Review-Chew #21

F.D.A. Special Agent Tony Chu has survived Russian Vampires, dirty FDA agents, vengeful chicken sellers, bizarre alien writing in the sky, and a prize fighting chicken. So what is next for this “special” agent? If you guessed traffic cop, you cheated.

Previously in Chew

Tony Chu is cibopathic. This beauty of this psychic power is it allows Tony the ability to eat anything and know its entire history. Bite into an apple and he knows what tree it grew on and what pesticides where sprayed on it. Lately Tony has been using his power for the FDA to solve murders and other heinous crime in the post-Bird flu world Chew is set in.

The last time we saw Tony the strange, flaming writing in the sky had disappeared and he and his partner just stole the sacred text to The Church of the divinity of the Immaculate Ova.  In the final pages of the issue, agent-gone-bad Mason Savoy kidnapped Chu’s daughter taking her for her speculative abilities.

Grab Your Segway

The first four panels to begin this new Chew arch, Major League Chew, show a rarely seen jolly Director Applebee. On the fifth panel we understand why. Applebee gets to finally do what he was wanted to since the beginning of Chew. Fire Tony Chu. More accurately transfer him, but the bitter Director sees no difference. Instead of working for the government agency with the most power in the country, Tony is now a kilt wearing, Segway riding traffic cop. No longer will he eat human flesh in the name of justice, but instead write tickets to punk kids parked in front of a hydrant.

This is until Tony comes up on a freshly finished bank robbery. Cue the cibopathic induced flashbacks! Dipping his fingers into a fresh pool of victim blood, the images of the livestock masked robbers firing upon pedestrians, flashes into his head. When Tony tastes the residue car oil left from the get away car he now knows the hideout for the bank robbers. After tazzing his way into the car shop, followed by repelling SWAT agents, Tony is heralded a hero down at the Traffic HQ.

Coming back home to his girlfriend, who also posses a food related psychic ability, he confesses that he can’t believe how well his first day went and that he might actually like this job. This looks to be short lived though as we are left with the image of Tony’s body being used to improve the games of a few local duffers.

Like a Glove

Rob Guillory was born to do the art for Chew. His ability to inject even more humor into this story is amazing. Characters are drawn in a comical way but never so much that the reader can’t connect to them on an emotional level. My favorite parts of Guillory’s style are all the jokes and references he hides away inside the panels. A note stating “We Need More Cowbell” and beer by the name of “Layman’s Hooch”, referencing Chew’s writer John Layman, are two of the hidden gems inside Chew #21.

Do Yourself the Favor…

And go buy this issue now! Chew #21 is a great continuation for the reader who has followed the story from the beginning. It is also a great place for the new person to jump on, however it will make you want to go buy the previous trades. Layman and Guillory continue their story telling success that has earned them Eisner awards previously, and I’m already looking forward to seeing what they have Agent Chu eat next month.

5/5

Review-Teen Titans #1

I had no intentions to pick this book when I arrived to buy my comics this week. The only interactions with “Teen Titans” are the unread copy of the Judas Contract on my bookshelf and a conversation from Major Spoilers Podcast #344. But gee willikers am I happy I grabbed this issue!

Teenagers with Attitude

The story starts with news coverage of a mansion fire being contained by the local fire department. The broadcast is soon interrupted by a new teenage hero in town with the name of Kid Flash. Kid Flash is eager to show his apparent online fan base exactly what he is capable of, but falls quite short. While trying to save a man off the roof, Kid Flash carelessly causes a back draft that erupts the entire house and sends our young, unconscious hero flying off into a patch of grass.

The ending news coverage of the fire takes us into a penthouse with Tim Drake, aka Red Robin, scanning multiple news reports of teenage meta-humans appearing all over the world. While Drake is caught reminiscing about his time as the sidekick for Batman, in come members, and possible leader, for our new organization of baddies titled N.O.W.H.E.R.E. During the dialogue between Drake and the no-named leader we learn that it is N.O.W.H.E.R.E’s goal to snatch up these teenaged superheroes for an unknown reason. Drake evades his capture by starting the timer on the bomb he has rigged inside of his own apartment and gliding away.

We begin the third act by being introduced to Cassie Sandsmark.  This lovely girl’s trouble starts when she is pulled over by a cop, who is actually an agent of N.O.W.H.E.R.E., for stealing the sports car she is driving. Luckily, Red Robin also has his eyes on her for a much different reason. After dispatching the cop, Tim tells Cassie that he knows she is Wonder Girl and is trying to get her to admit. Finally, in the midst of bullet fire, and possibly just from being pissed at Drake, we see Cassie turn on her Wonder Girl powers and take out the attacking helicopter.

On the last two pages of the issues we get our inevitable cliffhanger. The leader of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is talking to one of the scientists about his desire to use their secret project. The boss declares that based on what happened today it is now time to release…the Superboy!

Somebody get me a frame!

Flipping to fist page and seeing the wall mounting worthy art is what made me walk out the store with this in hand. Brett Booth draws the reader in with the emotion that he puts on the characters faces. He also gives life like I have never seen to the fire at the start and the energy Wonder Girl puts out towards the end. Bottom line is I would keep reading this title as long as Booth kept drawing it.

Final Thoughts

I loved this issue! Everything from the characterization to the art struck a chord in my heart that I want plunked month after month. The only worry I have is the possibility of other books tying into Teen Titans. From reading the review at MajorSpoilers.com it seems that there are some definite similarities between this and Superboy #1, so we will have to see if these titles cross paths in the future. But with all that said, I put my stamp of approval on Teen Titans #1 and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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