Writer: Paul Allor
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Cover: Nelson Daniel
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Blackmail. Multiple homicides. Mango cheesecake. The game has only just begun!
IDW has released the first comic book adaptation of the classic board game “Clue”. Written by Paul Allor with art by Nelson Daniel, it follows a similar story structure to the 1985 film of the same name. We are introduced to high-class individuals, all at the top of their fields, as they arrive at a late-night rendezvous in a secluded mansion. The butler, Upton, is our omniscient narrator, speaking directly to the reader. This adds a lot of the comic relief, but this book has clever laughs throughout.
Allor did an admirable job of preserving the spirit of the property while giving the book its own personality. There are nods to the movie and the board game coupled with current events and pop culture references. At least some of the characters are stand-ins for real life people, most notably, Mister Green (Martin Shkreli) and Miss Scarlett (Iggy Azalea). Though they might both be equally monstrous people in the real world (kidding?) they make for fun characters here. There’s certainly no shortage of motive for murder at this dinner party.
Daniel holds up his end of the bargain, illustrating the comic in a properly grim fashion. His art is somewhat similar to Riley Rossmo, employing a scratchy, exaggerated style. Body language and facial acting convey enough about the characters that there is no need for exposition. He does a knowledgeable job of framing panels to translate the feeling of looming danger to the reader. I was pleased when I saw the cover was a play on the old game board. There’s also a variant by Charles Paul Wilson III that’s loaded with visual trickery, as well.
I wouldn’t have thought this book could live up to the high standard the movie set, but both creators do a wonderful job of adapting the property to this new medium. With proper doses of comedy and mystery, this was a delightful read, and the art style compliments the story perfectly.