It’s so hard to believe that we are at the closing issues for Chew. Less than 10 to go and it’s one of the very few comics I can say in the past 7 years I have made sure that I picked up each issue. Regardless of what other big event was out such as when Flashpoint was changing the DC Universe or Infinity was going to be the “Star Wars” of Marvel until Star Wars actually came back, Chew was still my book that I picked up before everything else.
When readers who wanted a recommendation asked me for a book, Chew has always been one of my top five books that I would mention and when asked what’s so great about Chew, this is what I would tell them.
It’s a super powered comic without capes..but there are secret bases
This goes without saying as some comic readers still expect to pick up a comic and see Superman or Captain America soar off their pages. Some readers still want a comic where Doctor Doom is about to destroy the world. If that is what you need without being drowned in the years and years of history, Chew is your book. What has been really great about this book is that, John Layman along with Rob Guillory providing the art, has introduced a good amount of characters to the book as well as powers all of which are centered on food. It’s already enough that we start with Tony Chiu a cibopath, who can taste something and tell you exactly where it came from, thus as an agent of the FDA, he uses his ability to solve crimes…in some pretty gross ways. As time goes on we are introduced to other food powers such as Saboscrivnery, giving one the ability to write about food so well that people reading it can taste it and so many others. Also in this universe, chicken has killed millions and thus banned from consumption. There is bizarre sky writing, vampires, secret islands, chogs and so many other diverse dynamics which makes up this universe. This has been the most fun aspect of the book is that it never lacks in imagination, because just when one thinks this book can’t get any crazier, there is always a twist.
Nearly every issue is a fun read
It’s a fact that more than a few times, I have had to avoid reading this book on the train to and from work. Simply because there have been some issues that have been laugh out loud funny. The first time was Amelia’s introduction, combined with the fact that her introduction came at a point that people were getting ill on a bus due to her power set. If that hasn’t been enough, Rob’s art and the visual gags he scatters through the book in many cases causes me to give Chew a second read just for his visual cues. Rob’s art all throughout has been very distinctive and translates very well with John’s writing. When the artist and the writer mesh very well on a comic in the way that these guys do, it will make readers stick around. You just don’t get a lot of that in comics anymore. I have always felt especially after meeting them that when they come together, they have a solid idea of the world that they are creating, they do it and do so in a well-executed manner. I have seen that over the last few years, this book wasn’t just about ‘gross out’ humor or purely slapstick comedy, John and Rob have built a world where you will feel for characters along with having lots of laughs but as the foundations got more solid, there were many turns in which readers knew things were going to get real. Sometimes it got pretty dark and many times if characters survived, they came out the other end, changed from the experience.
This story has heart
As this book has gone on, we have gotten time to see characters introduced and fleshed out. We are introduced to Tony Chiu’s family and most importantly his sister and his daughter. In the time period since they were introduced, I enjoyed the dynamic between the three because as much as their relationship was disjointed in many ways, they also realize that they needed each other to stop the greater evils that threatened their way of life. We learn that even though Tony and his daughter have a strained relationship, he will do whatever it takes to protect Olive. Olive on the other hand while seemingly pushing her father away admires him and does her best to prove to him that not only can she take care of herself but wants to show him that she is just as strong f not stronger than he. As stated above, nearly every issue has been fun. There have been some heartbreaking issues and there have been a few cliffhangers that leave you saying WTF? Chew has been one of those comics that have had a Game of Thrones factor making readers realize that not every character is safe. There have been moments which were impactful and John took the time to address some of those moments that either leave us in thought or in some cases, in laughter. Regardless, it has been amazing watching the dynamics between all of the characters in this book over the years seeing how some came closer together and others drift apart.
A bionic secret agent chicken, who kicks ass, take names and eventually takes over Hell.
In summary, Chew has been one of the few consistent comics that I have read in the last six years. I have enjoyed the humor, the cast of characters and the crazy plot of the FDA being the de facto agency protecting us from ourselves and the chicken we eat ( oh, did I tell you that chicken is tainted in this universe? Sounds like you need to get the first volume and read pronto!). Chew has delivered to us a story that while fun, can take so many turns when introducing diverse characters and new powers. This is a book that, mostly anyone could get into because, I believe there is something here from everyone and while the humor is tongue in cheek, the character dynamics has been solid.
Once we hit number 60, I think it will be hard to replace this book. Again, there haven’t been many books around that have had this level of consistency that has kept me on board. If you are a new reader or need a break from Marvel and DC offerings, Chew would be a good book to get into. It’s funny, endearing, it will even troll you at times and…dammit…POYO!