Review: Clue #1

Right, so you all know the board game that serves as this book’s inspiration, right? In the game you haphazardly meander around a mansion looking for clues as to who committed a murder.   Once you have gathered the clues, you can then make your deduction, take a peek and you either win or stop playing.  Probably not the most obvious licence comic tie-in book.

In the book, writer Paul Allor, possibly recognising the need to have a coherent framework on which to hang his story, immediately breaks the fourth wall, with the butler Upton explaining things to the reader and basically being a bit of a know it all.  With Upton as our guide, we are introduced to a new wave of Miss Scarlett’s and Professor Plum’s ready for them to become either sleuth, distraction or victim!

Allor does a great job of giving the new characters the personalities of some real life big names /celebrities, which goes some way to generating like or dislike depending on the readers viewpoint.  With a larger, albeit always in danger of being killed, cast, things could get a little complicated.  Yet Allor does well to give each character a little bit of page time, even if it is to allude to some secret or hidden motive.  This can make the book feely a little jumpy.  However, Allor also imbues the book with clever asides.  For example, as a description of host Mr A Boddy we are told “enjoys leaving weapons in random rooms”.

Nelson Daniel supplies the art, inks and colors for the book in a stylised almost cartoony manner.  Some of the faces and figure work reminds me of Norm Breyfogle’s work, admittedly without the dynamic action element.  Daniel is aware that the focus on the book is the characters so works hard to give the characters a level of interaction.  As such, the backgrounds can suffer with a lack of detail.  However, Daniel overcomes that by giving us an establishing shot and then letting our eyes and minds fill in the blanks.  As the story has a fluid humour to it, so does the art showing how well word and pictures can work together in telling a story.

IDW’s Clue hits the rack a week or so after Image’s Shirtless Bear Fighter, both ramping the “laugh out loud” elements, proving that there can be some fun had in this oft Dark Forge, Crisis, Secret Empire comic industry.  I can’t wait for the Monopoly comic!

Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 4.5 Stars

Written: Paul Allor
Art: Nelson Daniel
Publisher: IDW

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