Graphic Novel Review: The Ocean of Osyria

The Ocean of Osyria is the first book in the Hardy Boys graphic novel series from Papercutz setting the Hardy’s adventures in modern day.

The basic plot is that the Hardy’s old pal Chet Morton gets into trouble when he accidently buys an art treasure off of an online auction site. Now, the Hardys have to clear him in a globe-trotting adventure that takes them to the Middle East and Europe.

The book does a good job capturing the Hardy Boys’ basic personalities. The mystery is kind of light and the focus of the book is on adventure. The numerous locations in the story are very well-drawn. The book does borrow a bit from the Hardy Boys Case Files of the late 1980s and 1990s with the involvement of a secret government agency in setting the Hardys on the case. In addition, we do get Frank and Joe’s girlfriends involved in the adventure which didn’t usually happen either in the original series or in the later books. The art is vibrant and exciting.

As someone who devoured the Case Files in the 1990s, I do find the graphic novel format weaker. You lose a lot of relationship moments between Frank and Joe and really don’t get to know a lot of the side characters. The story is also simple compared to the complexity that could be developed in a 150 page paperback novel. But then again, I found of Ocean of Osyria fast-paced and fun. Frank and Joe Hardy lived the life and had the adventures that every boy dreams of and the graphic novel still captures that spirit nicely. Overall, this is a solid book and it’s a nice way to introduce younger comic fans to the Hardy Boys.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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