The weird, wonderful world of Chew returns with Chu! Meet Tony Chu's sister Saffron, who plays on the opposite side of the law than her cop brother!
Saffron is a cibopar, which means she can eat replicas of buildings and know everything there is to know about them - access points, layouts, the whole nine yards. This makes her an exceptional thief. Saffron is working with a crew with similar talent assembled by Mr. Boss to rob the biggest other mob boss in the city!
But as with all great capers, things start going disastrously wrong from the start...
Things get worse, and the next day, the cops are brought in to investigate. And that sets up the most epic food-based sibling rivalry of all time!
There’s nothing to not love about John Layman and Rob Guillory’s Chew. It was hilarious, original, and a fully-realized world where the FDA was the most feared federal agency in the land, and its lead, Tony Chu, was a cibopath who could know everything about anything he ate – where it was grown, what chemicals or fertilizers were used on it, etc. This didn’t just apply to food, which resulted in Tony having to eat… well, a lot of nasty things. Like parts of dead people. Poop. Blood. And so forth.
And when the journey was over, it was over, with a satisfactory ending that tied everything up neatly. A quasi-sequel of sorts of recently published in the wonderfully preposterous Outer Darkness/Chew (which, incidentally, served as a surprise non-conclusion to the now-cancelled former series, which was brilliant and is sorely missed), but to say that anyone was expecting Chu might be a bit of an overstatement.
But never let it be said that Layman isn’t willing to pull a surprise for his fans. Chu comes out of nowhere with little to no fanfare and drops readers head-first back into this world, and with pacing so brisk you’d better pay attention or get left in the dust. Layman doesn’t waste precious pages on exposition, providing just enough morsels to give readers the basic information and then whoosh, he’s off to the races.
Crime boss Mr… er, Boss has assembled a crew of cibopars to rip off his competitor, and one of them is Saffron Chu, sister of Tony. The gig is simple enough, and is really the one place this issue stumbles – fortunately, the job goes sideways fast enough that it doesn’t really register. From there, the real conflict is set in motion, as Tony Chu is set on the trail of his own sister.
Saffron is pretty likeable, honestly, and couldn’t be more different than her older brother. Whereas Tony is uptight and prone to stress, Saffron is lightweight and bubbly. She doesn’t really come across like a master criminal by any means, more like an opportunist. She has a skill, and isn’t above using it to her advantage. Chu isn’t interested in Saffron’s rehabilitation. It’s about her being not necessarily a dark reflection of her brother, but rather an opposite side of the same coin.
Replacing original Chew artist and co-creator Rob Guillory couldn’t be an easy task, but fortunately, Dan Boultwood is up to it. He’s reminiscent of Guillory, but with a dash of Michael Avon Oeming that makes his style his own. His style is loose, loopy, and an utter delight to look at. Every page pops, each a rapturous celebration to this return to John Layman’s original world. But even though this is a return, it doesn’t feel like Layman is milking his creation. Instead, this is an expansion. Move over, Chew. It’s Chu‘s time now.
Chu #1 (Layman, Boultwood) is an awesome return to the world of Chew! Meet Saffron, Tony Chu's little sister - she's a criminal. He's a cop. Collision course? You bet! Don't sleep on this one!
Chu #1: A Taste of the High Life
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 8.5/108.5/10
- Color - 8.5/108.5/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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