Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chew #42 Review (John Layman, Rob Guillory)

The bizarre repetition of the last issue hasn’t gone away in Chew #42 which opens with a scene identical to the cover of Chew #31. This time around, someone’s murdered a seal called Sammi and Tony’s sent out alone to investigate. Where’s John? He’s secretly getting married to Applebee! Last issue it was Tony and Amelia getting hitched - is everyone getting married in this series?!

It is quite funny though how nightmarishly ugly Applebee’s family are – they all look like Applebee - so well done, Rob Guillory! Guillory’s art though is always good and the whole issue looks terrific.

But yet another double page Poyo spread further underlines how John Layman’s repeating himself now, as if he’s run out of ideas. Normally this kind of crap would signal the imminent end of a series but Chew has plenty of unresolved plot threads – the sky fire writing, the gallsaberries, the Cult of the Ova, the vampire nemesis – so I don’t know why he’s not pursuing those. In this issue and the last he’s treading water, getting the characters hitched for no reason – really, John and Applebee? Where did that come from? John never seemed like the type to settle down, so the whole thing feels contrived.

On the plus side, the creators provide an update on the Chew animated series with Steven Yuen (Glenn from The Walking Dead TV show) being cast as Tony Chu! I can’t wait to see that show, it’s gonna be so good!

This Chew arc, Chicken Tenders, feels like the low point in the series so far - it’s certainly the least interesting. Maybe Layman will turn it around in the next couple issues because there’s no reason why Chew shouldn’t be better than ever with so much rich material to mine, but Chew #42 is like getting reheated leftovers that went stale a week ago.

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