Author Topic: Appearances of The Network  (Read 5540 times)

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Offline MacGyver

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Appearances of The Network
« on: August 17, 2011, 11:20:48 AM »
I wasn't totally sure where to put this at first but it seems to fit well here as I basically wanted to have a thread to talk some about The Network. I was thinking on this the other day and made a few observations. For starters, though The Network was first introduced in The Hardy Boys Casefiles series, it also makes appearances in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Supermysteries series (1988) and also in the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift Ultra Thrillers series. (And of course, both series are set in the Casefiles continuity for The Hardy Boys and the Files continuity for Nancy Drew and the IV series continuity for Tom Swift.)
    However, I was wondering if anyone knows if The Network ever showed up anywhere else? I can't think of any other place where it would have except perhaps for The Nancy Drew Files. Does anyone know if any mention was ever made of it in any of those books? In the Supermysteries series, we see that Nancy Drew has knowledge of The Network (though I don't know that she's technically an agent for them or anything) and I'm thinking Tom probably has knowledge of The Network as well though also not an agent.  (And I would imagine The Network is the kinda group that would keep tabs on all its enemies, suspects and possible resources- like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Tom Swift. So certainly it's aware of all three of these sets of folks. And definitely I'm sure they would be well aware of Fenton Hardy, Carson Drew and Tom Swift, Sr.)
        I also noted that in Buried in Time, Nancy is aware of The Network, but apparently George is not- though I think perhaps both she and Bess are shown to have knowledge of The Network and run into them in the Operation Titanic book, but my memory may be off.
        The Network and the Gray Man was always an exciting addition to The Hardy Boys Casefiles for me. I love the books where they show up. However, I still enjoy the other books without them. I think this is a key difference for The Hardy Boys Casefiles versus The Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers.
Most times when The Hardy Boys work with a government agency of some sort, they seem to get locked into solely working for them on every case. And there have been quite a few instances: The Secret Agent on Flight 101 would probably be the earliest, but that was a one-off thing with SKOOL and UGLI (obviously inspired probably more from Get Smart and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. than say the James Bond movies or Mission: Impossible ;D).  Then there's the whole of Season 3 from The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (although technically in "Last Kiss of Summer" (Parts 1 and 2), they're not really working for the Justice Department at this point, but rather with and at times against them as they've only just met them in this episode.)
     And then we have The Network in The Hardy Boys Casefiles series and ATAC in The Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers series as well as the graphic novels. And I still enjoy the times Frank and Joe do get tied down to working solely with an agency. All of Season 3 of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries was great! Though I do think if the show had continued, it might have been nice to have some cases that were not always dictated directly from Harry Hammond. (On a side note, The A-Team fell into this same sort of thing during its 5th. Season when the whole dynamic of the show changed- even so, I still enjoyed it as it did resolve some long-standing storylines and made it a little different from the status quo.)
         The big difference with The Network and ATAC is that the Hardys are more of on a part-time basis with The Network. They have a loose association with them, it seems, to where they are called on every so often when the group feels they have a case they can use Frank and Joe on (Ring of Evil trilogy)- or when they feel they can use Frank and Joe (Too Many Traitors). And sometimes The Hardys wind up intercepting a Network case as well. (Evil, Inc. and The Borderline Case).
      And I know The Hardys were working fulltime with The Justice Department on the '70s show so that makes a difference. (I get the feeling that they are perhaps in their early 20's at that point of the show, with college perhaps on the backburner at the moment or their college time just not shown at all and skipped over. From Season 1, it seems like they could still be in high school as in the books, but it also seems that perhaps they could be living at home and attending college. The show was always kinda nebulous on their ages, but that's okay.)
        Anyway, what I was trying to get to is the fact that ATAC always seems to have The Hardys on a case in the UB books as well as the graphic novels. Now in The Ocean of Osyria (#1 in the Hardy Boys graphic novels series), after finishing a case for ATAC, the Hardys get embroiled in a case by trying to rescue Chet. So we do get a separate case there. I don't know that any of the other ones are really separate from ATAC that I can recall right now.
      But all of the UB books and spinoffs seem to always be ATAC missions. And by the way, I presume since we have the 2007 Nancy Drew GD and Hardy Boys UB Supermystery crossover series that Nancy Drew has knowledge of ATAC's operations? Is she also an agent of ATAC in the series? Is ATAC mentioned in the Nancy Drew Girl Detective series?
       So I mainly just think that the UB books could use a little shakeup every now and then and I'd like to see some cases that are not always mandated by ATAC, which I think would be getting back to the root and core of the original Hardy Boys books. The Casefiles always seemed to maintain a good balance with different kinds of cases coming to The Hardy Boys.
     
