In the second part of Nancy Drew’s latest mystery, the porphyria-stricken Gregor finds himself under attack, and only the World’s Greatest Girl Detective can save him.
While this chapter is predictable, Stefan Petruca’s and Sarah Kinney’s writing still makes the tale entertaining. Nancy’s characterization is excellent as cousins Bess and George finally start thinking rationally. They were a little too swept up in the idea that Gregor might be a real vampire. Chief McGuiness enjoys a little respect. His response to Nancy’s predicament is above board professional.
The pacing surprised me the most. I had serious doubts about the new format, and I was a little concerned that padding might creep in. Instead, I was rapt throughout as Gregor’s stalker makes her move. Nancy parries and deduces the true nature of the would-be Slayer. Not a vampire. I’m also happy to say that the Nancy Drew Case Files are still pure mysteries, and it’s still a pleasure to watch this detective arrive at the correct conclusion at lightning speed.
Sho Murase’s manga as usual is the exception proving the rule. At least my rule. I hate manga and anime. While I’ve in the past commented on Jose Guzman’s sense of color, such commentary could be interpreted as a mask. Perhaps the vivid coloring augments Murase’s artwork. Perhaps this is why I can’t see the manga tropes in the design. This issue Guzman settles on a few colors, and while still not drab, the reduction of variety allows the reader to further appreciate Murase’s command of illustration. She plies a fight scene with precision. The everyday actions of the characters look natural instead of stiff, and while manga isn’t renowned for a gamut of expression, Murase makes the most of the simplistic models integral to the genre. This is especially true of the dramatic, emotional cliffhanger.