Clue issue 3

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Clue #3
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published August 8, 2017
Cover date August 2017
Written by Paul Allor
Art by Nelson Dániel
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor Carlos Guzman

Motives come to the forefront as the mysteries of the Surobi zinnias unfold. Also, the narrator argues with the editor.


As rain continues to fall over New England, Detective Amarillo is horrified to discover the body of her partner, Detective Ochre, killed by an unknown assailant in Mr. Boddy's study. Roping in Upton to help her, Amarillo checks on all the guests: Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard and Mr. Green in their rooms, Senator White barricaded into hers, and the empty rooms of Professor Plum and Dr. Orchid. Green objects to being kept in his room by Amarillo, but the detective has no patience for his antics after her friend's death, and - after an offer of assistance from Colonel Mustard - manages to get the smug executive back into his room. Upton informs Amarillo that Plum and Orchid are missing, something that the Colonel is unsurprised by, as he remembers the events in Afghanistan, 10 years earlier...

...Something that Upton objects to, disapproving of the flashback as a storytelling device, particularly when introduced in issue three. The editor, Carlos Guzman, argues that the flashback is a valid storytelling choice that fits the comic's aesthetic, but Upton disagrees, and doesn't believe that the Colonel's army days are even relevant to the story; eventually, though, he backs down when Guzman indicates that he really wouldn't enjoy an extended debate on the matter.

10 years prior, in Afghanistan, Mustard and another soldier walk through a field of flowers, the private reminiscing about "the good old days" when a soldier's job was just to kill "bad guys"; something that Mustard is quick to remind him only ever happened in movies. He observes that the field they're in doesn't contain just any flowers; they are Surobi zinnias, flowers that the Colonel believes to be "a miracle". But that night, the fields are raided by mercenaries seeking to capture the flowers, who shoot Mustard's soldiers dead and flee with their bounty, leaving the Colonel to reflect that he never should have believed in miracles.

In the mansion's greenhouse, Professor Plum begins to panic over the fact that he assaulted an officer and is trapped by the flooded river. Unable to calm Plum down, Dr. Orchid is forced to slap some sense back into him; as the two ponder their next move, Plum admits that he thought that Orchid was the murderer, but his explanation of his reasoning is interrupted when Detective Amarillo comes into the greenhouse to apprehend the two. Orchid and Plum run, and on reaching the river that surrounds the house, manage to escape from Amarillo by jumping into the water.

Back inside the house, the now-unsupervised Mr. Green sneaks out of his room to (poorly) flirt with Miss Scarlett. Though he's unfazed by Scarlett's rejection of his advances, his priorities change on seeing the flower in her hair; though Scarlett kicks him below the belt when he tries to take it, he scrambles out of her room with a handful of the flowers taken from her vase. Green knocks on Senator White's door, but she is unwilling to appease him until he tells her what he's discovered: Boddy has the Surobi zinnia! This jolts Senator White into action, pulling apart the makeshift barricade of furniture that she's built in order to see the precious flowers.

Orchid and Plum wash up on the side of the island once more. As Orchid helps Plum out of the river, she explains what's going on: Senator White is pushing to deregulate research on the Surobi zinnia, which would allow the private market—specifically, people like Mr. Green—full control of all the "miracle drugs" produced from it. Plum is horrified, but Orchid is determined that they work together, beat White and Green, and survive.

Inside the house, Upton has his doubts about Orchid's insistence that the two will survive, even if he admires their spirit. As he notes to the reader, issue 3 of Clue is the first to not contain the deaths of any of the characters... indeed, it is the opposite: on the floor of the library, the supposedly-dead Mr. Boddy gets up! Having been drugged with prattotoxin to make himself seem dead, Boddy asks his faithful butler how "the plan" is coming along; and, on discovering that not all the guests still live, a grin spreads across his face...

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Suspects Detectives Others


"Stop! Stop this comic right now! We're introducing flashbacks? In issue three? Carlos?!"
"Oh... you again. Flashbacks are a pretty common convention in the murder-mystery genre. And it fits with the general aesthetic we've —"

Upton and Carlos Guzman disagree on how the comic should be written

""Senator White and her cronies are already pushing to deregulate. With the government's researchers out of the way, the private market can wrest full control of every miracle drug they extract. Anti-aging, cellular regeneration, weight loss, and one heck of a powerful boner pill — all in the control of people like Mr. Green.""

Dr. Orchid

"Prattotoxin is one hell of a drug. So, Upton? How's the plan coming along? Is everyone still alive?"
"Hardly, sir."
"Hmm. Good."

Mr. A. Boddy is revived by Upton


Suspect tracker[edit]

  • Shocking twist! Mr. Boddy wasn't dead after all! Presumably, this means that Mrs. Peacock wasn't feigning ignorance when she didn't know how the gun got into her purse; still, Boddy doesn't appear to have been responsible for her murder or Ochre's, even if he does look happy to hear about them.
  • Professor Plum has assumed that Dr. Orchid is Mrs. Peacock's murderer, but even if she is, she's not admitting to it.
  • Senator White and Mr. Green have a definite interest in the Surobi zinnia, but were apparently unaware of it prior to this, so it's unlikely to have motivated any murders. Miss Scarlett seems unaware of its significance, and Colonel Mustard has a history with it, and was already aware of its presence prior to this issue...

Real life references[edit]

  • While trying to remember Upton's name, Detective Amarillo calls him "Jeeves".
  • Trying to remember which amendment to the U.S. Constitution stops Amarillo from keeping him in his room, Mr. Green names the third, twelfth, nineteenth and sixth amendments; he's presumably talking about the 8th, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. Green also shouts "Attica! Attica!", a chant taken from the film Dog Day Afternoon and referring to the Attica Prison riot.
  • We get to see a little more of Carlos Guzman's office, seeing that it also contains a Bumblebee toy and a pen-topper based on the IDW Cobra Commander's helmet, as well as a lampshade with an image of Cobra Commander's design from 2016's G.I. Joe: Deviations, an IDW comic also written by Allor and edited by Guzman. (It's not entirely accurate, though—it's mirrored horizontally from the Deviations design, and swaps the triple-eye to the hooded side of the face.)

Covers (3)[edit]

  • Cover A: Was it Miss Scarlett with the revolver? Colonel Mustard with the rope? Mr. Green with the wrench? Dr. Orchid with the lead pipe? By Brent Schoonover
  • Cover B: Senator White and Colonel Mustard, by Nelson Dániel
  • Cover A: Cute 'n' chibified versions of our cast struggling over a knife, by Agnes Garbowska