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 07:39:16 PM by MacGyver »
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Offline SDLagent

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2011, 06:06:18 PM »
There's a lot in your post and I'll respond to more of it later but I just thought I'd mention that in Papercutz's original summary of the The Hardy Boys comic book series, the Grey Man is mentioned. In the final version of The Ocean of Osyria , however, the Hardys are pursued by unnamed government agents. Also, ATAC is never mentioned in the book and at that point Frank and Joe are still only amateur detectives. Iola even cracks a joke about the boys becoming secret agents when they "grow-up" and Joe laughs at the idea. I bit of ironic humor from Scott Lobdell anticipating the boys secret agentization by the next volume.

Offline tomswift2002

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2011, 07:43:50 PM »
As well as having the Gray Man as their ATAC operative, the Graphic Novels by Scott Lobdell were also going to show, originally, how Fenton Hardy set up ATAC and Frank and Joe's transition from amateur detectives to ATAC agents; that never happened.

But in Best of Enemies (probably my favorite cover of the entire SuperMystery'88/Casefiles series) Nancy does work with the Network, along with George and Bess, since her murder investigation ends up dovetailing into the Hardy's top-secret Network mission.

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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 07:44:41 PM »
Quote
Also, ATAC is never mentioned in the book and at that point Frank and Joe are still only amateur detectives. Iola even cracks a joke about the boys becoming secret agents when they "grow-up" and Joe laughs at the idea. I bit of ironic humor from Scott Lobdell anticipating the boys secret agentization by the next volume.
Okay- I remember that joke from Iola now. That was a neat little inside joke. But I thought rescuing the horse at the start of the story was wrapping up an ATAC mission? Maybe I'm just remembering wrong- it has been a while since I've read it.
Didn't realize that the Gray Man was actually mentioned originally- I suppose I would have to go back and get the original comic book to find that. Or is it also in the first printing of the graphic novel?
   Yeah- sorry to bombard you all with so much at once. These are some of the things I ponder when I have nothing else to do- lol. ;D
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Offline MacGyver

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 07:48:05 PM »
Quote
As well as having the Gray Man as their ATAC operative, the Graphic Novels by Scott Lobdell were also going to show, originally, how Fenton Hardy set up ATAC and Frank and Joe's transition from amateur detectives to ATAC agents; that never happened.

But in Best of Enemies (probably my favorite cover of the entire SuperMystery'88/Casefiles series) Nancy does work with the Network, along with George and Bess, since her murder investigation ends up dovetailing into the Hardy's top-secret Network mission.
Do you recall where that bit about the Gray Man was mentioned? It's funny to me to think of the Gray Man jumping from The Network to work for ATAC, but I guess it could happen.... I guess it doesn't really matter now though as apparently it was scrapped as you said. Was this only in initial press releases or was there something in the comic or graphic novel itself to indicate this?
 Thanks for the info on that and for the tip on Best of Enemies- I've read that one a while back and I do recall Nancy and The Hardys' cases correlating (okay, they pretty much always do, but I mean as far as being connected with the Network.) But I guess I was wondering if Nancy actually directly interacts with the Gray Man or another Network operative?
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Offline tomswift2002

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2011, 07:54:18 PM »
Do you recall where that bit about the Gray Man was mentioned? It's funny to me to think of the Gray Man jumping from The Network to work for ATAC, but I guess it could happen.... I guess it doesn't really matter now though as apparently it was scrapped as you said. Was this only in initial press releases or was there something in the comic or graphic novel itself to indicate this?
 Thanks for the info on that and for the tip on Best of Enemies- I've read that one a while back and I do recall Nancy and The Hardys' cases correlating (okay, they pretty much always do, but I mean as far as being connected with the Network.) But I guess I was wondering if Nancy actually directly interacts with the Gray Man or another Network operative?

I remember that it was someone like Paul Mular or James Keeline who reported that they had been talking to Papercutz just after the initial announcement of the series and it was told to them by Papercutz that the Gray Man was going to be involved, most likely starting in book 2, but that the comic books/graphic novels were going to tell the stories "in between" the actual books that S&S was releasing, and The Ocean Of Osyria was written to "bridge" the gap between the Original Continuity and the Undercover Brothers series with book 2 continuing on to tell how Fenton founded ATAC.  Now then that is not what ultimately happened and the series went in a completely different direction with book 2.

