Chu #3 Review: An Enjoyable If Tonally Rough Light Tragedy

With equal parts Criminal and the vibe from HBO's Run, this issue cranks up the stakes for its ne'er-do-well protagonist Saffron Chu while doubling down on the bloodshed. If you're a little squeamish, this issue's gore-heavy panels might be a bit much for you.

Chu #3 Review: An Enjoyable If Tonally Rough Light Tragedy
The cover of Chu #3. Credit: Image Comics
The gag is this: Saffron has a boyfriend named Eddie Molay who is literally nothing but trouble. If you ever played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, you'll see some problematic parallels with Lance Vance as a catalyst for plot developments and an annoyance constantly causing needless risk for the protagonist. Molay is, literally, the source of every problem here but Saffron has an equal share of responsibility because she goes along with it.
Saffron is an odd factor in her largely super powered family as a clearly criminal mind with great moral flexibility. This gives her a kind of Doctor Aphra-vibe as she stumbles through the mayhem and malfeasance which is comedic in its presentation, despite the clearly noirish elements herein.
John Layman maintains the tone of the prequel/sequel series Chew with his scripting here, maintaining a snappy pacing and equally snappy wordplay. Dan Boultwood's artwork brilliantly captures the mischief in the mind of Saffron, the suspicion of her brother Tony and the hapless frustration of twin sister Sage.

This is a little goofier than your average crime comic and nowhere near as imaginative as its predecessor series (despite that series being set at a later point on a shared timeline), and that cognitive dissonance can be challenging in some ways. Still, Chu #3 is an enjoyable if tonally unusual light tragedy. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Chu #3

By John Layman, Dan Boultwood
'THE FIRST COURSE,' Part Three Massacre at the old folks' home! If you love elder abuse, this comic is for you!

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About Hannibal Tabu

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. Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.
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