction of Pete is probably the strongest aspect of the issue because of the very authentic approach to the character and their background. The cliffhanger at the end definitely suggests some drama to come where the stakes may be raised even higher after taking a dip in this issue.