Comic: "Chew #1"
Published by: Image Comics
Written by: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Plot: Chew is set in an alternate future Earth. All forms of poultry have been outlawed by the Government out of fear of spreading bird flu that has already killed millions. Officer Tony Chu is a Police Officer with the vice division, his particular division is in charge of cracking down on black market chicken restaurants. The twist is Tony is a cibopathic, meaning anything he eats he gets a psychic impression from. What this means is that if he bites a fruit he knows where it was grown, when it was harvested, and what pesticides were used on it. Naturally this ability makes him shy away from meat. Tony through several events ends up working for the F.D.A trying to find out who is trafficking chicken.
Review: Chew was introduced to me in an odd way, It was a flip side to issue 63 of the walking dead. Upon reading I was blown away, Chew is what I would consider a top notch comic. It has excellent art, a wonderful story, and colorful Characters.
Chew #1 opens explaining some of the main characters back story. Tony Chu is a vice cop for the Philly P.D. Tony Chu is a Cibopath meaning upon eating anything he gets psychic impressions from what ever he ingests. Chew begins with Tony and his partner staking out a "speakeasy" chicken restaurant. Tony's main job is cracking down on illegal chicken restaraunts. Tony and his partner are ready to crackdown on the restaurant when they are stopped by an F.D.A agent. The restaurant is run by a F.D.A informant. Instead they are enticed to go inside and enjoy some nice illegal chicken soup. Unfortunately through some twists all is not as it seems in the restaurant. I won't ruin the twists mainly because this book is worth picking up.
The art in one word is awesome. Every issue of Chew is in full color from cover to cover. Rob Guillory has a very unique art style which lends itself very well to the comic. Everything from simple background to each character has its own charm. More importantly Guillory is not afraid to stray from gore, chew is chock full of disgusting visuals, from something as simple as eating a piece of meat to killing some one it is very detailed. His characters are also unique and full of charisma.
Chew is not lacking in story either. Layman has crafted a unique reading experience filled with many twists and turns. Chew on the surface appears to be another predictable cop comic, however every time you think you have the comic figured out Layman throws another twist into the mix. All of the characters in Chew are diverse ranging from grounded somber characters to those characters that over the top. It is also very easy to relate to the characters in Chew. Tony is sort of an everyman, it is easy to relate to his bumbling through his career. Story wise chew is really well paced, never getting ahead of itself. One of the refreshing things about the series is its ability to make you laugh when you least expect it. Somber moments are often interlaced with well written jokes.
Chew is far from a perfect series, it has its share of flaws (mostly in issue #4). Where it makes up for its flaws is in its dynamic engrossing story arcs. Since Chew is an ongoing series I highly advise getting the trade paper back that is now out.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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