Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Letters: Neil Uyetake
A review by David Hildebrand
Mr. Green, in the Billiard Room, with the revolver! Who doesn’t love Clue, the classic mystery game where you have to solve who the murderer is? The game spawned the cult 1985 film staring Tim Curry. If you have not seen the film, I highly recommend giving it a watch. 30 years later and it withstands the test of time. Now IDW and Paul Allor are getting back into the murder game with an all new whodunit mystery with Clue #1.
Clue #1 starts out in uniform fashion. It is a dark and stormy night, a diverse group of guests are arriving to an enormous mansion for a dinner party hosted by Mr. Boddy. Right out the gate, Allor adds an amusing twist to the story. The butler and narrator, Upton breaks down the 4th wall. He requests that us, the readers not judge the guests too harshly for venturing out on a night like this and the most important part: They don’t know they are in a comic book! Upton continues to provide humor throughout and is a highlight of the issue.
The usual suspects; Mr. Green, Ms. Peacock, Ms. Scarlett, Senator White, Prof. Plum and Col. Mustard are all along for the ride, as well as newcomer, Dr. Orchid. The evening starts out in classic form. The gang sits down to eat dinner, intriguing conversations fill the air, accusations fly, knives are brandished and eventually Mr. Boddy is found dead, shot in the chest, with everyone standing around gazing in awe, wondering who shot him. A smoking gun is found, detectives arrive and the investigation is underway!
I was nervous when I saw that Clue would be released in comic book form. The murder mystery part would be easy to recreate, but the style it would be done in had to be unique, stand out, and have that Clue seal of approval. I am pleased to say that Allor has not disappointed in either one of these aspects in Clue# 1. The characters are richly written, and have their own traits. Some of the characters are inspired by real-world figures, that help you grasp the personality type of the character, and what you can probably expect from them as the story progresses. Daniel’s art is a perfect fit for Allor’s narrative. The color palette is gorgeous, defining the characters by their trademark colors, and distinguished facial features. The layout is clean and the use of shadows contribute to the atmosphere of the story.
There is also a surprise when you buy the books with variant covers. There is a different clue to help you solve the mystery in the back of each book. It is a pretty cool idea, but can be costly if you decide to pick up all the variants. I do like the idea of different clues, it reminded me of the film. When Clue was released in theaters, there were three different endings. It required multiple viewings at the theater with hopes of catching a different ending or waiting until it was released on VHS when it contained all three endings.
Buy it! If you are a fan of the game Clue or the movie then you should pick up Clue #1, and give it a read. It jumps right in with the murder, and mystery in the first issue! Even if you aren’t a Clue fan (what is wrong with you?) I found it fun to read the issue a couple of times looking for clues to who the killer might be. Run out and pick it up!