When Paul Allor began writing “Clue,” a new comic book miniseries based on the popular board game from Hasbro, he had many versions of the game to look to for inspiration.
Clue the game has also been “Clue” the movie, the novel, the stage play, and even the VCR game (for those old enough to remember what a VCR is).
But Allor says Hasbro and publisher IDW wanted the comic book, which will be a six-issue miniseries, to stand out on its own, yet still appeal to fans of the game and classic comedy-mystery movie.
“We wanted (“Clue”) to be unmistakable as a comic book,” Allor told The Washington Post. “As we get further along in the story, you’ll see things happen that can only happen in the unique format of comics.”
It’s fitting that Allor is writing a comic book based on a game of eventual confession, as he confesses to having never seen the “Clue” movie before writing the first comic-book issue.
He remembers bits and pieces of the film and was familiar with the quirky humor, why fans enjoyed it so much and the infamous multiple endings, but he decided not to watch the movie until after he’d written the first story.
“I went back and seeded in some fun references in my revisions,” Allor said. “For fans of the movie, I would say that the comic has a very distinct, very wicked sense of humor that’s different from the movie’s, but also very compatible with it. If you liked the movie, I think you’ll really dig this book.”
The first issue begins with people from all walks of life – politicians, rappers, military members, pharmaceutical bros and those from old money – being invited to a mansion. Murder occurs by book’s end when the mansion owner, Mr. A. Boddy, is found dead. Readers are left to go back to previous pages to see what clues have been provided until the next issue publishes.
“Clue” No. 1 has multiple variant covers, each one providing a different ending.
“The endings don’t split the timeline apart, as in the movie,” Allor said. “But they do provide different clues – or possibly red herrings – as to what comes next.”
Allor’s ally in his comic-book game of deception is “Clue” artist Nelson Daniel. Allor had to be upfront with Daniel, sparing no secret and revealing who the killer really is so that they could work on the best way to provide clues, whether through word balloons or Daniel’s artwork.
“It was a very interesting, incredibly fun collaboration,” Allor said. “Hopefully that fun comes across on the page.”
Serving as a guide throughout this murder mystery is the butler, Upton, who breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to readers. When asked if being the narrator eliminates the butler as a suspect, Allor only says: “Hmm. Good question.”
Allor admits to worrying that he may be leaving hints that are too big and might ruin the surprise.
“It’s tough. There’s always a worry that people will figure out the mystery well in advance,” Allor said. “So I just focused on telling a compelling story, with interesting characters that people will hopefully grow to know and love – and then, in some cases, mourn. I can’t wait to see this story unfold in the public eye over the next several months.”
As for when readers will find out the killer’s true identity, Allor says there will be mini-revelations throughout the series, but in classic mystery fashion, the big picture and final answer won’t be revealed until the very last issue.
“This is one series where you definitely want to stick around until the very last page,” Allor said. “We have an ending planned that I think is going to delight and quite possible confound our readers. I absolutely cannot wait.”