The Hasbro board game Clue has been adapted for other media in the past with the 1985 cult classic film, and it’s the basis for another new story courtesy of IDW, the comics publisher with a long-standing relationship with Hasbro. Written by Paul Allor with artwork by Nelson Daniel, the new Clue miniseries follows the general conceit of the board game—a group of people gather at an opulent mansion, where they each become suspects when their host is murdered—but Allor adds a humorous twist to the action by having the butler, Upton, aware that they are all in a comic book. This exclusive preview of next week’s Clue #1 opens with Upton commenting on Daniel’s ominous rendering of Mr. Boddy’s mansion, and he continues to break the fourth wall as he explains to the reader that these characters aren’t aware that they’re in a murder-mystery comic book, so they shouldn’t be judged for stepping into a situation that is clearly not going to go well for anyone involve.
Allor’s interpretations of Professor Plum, Mister Green, and Miss Scarlet are inspired by real-world figures like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Martin Shkreli, and Iggy Azalea, respectively, and building these characters on recognizable sources helps establish their personalities very quickly. Daniel gives these characters distinct redesigns that reinforce those personalities, and the very first shot of the group standing in the main hall makes them all look like pieces on a game board, a visual that is echoed by Gabriel Rodriguez’s cover. Rodriguez takes that idea even further with a top-down view that makes the setting look even more like the board game, and the comic-book medium gives the creative team a lot of opportunities to play around with the layout of the visuals to emphasize the story’s connection to the game. Because this is Clue, there are also multiple endings to the first issue that offer potential clues and red herrings to solve the mystery, and readers that want to get a step ahead can check out the different variants to enrich the story.