Clue #1 Review by Jason Kahler
Written by Paul Allor
Art by Nelson Daniel
Letters by Neil Uyetake
I’m wondering, as I reflect upon the first issue of IDW’s five-issue Clue miniseries, how much the cult-classic 1985 moviefilm of the same name influenced this book. For me, a youthful young man in his early 40s, Clue the movie is a pop culture guidepost. I remember the joy of watching the movie on VHS (complete with all three possible endings), the performance of Tim Curry as the knowing butler Wadsworth, and “I. Am. Your singing telegram **BANG!**”
I remember watching Clue earlier than I remember playing Clue.
So maybe when I read this book, I’m tainted in a way the average audience is not.
Putting all that aside, Clue the comic is worth your time, and if you haven’t seen the movie (SHAME! SHAME!), I think you’ll enjoy the book even more because you lack the baggage of the memorable performances from the film. I couldn’t help but compare the book to the film, and that’s not really fair to the book, which is worthy on its own merits.
The usual cast of characters from the game is here, the Mr. Greens and the Professor Plums, and what not. And the book also features a knowing (fourth wall-breaking) butler, though instead of Curry’s Wadsworth we meet iron-jawed Upton. Upton knows he’s in a comic book, interacts with the audience, and briefly converses with the book’s editor.
In my head canon, Upton knows there’s been a movie, too, and that he can never be as good as Tim Curry.
The book is a fun read, and though it’s too early to know how all the possible clues will shake out, I had little alarms going off as I read. “This MUST be a clue, right?” I’d be thinking. I SO hope that, when the mini-series comes to its conclusion, everything adds up in a logical way.
Nelson Daniel’s art is very nice, and though the characters’ dialogue sometimes feels like writer Paul Allor was trying a little too hard to make the characters stand out from each other within the book’s large cast, we never lose the fun inherent in the franchise.
Murder is, after all, one of life’s greatest games.
I am happy to say this book is a buy. Enjoyable, familiar enough and fresh enough. I hope the momentum is maintained throughout the series.
And here’s some Tim Curry. Because.