Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch: February 2020

Dynamite Pubwatch Banner - Red Sonja by Jenny Frison (Dynamite Entertainment)

In this month’s Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch, Dynamite kills off Nancy Drew…or DO they?! Welcome to the Dynamite Entertainment Pubwatch for the month of February! I’m Lisa, Dynamite is my explosive beat, and here’s this month’s news!

Dynamite Announces The Death of Nancy Drew; Causes Media Firestorm by (Apparently) Killing Teen Sleuth on 90th Anniversary of her First Publication

The Hardy Boys - two teenage brothers, one a brunett, one with red hair - stand before the gravestone of Nancy Drew. Their shadows combine against a blue backdrop to create the silhouette of a girl, upon which the book's title is written in blue

On January 23rd, Dynamite announced the forthcoming publication of a new graphic novel about Nancy Drew, Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew. That announcement did not go over well with either Drew fans or mainstream readers, as it seemed to portend the death of Drew, all to motivate an investigation by the Hardy Boys.

According to Dynamite’s press release for the book, the volume will feature Frank and Joe Hardy investigating Drew’s mysterious death in the wake of her investigation of an organized crime racket. It will be written by Anthony Del Col, who has scripted multiple other Drew and Hardy books for Dynamite including The Big Lie, from which The Death of Nancy Drew continues, and drawn by Joe Eisma. Lettering will be handled by Crank!, and Salvatore Aiala will handle colors.

The internet did not react kindly to the announcement of Drew’s apparent death. On January 27th, Nancy Drew trended on Twitter for a full day as fans reacted with contempt to the notion of her death motivating the Hardy Boys’ investigation. Some went so far as to call it fridging. Others were insulted by Dynamite’s apparently celebrating Drew’s anniversary by killing her off.

Del Col and Eisma turned to io9 to deny that they had fridged Drew. “I personally am not a fan of fridging as a plot device, and I wouldn’t have agreed to draw a book that had that as a plot element,” Eisma said. “I just hope folks will give us a chance to tell our story.”

Del Col compared the graphic novel to Laura during the interview. Laura is a 1944 film noir in which a detective tries to solve the apparent death of an advertising executive. As the detective becomes obsessed with the object of the murder, the case takes an unexpected twist, forcing him to switch his focus to find the real murderer.

While Dynamite’s press release tied the release of the book to Drew’s 90th anniversary, Del Col maintains that he didn’t pitch the book to Dynamite with the intent of making it a part of the celebration. Dynamite has since backed off their claim that Drew will die in the story while publicizing it, muddying the waters by making her passing a “maybe.”

Dynamite to Publish Todd MacFarlane Tribute Covers in April

A series of covers which directly parody the style of Todd MacFarlane's most famous work. Vampirella crouches before a gloomy background, Dejah Thoris kills a villian, Vampirella and Red Sonja pounce through a jungle, and Ash Williams and his altar egos race through a forest

Continuing their series of special collectible covers after February’s Valentine’s Day covers and March’s zombie covers, Dynamite will next release a series of covers which pay tribute to Spawn creator Todd MacFarlane, specifically the covers of Amazing Spider-Man #328, Spider-Man #1, 7, 12, 16 and Spawn/Batman.

The series of covers were drawn by Adam Gorham and colored by Michael Garland, and will grace the fronts of Dejah Thoris #5, Red Sonja #15, Vampirella #10, Vampirella/Red Sonja #8, Death to the Army of Darkness #3, and Killing Red Sonja #2. 

The Red Sonja, Army of Darkness, Dejah Thoris and Vampirella/Red Sonja issues also interconnect into a single image (see above).

The issues will street in April.

The Boys Begins a New Arc in April

A woman's portrait appears pensively glancing upward in a pool of scarlet blood. The tip of a man's shoe can be seen at the edge of the frame.

Ahead of the second season of The Boys, which will be on Amazon Prime sometime in mid-2020, Dynamite will be launching a new arc of the popular comic.

