Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tradio #5 - Mystery Society

This week's Tradio is for the first IDW Publishing trade for Mystery Society by Steve Niles and Fiona Staples.  The trade collects the first five issues of this series.

Mystery Society tells the story of husband and wife team Nick Mystery (legally changed from Hammond) and Anastasia Collins.  They are wealthy, charming, and madly in love.  It is kind of a nice change from many plot set ups of this type where the author puts a lot of effort into creating sexual tension between the male and female leads and throwing them into precarious situations to see how their feelings for each other are expressed.  Not the case here.  They love each other from the very beginning and it is honestly very refreshing to see two people who share a deep bond depend and trust each other from the beginning.  Though the "society" starts with only the two main characters, three or four others (depending on how you look at things) join the cast quickly to form a core group of quirky, yet entertaining characters.  I won't go into the particulars of who those people are because that is part of the fun of the tale that is told.  Needless to say, you get giant robots, an angry US military, coverups, flying saucers, and the skull of Edgar Allen Poe.  It is a fun tale about how the group starts out that leaves plenty of back story still left to sort out.  The overall plot is a little short on substance, but that really isn't the point of the story.  It is about meeting interesting characters and having the good guys win, all the while having a great time doing it.

I really enjoyed the trade.  Not for everyone, I am sure, but if you are a fan of Hellboy and the BPRD, there is definiately something here for you.  While not Steve Niles' best writing, it moves at a good pace and you never feel over-burdened by what is going on.  You want to keep reading and see where things will lead.  Fiona Staples' art is very good.  It is a sketchy style that conveys a lot of character in the figures that she draws with a good sense of movement.  If I have a problem, it is that her robots and the Mystery Society plane seemed to need a little more of an iconic feel and were pretty rote to me, though her overall layouts were great.  Overall, it was a good trade that will make for a fun read if you are interested in horror tales without much horror in them.  It's like a mix of BPRD, Casanova, and League Extraordinary Gentlemen and it works in a fun way.  Give it a try.

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