Polygon writer Emily Heller stoked an outrage mob by declaring that Nancy Drew is “getting fridged” and being replaced by the Hardy Boys.
The article written by Heller titled, “New Nancy Drew comic celebrates beloved sleuth’s 90th birthday by killing her” bemoans the premise of a new Dynamite Comic from writer Anthony Del Col, artist Joe Eisma, colorist Salvatore Aiala, and letterer Crank!.
The title, Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew, was announced by Comics Beat with Del Col explaining the series, “Over the years, there have been a lot of difficult mysteries to solve in the lives of Nancy Drew as well as the Hardy Boys.”
He added, “But I wanted to top them all, and so put together the ultimate case—solving Nancy’s death! Joe Eisma and I have had a blast really coming up with some twists and turns that all fans—new and old—of Nancy, Frank, and Joe will enjoy.”
Del Col took to Twitter to also indicate that the series is a continuation of his Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Noir series, which includes Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie.
I’m so excited to finally be able to announce this! My new series:
THE DEATH OF NANCY DREW
More details to follow… https://t.co/ueueGiZsKS
— Ａｎｔｈｏｎｙ Ｄｅｌ Ｃｏｌ (@anthony_delcol) January 23, 2020
Despite this information, Polygon’s Heller takes issue with the title of the comic saying it isn’t a “great look.”
“Despite the characters’ long history as friends and collaborators, killing off a female character and handing her job to two young men isn’t a great look.”
She even takes issue with the idea that the title could be a plot twist.
“And hey, even if a quick plot twist reveals that Nancy’s death was all a fakeout, it sure doesn’t seem like the best way to publicize your Nancy Drew anniversary story.”
She then concludes her article whining about the character being “fridged.”
“It’s disappointing to see what appears to be another cherished character getting fridged in service of a man’s (or in this, case, two teen boys’) story, but here’s hoping Nancy has more control over her destiny that it appears at first blush. And that we get to see her use her iconic magnifying glass at least once.”
The article would stir up an outrage mob with Twitter users claiming the idea is misogynist.
theres a lot of inherent misogyny in this idea but i wanna be clear
mr peanut and nancy drew faked their deaths and eloped. she married that fucking peanut. worlds best 90 y/o detective and 104 average peanut die at once? nah
— stag (@stagrunner) January 24, 2020
The issue is that they’re celebrating a female character’s 90th anniversary with a story that from the info we’ve been given seems to focus on two male characters figuring out who killed the aforementioned female character.
— Reagan (@sicardpicard) January 24, 2020
Seriously? Young girls still read Nancy Drew while Hardy Boys books sit on the shelf, says this librarian. Who thought up this idiocy?
— dltmoll (@dltmoll) January 24, 2020
Fridge someone else, you monuments to chemically induced priapism.
— ⚫️Aleph from Malakhim (@malakhstudios) January 24, 2020
One user even hoped that Anthony Del Col would “never write anither book ever again.”
This is absolutely horrid and has misogynistic undertones. I don’t know who thought this plot was a good idea, but I hope you never write anither book ever again.
— Angry Latina (@VeryAngryLatina) January 24, 2020
However, there were a number of voices of reason.
I doubt they’ll actually kill her off. They will most likely discover her whereabouts in an investigation at which point they will team up for the climax of the tale
— mykeysings (@mykeysings) January 24, 2020
How about read it fully 1st before jumping to conclusions. Everything isn’t pro/anti-feminist, sexist etc. angles/wars just creativity, art, doing something different
— Janay (@VirgoAvenger) January 24, 2020
And as one user pointed out this happens all of the time in the comic book industry.
I mean, if this didn’t happen to nearly every other character in comics every five years or so I would have a problem with it. But it does so I don’t. It’s a sales gimmick, nothing more.
— Truett Edgell (@Trutown) January 24, 2020
And it does. Marvel Comics published Death of Wolverine in 2014. They also published The Death of Captain America in April 2007. In their Ultimate Comics line, Marvel Comics published a story arc titled “The Death of Spider-Man.” Others include Death of Hawkman, Death of the Inhumans, Death of X, Avengers: The Death of Mockingbird, Spider-Man: Death of the Stacys, Captain Marvel: The Death of Captain Marvel.
DC Comics published Batman R.I.P. in May 2008. They also published Superman: The Death of Superman in January 1993. It wouldn’t be the only time they would promote Superman’s death. They are currently publishing The Death of Superman by Louise Simonson and Cat Staggs. DC Comics has also published The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage and Death of the New Gods.
Dynamite Comics is also publishing Killing Red Sonja in March 2020. They previously published The Shadow: Death of Margot Lane and The Lone Ranger & Zorro: The Death of Zorro.
Archie Comics published The Death of Archie as part of their Life with Archie series in July 2014.
IDW Publishing also published a series titled The Transformers: Death of Optimus Prime.
Valiant Comics also recently published The Life and Death of Toyo Harada.
Emily Heller either intentionally went out of her way to stir up an outrage mob, or she’s massively ignorant of the comic book medium and its trend of using the death of characters to market their stories. Either way it’s really bad look for Heller and Polygon.