Pour one out for Nancy Drew—murdered so that men could valiantly investigate her death.
It’s just like Nancy says, in the books: “Ah, gee! There’s no mystery more urgent than how to make men feel needed.”
An upcoming comic book, descriptively titled Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew, will celebrate the teen girl detective’s 90th anniversary by killing her, Polygon reports. This comic—an installment in the Drew/Hardy Boys reboot that writer Anthony Del Col has been making with Dynamite Entertainment since 2017—will give The Hardy Boys the chance to crack the case.
Weird—it’s almost like the most legendary fictional comic book detective had to die to give her male competitors a chance to shine.
Look, Nancy Drew is a fictional character, and for all we know the “murder” in the story is just an elaborate fake-out, not to mention a smart stunt to get the comic book some press. But there is so much violence against women—and such a fixation in our culture with women’s dead and maimed bodies, from gruesome tabloid headlines to Law and Order: SVU to murder podcasts to thrillers about decapitated rape victims—that one has to wonder whether killing off an iconic children’s character was…essential?
In Del Col’s comic, the brilliant teen sleuth—whom Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah, Sonia Sotomayor, Barbra Streisand, and Hillary Clinton have named as a major inspiration—is older and more sexualized, described as a “femme fatale.”
To be fair, her appearance is a big part of the books—the writers (who used the collective pen name Carolyn Keene) never get more than a page into the story without calling her “attractive, blonde Nancy.” But the classic Nancy books were published in the 1930s. It’s funny that more than 80 years since Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, our girl is being written with even more male gaze and less agency.
Happy birthday, Nancy. You’re making a lot of men a lot of money.
Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour.