Mystery Society #1

Mystery Society #1 cover

Out today is Mystery Society #1, starting a new five-issue miniseries from IDW. If you liked Midnight, Mass. or similar spooky stories with a playful couple of investigators, this is the latest incarnation, but with a modern twist, since the couple are messing with conspiracy theories and high-tech gadgets.

As with so many new titles, the concept for this one is movie-ready. Heck, the first action sequence, with Nick Hammond breaking into Area 51 to free a couple of girls with unusual abilities, is reminiscent of Mission Impossible and Chuck. I was actually disappointed that so much of this issue was taken up with breaking in and fighting. I know it gave the artist something active to draw while the characters were talking exposition at each other, but I wanted to see the two leads interact, instead of simply being told how much they loved each other. Not having them in a room together at any time during this first issue means we’re being told more than we’re shown.

Mystery Society #1

Nick and wife Anastasia run the Mystery Society. We don’t know yet who’s involved beyond them, but the following issues promise to assemble the players and give them something big to fight. The framing sequence, with Nick being sent to jail, where he immediately starts reminiscing about how he got there to reporters, both promises hints of what’s to come and reminds me of certain 40s movies where most of the film was a flashback. Even Nick’s mustache is Errol Flynn-like.

Writer Steve Niles will be appearing at a number of comic shops to promote this comic over the next month. The publisher’s website has details, as well as a five-page preview of this issue.

It’s a shame that the main cover, by concept co-creator Ashley Wood (the scratchy greyish one), is so unattractive compared to the retailer incentive cover (the brighter couple one) by interior artist Fiona Staples (who has previously drawn North 40, among other things).

12 Responses to “Mystery Society #1”

  1. DanielBT Says:

    Really? I thought the sketchy cover was more visually striking than the other cover, which looked too cluttered for me to get a grasp of. With the first cover, there’s the basic concept reduced to its purest form. In the second cover, there’s too many objects to focus on. (I was more focused on the chair than anything else) It wasn’t until I read the preview that I figured out the skull played a big part in the story.

    Does it say anything that I’m a big fan of Blade of the Immortal? Because that’s the kind of vibe I was getting from that cover.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Certainly, opinions differ, and I appreciate you explaining what you see in it. I’m not a Wood fan to start, and I thought his cover looked muddy. I didn’t even realize the woman was part of it until I’d looked at it for a while.

  3. Scott Says:

    Actually, the scratchy cover is what got me to flip through it in the store (and then buy it). It was a much different look than anything else on the shelves around it — I don’t think I would’ve looked twice at the alternate cover.

    Oh, and the question mark in the place of the “S” on the logo. That caught my eye, too. :)

  4. Kitten Says:

    I’m going to have to agree with you, Johanna. I didn’t see the woman in the first cover until you pointed out that you had missed her! The art for the second cover drew me immediately.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Hmm, if my assumptions based on names are accurate, I’m sensing a theme in who likes which cover — gender breakdown, perhaps?

  6. Ed Sizemore Says:


    I don’t like the Wood cover. It looks too much it a Punisher cover. The black and white does make it stand out from the standard comic book crowd, but it back fires if people mistake it for another title. I like Staples cover because it has an updated Lovecraft vibe going for it.

  7. Thom Says:

    Way to blow the trend, Ed. ;)

  8. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Sorry, Thorn. I’ll go watch some Rambo to get my manly nerve back. ;)

  9. James Schee Says:

    I don’t really like either cover. The sketchy one looks sort of garish and doesn’t do anything for me. The other just looks sort of dull.

    So which category do I fit in?:)

    The concept itself sounds interesting though, as I was a big Midnight Nation fan. (I guess the tv series/movie of that got scrapped?) So if this is in that vein I’ll have to look for a collection down the road.

  10. Justin Says:

    In regards to the movie aspect. I saw Cary Elwes in the lead right from the start. One problem I had with the issue is that it felt light. Well, I suppose deceptively so because of the previews.

    Another problem for me was the mentions of comic books. Like how an origin story was too much like a comic book. Not so much that it offended me as much as took me out of the story, I think.

  11. Ben Says:

    They did special covers for a lot of the store signings too.

  12. Mystery Society (Hardcover Re-Release) » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] Mystery Society — it reminded me of both Perhapanauts and Midnight, Mass. (as I said when I reviewed the first issue back in 2010, when it launched) — I strongly object to IDW’s marketing with the project […]




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