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Unbelievably original and downright weird, CHEW #19 (Image
Comics) is a terrific perfect blend of horror, sci-fi and crime. A distress
signal from outer space is causing major problems on Earth. While the entire
world is obsessed with the fiery message in the sky, a flesh-eating detective
digs deeper to the truth. The journey leads the cannibal sleuth directly to a
vicious killer lurking at Area 51, where the UFOs landed! Readers should note
the story leaps back in time from issue #27 and takes place after issue #18.
Outside of work, life just seems to be going pretty well for
FDA agent Tony Chu. For a cannibal, his relationship with food reporter, Amelia
Mintz, is going rather extremely well. But at the job, his superior wants Tony
fired and reassigned to another department. To keep his job, Tony reluctantly
accepts being teamed up with his sister, Toni, as his partner.
Tony and Toni have the rare and special ability of sensing
psychic thoughts from the food they eat. To solve crime, Tony takes his gift a
step further and eats the flesh of dead bodies to hear the victim’s thoughts.
When they arrive at Area 51, they stumble upon a corpse inside a crashed
spacecraft. Tony hesitates before taking a bite into an extraterrestrial, who
may hold an important clue.
The two cannibal detectives discover a grand-scale
assassination plot is about to happen. Scientists at Area 51 have been secretly
crafting a bullet built from meteorites. The next targets on their hit list are
the President of the U.S. and the Queen of England. Tony and Toni have to stop
the shooter before one of the meteorite bullets ends up in their brother’s
As the author and letterer, John Layman (GODZILLA: GANGSTERS
AND GOLIATHS) keeps the plot moving with his witty dialogue. The sibling
rivalry between Tony and Toni is always hilarious and constantly unpredictable.
While Tony is bitterly cynical and uncomfortably reserved, Toni is joyfully
outgoing and annoyingly perky. Toni actually shows her mean streak during the
climatic conclusion, which even shocks her brother.
The art and colors by Rob Guillory brings out an energetic
and cartoony vibe to the pages. The interiors of Area 51 are just creepy and
funny at the same time. In the labs, nurses are taking care and feeding the
alien/human babies. As Toni and Tony walk across the hallways, there is a
lineup of wrecked alien spaceships, as if none of them have ever landed safely
on Earth. Pay close attention to the design of the dead alien, who has been
operated on and stitched up afterward.
Definitely a must-have, CHEW #19 is a bizarre and twisted
police procedural starring two cannibal kin. Even if you aren’t an avid
follower, this issue is very easy to catch up. With one single read from this
comic, you will automatically become a fan! Well-deserving of its praise and
achievements, CHEW is nominated for Best Writer, Best Penciler/Inker and Best
Continuing Series for the 2011 Will Eisner Awards. Grab this issue and see why
comic book followers can’t stop talking about this weird series.
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