John Layman and Dan Boultwood are back with another issue of the Better Call Saul to Chew's Breaking Bad: the wildly entertaining Chu. Chu #3 picks up after the genuinely worrisome cliffhanger of the previous issue, resolving it in an appropriately bloody fashion.
Chu #3 continues this series streak of getting better with each issue. The debut was good, but it felt more like an appetizer, packed with set-up and teases but little in the way of story that made Saffron Chu feel like the driving force of this series the way Tony Chu was of Chew. Then, with the excellent second issue, Saffron stepped up to the plate as a funny, interesting, dynamic character that readers could invest in. That takes us into the third issue, which sees Saffron's efforts to survive the fallout of her actions take a dark turn. With narration that borders on tongue-in-cheek, feeling part Goodfellas and part Lemony Snicket, Layman is as captivating as ever in Chu.
Boultwood's art shines here in every way. The weird, unique body shapes (Saffron is Pixar Mom-Esque, Eddie looks like a caricature artist's most insulting depiction of a man, Mr. Murder is shaped as if the very idea of murder itself became a person, and Ong Chu looks, incredibly, like a real old person and like a creature from the Australian outback) are especially unique. The expressions on Saffron, Sage, and the other characters' faces tell the story as much as the script. Boultwood's work is incredibly alive here, capturing a sense of real motion in these still images to amazing effect. From little details like Sage's posture when she's running into "Grampy's" room, to the way people get shot, to the drool that hangs mid-drop from Ong's bottom jaw, this feels less like still images and more like animation that we're somehow supposed to believe is a comic book made of static images. It's truly remarkable, and any fan of the medium should be reading Chu to see what Boultwood is doing here.