Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Letters: Neil Utetake
Edits: Carlos Guzman
IDW seems to have become the official publishing arm of Hasbro, what with them having an entire line dedicated to Transformers, G.I.Joe, M.A.S.K., and off in the corner, My Little Pony. So somebody at one of the companies had the bright idea of making a comic based on one of their board games, so here’s Clue, the murder-mystery game turned colossal movie flop, now a comic.
Clue the comic takes the traditional story of six colorful strangers with shady pasts brought together under mysterious circumstances to a dinner party on a stormy night in New England. The mood is certainly set for murder most foul, but to modernize things appropriately, Allor and Daniel diversify the cast for a 21st-century market. Colonel Mustard is now a person of color, Mrs. Peacock has gone from being a Senator’s wife to a Senator herself, Miss Scarlet is a pop star, and Mr. Green is a price-hiking pharmaceuticals giant. Given the touchiness of some of the themes of the 1980s film…yes, an upgrade is in order.
This is a standard detective story in which everyone is shady and everyone’s a suspect when the murder finally drops. To their credit, the authors at least have some fun with the ambiguity of the Clue board game, in which the killer and the weapon are never the same thing twice. Mister Boddy dies, but even in this first issue, we’re intentionally uninformed as to whether the weapon was a gun, a wrench, or a rope. And in an additional bit of fun, and perhaps a nod to the film’s three different endings, the edition of Clue #1 you buy impacts which preview page you get in the back–one of three previews is available.
I wouldn’t call Clue a great comic–at its essence, it’s product placement wedged into a different product’s form. It’s at least readable, comical (there’s a lot of metatextual humor with the Butler breaking the fourth wall a lot), and there’s a mystery to be solved. The real test of future issues is whether readers will actually be able to play along as they can in the board game, or if the mystery is set in stone and the authors are waiting until the last page to pull back the curtain. At least it’s different, so if you’re looking for a lighthearted change from the superhero fare, this isn’t awful.
Rating: Three gunshots out of five.