Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Mystery Society", You Had Me at The Mustache

I picked up "Mystery Society" in early December before coming home for winter break and I am surprised I haven't written about it yet. "Mystery Society" is a collection of the 5 issues currently published(I hope they eventually make more but I have my doubts) written by Steve Niles, of 30 days of night fame, and art by Fiona Staples published by IDW. To put it simply, "Mystery Society" is a fun mix of scifi, mystery, espionage, and the paranormal. To put it a little less simply, this book is a entertaining homage to conspiracy theories, urban legends, amazing facial hair all wrapped up in a cool underused art style.

Just look at that glorious mustache.


From the outset, we are introduced to the recently arrested Nick Mystery on his way to face trial for a plethora of crimes. We are quickly transported via storytelling flashback to a rescue mission from Area 51 and the story of the Mystery Society.  From there we meet the newly rescued members of the society, twin girls with psychic powers. After a daring escape we are introduced to the remaining members: Anastasia, Nick's wife and co founder of the society, Secret Skull, and undead ghoul, and Jules Verne, or  at least a robot with his brain. From their introduction, the team splits up for most of the book; Skull and Verne investigate the missing skull of Edgar Allan Poe, while Nick, Anastasia, and the twins look to clear the Mystery Society's name. What follows is a story with a few unexpected twists that leave the reader satisfied but not necessarily begging for more.

While "Mystery Society" was surely entertaining, it didn't take much thought to delve into the characters. However, it certainly had more depth in its five issues than most comic series. This seems like an appropriate goal for this type of book. No one would want to read about an overly serious conspiracy solving squad, but nobody wants it to be slapstick either. I would almost consider it a slightly brighter and certainly more fun loving take on a Hellboy-esque premise. "Mystery Society is a well balanced book certainly worthy of some more issues, and I hope to see them.

-Peter