Dear Becky picks up where the book’s last arc left off with Hughie and Annie’s wedding. The ceremony is derailed with the release of bombshell information which may jeopardize The Boy’s safety. The series will force them to excavate their pre-history: the backstory of Billy Butcher, whose wife, Becky’s, murder encourages him to form The Boys in the first place.

Garth Ennis will write the series, with art from Russ Braun.

It will street in April.

Big Blast of the Month

Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica Vol. 1 – Trade Paperback 

Amy Chu (Writer); Fay Dalton (Cover); Maria Sanapo (art)
January 4th, 2020

Red Sonja and Vampirella meet Betty & Veronica #1 Cover A by Fay Dalton. Written by Amy Chu and drawn by Maria Sanapo. Published by Dynamite Comics. May 5, 2019.

Some comic book crossover series shouldn’t work as well as they do.  You’d think the idea of perky Betty and snarky Veronica becoming tangled up with Vampi and Sonja would be like combining ham stroganoff and beef chow mein, but work it does.

Partially, the strength of the series stems from the tongue-in-cheek writing: it takes itself just seriously enough to make us invest in the series of gristly murders taking place in Riverdale. Vampi and Sonja team up with Betty and Ronnie to figure out who’s killing who…and why. It’s the unlikely culture clash that makes everything flow so beautifully. As Sonja gets to love modern cuisine (MEAT!) and Vampi embraces the local fashion, anything seems possible.

The girls’ later adventures in time travel are a little less interesting than what happens during the murder-mystery portion of the series, but this first portion of the story is well worth a recommendation in its full glory.

Bangs and Fizzles

Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom Hardcover

Jenn St-Onge (Art and Cover); Kelly Thompson (Writer)
January 15, 2019

A group of teenagers of varying appearances have gathered at a single table. They seem to be lost in pensive thought, or deep discussion

Needless to say, this is an interesting time to recommend a Nancy Drew story. But this take on Drew’s mythology is fun, updated for the ’20s and filled with spirit and attitude, as Drew heads back to her hometown and dodges death while trying to figure out which of her ex-friends is trying to kill her.

Kiss: Zombies #3

Rodney Buchemi (art and cover), Ethan Sacks (writer), Stuart Sayger (cover), Arthur Suydam (cover)
January 15th, 2020


Rodney Buschemi Cover for Kiss Zombies #3 C Dynamite Comics 2020Kiss: Zombies continues to chug along in a bloody, mythos-laden underbelly of the band. The third issue explores a whole lot of gore and also continues to make us care about both the original characters and KISS themselves as they try to acclimate to the future.

Future Fire

Death to the Army of Darkness #1

Mirka Andolfo (Cover); Jacob Edgar (Art); Ben Oliver (Cover); Sebastian Piriz (Cover); Arthur Suydam (Cover); Ryan Parrott (Writer); Sebastian Piriz (Cover)
February 12th, 2020

In a parody of the Army of Darkness movie poster, Ash Williams - a well-muscled dark-haired man with a prominent chin and a wide-open shirt - stands back-to-back with a blonde woman in tight pants holding a shotgun over her shoulder. She peers back at the viewer while Ash stares at the camera. Where Ash's right hand should be is a chainsaw. Standing next to the woman is a dog with a blue bandanna around its neck. At Ash's foot is a miniature version of himself. They stand before a star-speckled night sky with trees shading them from on high

A brand new Army of Darkness arc begins as Ash finds himself split into six distinct, separate personalities, including a talking dog and chainsaw.  Yes, really.

James Bond In “Reflections of Death” OGN

Greg Pak, Andy Diggle, Benjamin Percy, Gail Simone, Mark Russell, Vita Ayala & Danny Lore (Writers); Fay Dalton (cover); Dean Kotz, Luca Casalanguida, Kewber Baal, Eoin Marron, Robert Carey, Jordi Perez (art)
February 19th, 2020

Bond smokes a cigarette and points a gun at the reader against a red backdrop. to his left a blonde woman in a backless dress stands, and a woman with an afro is tied up in a red turtleneck at his right

In what sounds like it will be a stunning piece of work, seven writers and seven artists unite to tell a single James Bond story.

Leftover Mortar