In Best of Enemies Nancy, Bess and George do interact with the Gray Man near the end, since the help the Hardy's work surveillance.
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Offline SDLagent

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2011, 12:01:04 AM »
As well as having the Gray Man as their ATAC operative, the Graphic Novels by Scott Lobdell were also going to show, originally, how Fenton Hardy set up ATAC and Frank and Joe's transition from amateur detectives to ATAC agents; that never happened.

But in Best of Enemies (probably my favorite cover of the entire SuperMystery'88/Casefiles series) Nancy does work with the Network, along with George and Bess, since her murder investigation ends up dovetailing into the Hardy's top-secret Network mission.



I don't think the Grey Man was ever going to be an ATAC agent but he was one of the government agents who thought that Chet stole the Ocean of Osyria.

Okay- I remember that joke from Iola now. That was a neat little inside joke. But I thought rescuing the horse at the start of the story was wrapping up an ATAC mission? Maybe I'm just remembering wrong- it has been a while since I've read it.
Didn't realize that the Gray Man was actually mentioned originally- I suppose I would have to go back and get the original comic book to find that. Or is it also in the first printing of the graphic novel?

No, ATAC wasn't mentioned at all in the first title. As tom mentioned, the second story was originally intended to introduce ATAC but instead it just started as if ATAC had been around forever.

To answer your question about Nancy Drew status as an ATAC agent, she learns about ATAC in Terror on Tour and at first wants to join but by Danger Overseas decides that she wouldn't enjoy working for the government.

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2011, 12:49:19 AM »
Thanks for the answers to the questions, guys. :)
Any word on a mention of The Network in the Nancy Drew Files? I just haven't read any of those to know...  Maybe Dinosaur Dan will see this thread and might could weigh on this- he seems to be pretty up on Nancy Drew, particularly the Files series...
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Offline Bigfootman

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2011, 12:06:59 PM »
Thanks for the answers to the questions, guys. :)
Any word on a mention of The Network in the Nancy Drew Files? I just haven't read any of those to know...  Maybe Dinosaur Dan will see this thread and might could weigh on this- he seems to be pretty up on Nancy Drew, particularly the Files series...
Nope, the network isn't mentioned in the Nancy Drew Files, or at least the ones I've read. It's surprising considering that the books in the Nancy Drew Files series would often have characters from earlier books in the series appear (Like Marilyn Kilpatrick who appeared in #7 and #29) , and the books would often have references to earlier books too. Plus, apparently there was a reference to the Supermysteries in one of the Nancy Drew Files books. The Hardy Boys were mentioned in #4.

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2011, 02:05:07 PM »
Quote
Plus, apparently there was a reference to the Supermysteries in one of the Nancy Drew Files books. The Hardy Boys were mentioned in #4.
Really? That's cool!  You should add that info to The Hardy Boys Wiki, if it's not already there.
Thanks for answering my question. 8)
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Offline SDLagent

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2011, 03:01:57 PM »
Nope, the network isn't mentioned in the Nancy Drew Files, or at least the ones I've read. It's surprising considering that the books in the Nancy Drew Files series would often have characters from earlier books in the series appear (Like Marilyn Kilpatrick who appeared in #7 and #29) , and the books would often have references to earlier books too. Plus, apparently there was a reference to the Supermysteries in one of the Nancy Drew Files books. The Hardy Boys were mentioned in #4.

It's kind of weird how there was so little crossover between the crossover series and the solo series. Like you say, past books were mentioned but hardly ever books from the crossover.

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2011, 05:50:23 PM »
Also interesting is that The Hardy Boys don't seem to mention Nancy Drew. I've read all of The Hardy Boys Casefiles and I don't recall any of them referencing Nancy Drew or making any mention of Supermysteries cases- though there are certainly flashbacks to previous cases within the Casefiles series.
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Offline Mattie

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 09:42:07 AM »
Hey, I was wondering does Fenton ever find out that Frank and Joe worked with the Network? :/

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2011, 10:50:41 AM »
I'm pretty sure Fenton is aware of Frank and Joe's activities with The Network (though I'm pretty sure Laura and Aunt Gertrude and their friends outside of Nancy Drew definitely are not.) In Dead on Target, Frank and Joe first meet Arthur Gray, who is introduced as an associate of their father's. So the connection between Fenton Hardy and The Network is established from the first book- though I don't think Fenton really has much interactions with them after that.
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Offline Mattie

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Re: Appearances of The Network
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2011, 11:02:23 AM »
Oh. Thanks. :)