Review: Clue #1

Darryll Robson Darryll Robson
Expert Contributor
June 28th, 2017

Lifetime reader of comics and fan of Planet of the Apes. When the two combine I can barely contain myself. Image, Boom and Titan comics fight for shelf space with Doctor Who DVDs.

Review: Clue #1
Comics
0
Review of: Clue #1
Price:
Hilarious

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On June 28, 2017
Last modified:June 28, 2017

Summary:

A surprisingly hilarious adaption of a board game that is as intriguing as it is funny. Clue #1 delivers on almost every count and will dig it's murderous hooks into you.

Review of: Clue #1
Price:
Hilarious

Reviewed by:
Rating:

5
On June 28, 2017
Last modified:June 28, 2017

Summary:

A surprisingly hilarious adaption of a board game that is as intriguing as it is funny. Clue #1 delivers on almost every count and will dig it's murderous hooks into you.

MORE NEWS FROM THE WEB

Proving that comics can have many strings to their bows, IDW Publishing have put out a new comedy whodunnit in the form of Clue and our contributor, Darryll Robson, entered the murder house to check out the suspects.

Review: Clue #1

It was a board game and then a film, long before the current trend of adapting games into films, and now it’s a comic book. Clue from IDW Publishers, is a new comedy, murder mystery that indulges the spirit of the 1985 movie version with a touch of modern comic book story telling thrown in.

Clue IDW Publishing

Credit: IDW Publishing

 

Synopsis

If you are familiar with either the game or the film then the basic story won’t hold any surprises but like all good murder mysteries, the devil is in the detail.

A selection of hue named guests are invited to an extravagant meal at the most famous mansion in New England. They come from all walks of life with a very pleasing diverse cast. Each has a secret or two. And before the night is through each will be a suspect in a murder case.

Story continues below

The narrator for the story is Upton, an aging butler with a wicked sense of humour and a total disrespect for the fourth wall. He talks directly to the reader, helps the story skip along and even has a short conversation with the editor. Upton is a consummate host and leads the reader without too much emphasis on the clues so as not to give the game away to early.

The cast meet in the grand hall before being ushered into the dining room. Over dinner connections between some of the characters are revealed and Mr Green leads a philosophical conversation about murder: whose life is more important?

After dinner, Miss Scarlet is preparing to sing for the entertainment of everyone else when a gunshot rings out, Mr Boddy is dead! (this is by no means a spoiler; it is the central focus of the story). A mystery!

Except as the guests crowd ghoulishly around the body of Boddy, Colonel Mustard notices the smoking gun in Mrs Peacock’s purse. A brief charade of mock shock is followed by a break for the door. Mystery solved in a single page. The police are called, arrive and interrogate Mrs Peacock who all but confesses.

Just when you wonder where the story is going there’s another murder: And this one is very unsuspected.

Clue IDW Publishing

Credit: IDW Publishing

Suspects

There are two murders in this issue and, although one seems to have already been solved, there are a host of suspects.

Senator White: A hardened politician who has ties to Mrs Peacock and Colonel Mustard. She insisted that she didn't want to be at the party but she is there none the less; as Upton says ‘she has an agenda’.

Miss Scarlet: Claims she is there just for after dinner entertainment but she knows Mr Green and doesn’t seem to be phased by a murder. In fact at one point she complains she’s been side-lined from the action.

Mr Green: Indirectly nearly caused the death of Miss Scarlet’s grandmother by owning a pharmaceutical company that upped the cost of certain drugs which the old lady could no longer afford. He then threatens Miss Scarlet’s life to prove a point about morality but this doesn’t sit well with the rest of the guests. Later he has a secret conversation with Sen. White about some legislation he needs approving. All in all, Green is at the centre of everything.

Story continues below

Colonel Mustard: A man of honour and few words. Has no love for Mr Green and quickly spots the smoking gun in Mrs Peacock’s purse. He appears to be on the straight and narrow.

Professor Plum and Dr Orchid: Not much is revealed about either of these two but I’m sure that will change in future issues.

Mrs Peacock: As I don’t want to spoil to much of the issue….

Not Suspects: Detective Amarillo, Detective Ochre, Upton. Actually this is Clue, nobody can be ruled out as a suspect just yet, not even the editor Carlos Guzman who cameoed in a single panel.

Clue IDW Publishing

Credit: IDW Publishing

Analysis

This is a solid opening for a new comic. The tone and pacing are excellent with a refreshing blend of mad cap humour and witticisms. Paul Allor has crafted an engaging murder mystery out of a simple board game premise with just enough twists to keep it feeling new. By taking the general lay out of the movie version of the game and updating it, Allor has been able to produce a script full of snappy gags, intriguing mystery, and surprisingly likable characters.

Upton the butler is wonderfully written as a narrator but is also a perfect way into the mansion for the reader. He is similar to the narrator in The Rocky Horror Picture Show or, in a weird way, like Deadpool in the Marvel Universe. Upton allows Allor to lead the reader where he wants them to go, to see what he wants them to see. Basically he points at the clues then gives a cheeky wink to the audience. You couldn’t ask for a better route into a comic.

On top of that, Allor has employed a host of characters to fill the mansion. Even the smaller, bit parts if you will, have enough about them to be more than just 2 dimensional background fillers. Already, after a single issue, the clashing personalities are creating a pool of possibilities. Like any good murder mystery, it’s an anyone could have done it situation. And I believe we’ve only just started to see the bodies pile up.

The man tasked to drawing those bodies is Nelson Daniel and he is definitely up to the task. His work is subtle and precise. The script for Clue is very conversation heavy but Daniel works wonders with the limited panel space. He focuses on the important aspects of each moment and uses recognisable signifiers to help the reader with the plot. A large part of this is down to the coloring. Each of the characters are dressed in hues affiliated to their names and a quick shift in light and shadow goes a long way to setting the correct tone for any given scene.

Initially, Clue as a comic is a difficult sell, especially as there are ‘extra clues’ with different comics having different pages at the end. This mirrors the movies alternate endings but is it something that people really want in the comics?

There is constant debate around variant covers and whether or not this is damaging to comic sales but alternate pages?

Maybe a step too far.

Having said that, Clue is a magnificent read. It grips you at the very beginning and plays with your idea of what a comic can be. The central narrative is very straight forward but this is a prime example of not what you say but how you say it. It’s hilarious and engaging. There is a cheekiness that both Allor’s script and Daniel’s images play with.

I was dubious about this comic when it was announced but the first issue has hooked me and reeled me in. I can’t wait for the next issue.

Darryll Robson is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Occasionally he remembers his Twitter account: @DarryllRobson

Clue #1

  • 5

Hilarious

A surprisingly hilarious adaption of a board game that is as intriguing as it is funny. Clue #1 delivers on almost every count and will dig it's murderous hooks into you.

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