CLUE #2 by Paul Allor and Nelson Daniel
Allor's writing is beautifully paced with wonderful and intricate characters, while Daniel's art captures the dark and mysterious soul of murder mysteries.
98 %
Visceral and Captivating

The comic adaptation of the ever-popular board game returns with CLUE #2! The first issue left me on the edge of my seat, and this one has me gnawing away at my fingernails. The mystery kicks up a notch, with even more murder and more secrets. Also, if you thought characters were interesting before, oh boy are you in for a ride.

In the previous issue, seven houseguests arrive at a mansion for a dinner party when their host, Mr. Boddy, is found shot dead. When Detective Ochre and Detective Amarillo arrive on the scene, Mrs. Peacock is the prime suspect of the murder. However, Mrs. Peacock soon joins Mr. Boddy among the dead. So who does that leave?

READ: Need more of a refresher? Check out the review of CLUE #1!

Deeper Characterization

The great diversity from the first issue blossoms further in CLUE #2. In the billiard room, Professor Plum discusses growing up as a gay, Pakistani orphan. It’s seldom that any form of media offers much Pakistani representation at all, but to add the intersectionality of Plum’s homosexuality is a delightful surprise. It certainly stands in contrast to the 1985 CLUE film which presents Mr. Green as gay for comedic effect, only to reveal it as a falsehood in one of the possible endings.

Both Plum’s ethnicity and sexuality have put him at odds with society, as many people look down on such things. Plum relied on discovering knowledge in books to get him through the hardships of his youth, but apparently, even today, it isolates him from others. In this issue, we also find out about Plum’s parentage, which is potentially a valuable clue towards solving the mystery.

Image from CLUE #2, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

As far as other characters go, we certainly get some fun, brief peeks into more of their character. The Butler, Upton, in all of his sassy fourth-wall breaking glory, is calm and classy as he works overtime to keep his guests-turned-suspects happy. Senator White screams at Upton in demands for better security. Her harsh insistence reveals her to be nervous and self-important, on top of her shadiness from the previous issue. Mr. Green settles further into immaturity, while Miss Scarlett seems almost conspicuously harmless. Colonel Mustard establishes himself as practical and precise, while Dr. Orchid makes an effort to be kind and humble.

READ: For more nostalgia in comics, check out this review of JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS: INFINITE!

The Plot Thickens

CLUE #2 brings even more questions and mystery, as murder mysteries do. Detective Ochre and Detective Amarillo discover a secret room — hidden behind a bookcase, a real classic — which contains blackmail material on all of the guests. As it’s clear that everyone has more than enough motive to commit Mr. Boddy’s murder, attention shifts once again to the connection between Professor Plum and Dr. Orchid. Obviously whatever they’re hiding is dangerous, and it does put them in a very suspicious position. Though, with the details of the third murder in this issue, it’s still anyone’s guess who the culprit is.

Image from CLUE #2, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

The Art of Evidence

As in the previous issue, the beautiful play of shadows in CLUE #2 is back, mixing realism with a bit of a dark noir flair. Nelson Daniel implements some interesting perspective in this issue. On the opening page of the story, we get a breathtaking bird’s eye view of the mansion immersed in rain and shadows. We also see a brutal attack upon a character from the point of view of the unknown perpetrator, which keeps us in suspense.

Image from CLUE #2, courtesy of IDW Publishing.

My favorite artistic decision in this issue is the effect of the deteriorating film. The old film already immersed me in the story, and to see it fade away at the bottom of the page elicited a surprisingly visceral response. It felt like a visualization of the way even the detectives were dismissing Plum’s experiences and writing him off. The set up of Plum’s constant dismissal makes me take even more notice of him. I’m sure it’s a purposeful red herring, but it certainly works. Truly, Daniel’s work is captivating.

READ: Check out this review of DETECTIVE COMICS #960!

Last Words on CLUE #2

Paul Allor’s writing continues to deliver a mixture of fun and intrigue. I was hooked after the first issue, but now I don’t think Allor could get rid of me if he tried. His pacing for delivering scraps of information is enough to get my wild imagination cooking up a million theories, while also plaguing me with doubt about every suspect. It’s an artful mystery, paired with beautifully visceral art. There are plenty of suspects who seem like obvious choices, and enough that seem too innocent to overlook. However, my sights are on Colonel Mustard. Who knows, though. Allor and Daniel are sure to pull the rug out from under my feet in the next issue.

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