Writer John Layman was able to spin a multi-year story of adventure, betrayal, redemption, and justice from the idea of a man who could get psychic impressions from things he ate, detective Tony Chu. Now, Layman has recruited new collaborator Dan Boultwood to return to the well while flipping the coin over, taking a look at Saffron Chu, Tony's sister who can learn secrets from people she eats with … and is a criminal.
The Chu family is populated by interesting people. Another sibling can see the future, based on what she eats. Yet another can get visions of someone who ate exactly what she ate. Throughout the previous series, a larger and more ridiculous set of food-based superpowers emerged, fleshing out a world of impossible things happening that still followed a set and savvy narrative. This issue does not deviate, starting off with a heist that takes a turn and ends up in a showdown of sorts.
Dan Boultwood handles pencils, inks, and colors here, and his style has more of an animated series feel while still maintaining some of the exaggerated "flavor" (if you'll pardon the pun) of Rob Guillory's work. The clean lines and sharp contrasts make every image look like it's ready to play out on your screen, and that's a great bit of work.
Likewise, Layman's command of this playful, enjoyable script had maybe only one deficit as it showed the seamy underbelly of the world his work already developed so well. Okay, the "urp" part could have been a little more clearly developed.
Do you need to read Chew to have an understanding of Chew? Not necessarily, but there's no denying that it will help — for example, what happens with Mr. Baker and Mr. Cooke is less obvious if you don't already have a grounding in the idea of food-based information sharing or energy manipulation.
If you liked Chew this will likely whet your whistle as well, and it's a well crafted, enjoyable issue that leaves it all on the field … er, plate. RATING: BUY.
By John Layman, Dan Boultwood
'THE FIRST COURSE,' Part One-TONY CHU is a cibopath, able to get psychic impressions from what he eats. SAFFRON CHU is a cibopars, able to learn secrets from who she eats with. Tony is a cop. Saffron is a criminal. They are brother and sister, and they are on a collision course. Spinning out of the multiple Eisner Award-winning and New York Times bestselling series CHEW comes CHU, a felonious new food noir about cops, crooks, cooks, and clairvoyants.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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