“CHEW” #27 (Comic Book Review)

Posted by & filed under .

Published at Fangoria.com on May 15th, 2011

Highly recommended, CHEW #27 (Image Comics) is an unbelievably original blend of horror, crime fiction and police procedural. In an unexpected twist, the flesh-eating detective has suddenly been wounded during his last battle. As the cannibal lies in his hospital bed, his vital signs may not look so promising. Go along for the ride as creator John Layman takes comic book fans into a new and fresh direction with this latest edition.

Toni, the sister of Tony Chu, has the same psychic abilities of a Cibopath. Due to their rare talents, these siblings can psychically hear the thoughts of the food they eat. Just imagine Toni eating the flesh of a corpse, like a zombie, in order to solve a whodunit mystery. Now that her brother is missing in action for the Food and Drug Administration, someone else in the family has to take his place.

After being mortally wounded, Tony ends up on the operating table. His sister visits him every day at the hospital, waiting for his wounds to magically heal by themselves. Tony struggles to wake up, as if he has something important to say, but can only mutter a few incoherent sentences. While he is being cared for, Toni unexpectedly takes his job as an FDA agent.

With a new case and another partner, Toni surprisingly uncovers how deep the corruption is inside the FDA. Without even realizing the truth, she may be slightly connected to Tony’s nemesis, Mason Savoy. Though unable to figure out her place in Mason’s grand scheme, Toni believes she is protecting her brother. But these siblings are being slowly set up for a deadly trap.

As the author and letterer, Layman knows how to keep the witty dialogue fully engaging. Readers will find it interesting to see the sister in Tony’s environment and find her doing the work better than he does. The major difference between them is how Toni can get along with her FDA superiors. Over-the-top, perky and unrestrained, Toni isn’t afraid to take action and start biting the necks of suspects. She actually ends up creating more problems than solving them.  

The art and colors by Rob Guillory add a whole new level of vibrant energy. In order to create a completely hyper character, Toni’s facial expressions are very cartoon-like and exaggerated. With so many dialogue balloons in one panel, she just won’t stop talking! In the opening pages, there is a laugh-out loud scenario, which involves licking psychedelic frogs. The rainbow-induced and hallucinatory imagery is just hilarious to look at!

Ending on a shocking cliffhanger, CHEW #27 will definitely get readers hooked into this series. The issue is surprisingly easy to follow, becoming a perfect jumping point for new fans. This comic book is absolutely worth cheering about and deserves a lot of attention. Not surprising, CHEW is nominated for Best Writer, Best Penciler/Inker and Best Continuing Series for the 2011 Will Eisner Awards. Check out why comic book fans are talking about this weird series with CHEW #27.