Mystery Society, Vol. 1
Created by Steve Niles and Ashley Wood
Written by Steve Niles
Artwork by Fiona Staples, Andrew Ritchie
Letters by Robbie Robbins, Chris Mowry, Shawn Lee
Cover by Fiona Staples
Release Date: October 2, 2013
Cover Price: $27.99
Volume 1 of Mystery Society takes you on a journey around the world in 160 pages. Nick and Anastasia Hammond, er…I mean Mystery (they had their name legally changed), are the leaders of the newly formed Society and are hell bent on righting wrongs and pretty much just saving the world. Of course, they have their faults. You can’t look that good and have that much money without some issues, right?
Nick is a bit overconfident, not to mention a tad impulsive. These two attributes tend to get him in trouble from time to time. Luckily he’s actually a pretty good superhero, especially when you add his wife, Anastasia, to the mix. She’s far more level headed and meticulous about the plans they make when setting out to solve a problem. The coolest thing about these two is their backstory. They inherited a bunch of money but before that they owned a bookstore (awesome, right?). And it was during those early years that they decided that, if given a chance, they would spend their time helping people. Add in some cool hideouts and gadgets and that is how the Mystery Society was conceived.
Truth be told, there isn’t a lot of “mystery” to the couple, the entire world knows who they are. And Nick really likes to hear himself talk, so secrets are fairly nonexistent. Not to mention the fact that he keeps inviting people to join the Society, which at the beginning of the book is just the husband and wife duo.
We are given a chance to meet some interesting folks, though. For instance, there’s a dead woman known as Secret Skull, though in life she was Samantha Brooks, who shows up as an early entry in the comic. Plus there is a set of young twin girls that are an integral part of the first story and end up being far more (or less, depending on how you see it) than the reader might initially realize. And let us not forget the robot with the brain of one of my favorite writers of all time. Heck, in a later story we are even presented with several literary gothic figures that the Society rescues from imprisonment. All in all, it was a fun ride, though the humor did seem forced from time to time. There really wasn’t a lot to find wrong with it, as I had a good time reading from start to finish.
And a whole lot of that had to do with Steve Niles. The man is a certified genius when it comes to storytelling. Though he sometimes jumps around a lot, in this case he used the character’s vanity to tell his story and build the reader’s knowledge through that plot device. That enabled him to start later in the plot but still catch everyone up to where they needed to be. Then there’s Fiona Staples… oh, how I adore her artwork. So much expression with a minimal amount of effort on the page. Her ability to create the perfect picture to compliment the story is what wins her award after well deserved award. I always look forward to seeing her work, regardless of the comic. In this particular instance, these two make the perfect pair.
I didn’t read this series the first time it was released. Truthfully, I must have missed it on the shelf. But I am glad I took the chance to catch it this time, it’s a fun and modern romp with a bit of a supernatural twist. I wasn’t that keen on the art in the second story but the concept was intriguing so I can’t complain too much. I’d say pick this up if you are a fan of Niles or Staples, they are totally in their element here. It’s worth a read for sure, whether or not you buy it is up to you. I, for one, definitely recommend it for almost any reader over the age of twelve.