Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Release Date: 28th October, 2015
Where to begin with this one? I should probably prefix this review with the stereotypical cliché that I’m a huge fan of the series and have been with it from the start. Normally I hate saying that type of thing, but this time it felt justified.
The overall tone of the series has been shifting recently from smart humour and emotionally charged moments to cheap jokes and an almost George R. R. Martin approach to characters (“Kill ’em all!). Well, issue #51 may have been the one that finally broke it for me.
As a writer, I’ve always respected John Layman for the approach he has taken with Chew, with a light-hearted sense of humour interspersed with genuine character development that put it above and beyond most other books on the market; a doubly impressive achievement for a series that could have otherwise been labelled unfairly as another “novelty book”. Unfortunately, the ‘flash-forwards’ which were normally used sparingly in the series to break the story up and add a quick laugh have now reached Family Guy levels of saturation, featuring just as (seemingly) random subject matter.
Okay, I’m not going to continue to assassinate every aspect of the book I didn’t like, it’s just unfair and, frankly, unhelpful.
On the plus side, there were a couple of nice touches in the background, like I’m pretty sure I saw Robert Kirkman back there, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Olive kicking butt. Guillory continues to work wonders on the art of the book with the latest chicken hybrid being the stuff of nightmares, and who knows, maybe the Easter Platypus will catch on?
All I will say is that I hope this was just a one off. There has been a break between this and the last Issue to allow the creative team to catch up, and hopefully this was just another way of treading water, because it sure felt that way.
This was not an easy review to write, and no offence was meant by it. I can only hope this was a minor blip in an otherwise superb series.