Chew Vol. 1: Taster’s Choice

December 10, 2009 | Trades

Chew Vol. 1: Taster’s Choice
John Layman, Rob Guillory
Image Comics
$9.99 US (Paperback)
**** ½ (out of five)

Tony Chu lives in a world where chowing down on a plate of Buffalo-style wings or a bucket of the Colonel’s extra crispy can land you in the slammer.

Of course since Tony is a cibopath, a person who gets psychic visions of the life — and death — of anything he eats, from an apple to a cow, he’s happier with a can of beets than with anything that might have once walked around a barnyard.

As a Philadelphia cop, Tony’s job is to help crack down on the illegal trade in poultry, which was banned after 23 million Americans died from bird flu. But when his unique talents help him in the shocking takedown of a serial killer (after he accidentally gets a taste of the murderer’s blood), Tony finds himself with a new gig — as an agent with the special crimes division of the most powerful government agency around: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Now, alongside partner and fellow cibopath, Mason Savoy, Tony is munching his way through cold cases and warm crime scenes (and the occasional dead pooch) with such success that he’s racked up a $5 million price on his head. His new job also helps him cross paths with Amelia, the woman of his dreams — an almost uncomfortably eloquent restaurant critic.

Unfortunately, Tony’s newfound luck all turns quickly after he makes a startling discovery of a crime that will rock the FDA to its core and could cost him a heavy price.

This breakthrough book, by creative and clever writer John Layman (Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness) and impressive newcomer artist Rob Guillory, is audacious and affecting. Chew will probably make you laugh, is likely to make you feel queasy and is sure to make you want to come back for seconds.

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