Ms. Scarlett, in the kitchen, with the revolver. Did she shoot someone that made a sandwich joke? Possibly. Everyone loves Clue and if you don’t, then you deserve to be conked in the head with a candlestick in the study. How can you not love the classic mystery game where you have to solve a murder? The game even spawned the 1985 cult classic movie starring Tim Curry which is a must watch. IDW has once again rounded up the gang of usual suspects for Clue: Candlestick #1 with Dash Shaw (Body World, Bottomless Belly Button) taking on all roles for this title.
What’s the book about?
The opening pages to Clue: Candlestick #1 are visually appealing. Shaw details the wind blowing through a restless Professor Plum’s window by using lips. Plum imagines the path the wind is taking as it advances into his room. The panel shows in great detail a maze that I had to stop myself from attempting to navigate two times. I might go back and give it a go. A really solid opening from Dash; he immediately grabbed my attention.
A knock at Plum’s door begins this mystery. The postman, who eerily knows more about Plum then he probably should delivers a letter from Mr. Boddy. The letter is coded and once broken explains that he is in dire straits and is looking to pass off his most valued possessions: a revolver, a candlestick, a noose, a knife — you see where this is going. Each of the weapon pieces from the board game have a history behind them. A nice addition to make these tools of death carry a purpose.
Boddy tells the professor if he desires to own one of these artifacts to show up at his manor on a specific date. As many great mysteries go, Plum shows up to the property on a dark and stormy night. He is also not alone. Mr. Boddy has invited a handful guests to include Colonel Mustard, Mr. Green, Scarlett, Ms. Peacock, and his cook/maid, Ms. White.
The crew sit down to eat dinner. None of them know each other, but they each know Mr. Boddy. Boddy begins to go into a cryptic discussion about how he has received death threats. However, he refuses to go any further as his guests inquire about them. This leads to Colonel Mustard going into great detail about his life and him having to maintain a deep cover. All the while, Boddy has given Ms. White the OK to drag out the trunk full of goodies. As White unpacks each item, someone has had enough of the Colonel’s stories and shoots him with the revolver, killing him. But who pulled the trigger?
First off, I must applaud Dash Shaw for taking this book all on his own. The writing is sharp, and he details the character a great deal. As I said above, I am impressed with him adding history to each of the weapons. The knife was from Jack the Ripper, the gun assassinated President Garfield and now Colonel Mustard. The story is your classic murder mystery, but he has done well burying clues within. I read the book three times and I have some guesses, but only time will tell if I am right. I won’t go into any of them here because I don’t want to spoil the book. I also commend him for using details from the board game throughout the book. You even have cards at the end of the book that you can cut out for use if you so desire.
Shaw’s artwork is remarkable. The main characters are detailed with their respective colors and look the part of possible suspects. The book is full of colorful panels and even the interiors of the house are vibrant and beautiful. I noticed how plain the secondary characters looked like the postman as not to take the focus off of the leads.
I only have a couple of issues with this book and it might be explained but one was painfully obvious that has me scratching my head. Once the Colonel got shot, no one inspected the gun. Why not? It’s a revolver. The question comes into play that there may have been another shooter that has now disappeared somewhere into the house. But no one checked the gun! My other issue was for this only being three issues, a lot of time was spent on the Colonel only for him to get iced after his long and drawn out story.
I might be a monster, but I didn’t mind the Colonel getting shot. He finally shut up and maybe that is what the shooter was thinking as well.
Clue: Candlestick #1 is a fun beginning to what is sure to be a fast and furious mystery. Only three issues to get everything solved. I expect it to be a fun ride. If you dig Clue, this is worth checking out but it might pay off to wait for the trade. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going back to the beginning of the book to figure out the maze.