Thanks to Image comics for giving this away free in the most recent issue of Walking Dead. I guess this is getting some sort of crazy buzz as the next big thing, but I dunno, it just isn't my cup of tea. I like John Layman's story well enough, although I question some fundamental things in the story. The premiere issue sets us up with an interesting status quo; the FDA polices the country to make sure that no one is purchasing and eating any poultry due to bird flu fears. There is now a thriving illegal industry of restaurants and chefs that specialize in supplying and preparing chicken and other fowl. It it an interesting sci-fi idea, but it seems like a bit of a tacked on bit when the core concept is so unreleated. Our protagonist is Tony Chu (a bit on the nose, isn't it?) a cibopath, that is, he experiences the memories of whatever creature he eats (except beets). Chu happens onto the trail of a serial killer, and after eating part of the villain, Chu is able to find all the bodies and close out the case. The problem is that his colleagues don't know what to make of the fact that he was eating someone in an alley. In steps the FDA, who want to make Chu into a new agent. No doubt the FDA is well aware of cibopaths. What confuses me is that the cibopath thing is one bit of suspension of disbelief and the alternate future is another. So instead of one new concept to wrap out heads around, we have an alternate Earth AND a new concept/power. Chu seems like a decent new character, but I'm just not quite sold on the setting at this point.
Rob Guillory's art is fine, if a bit cartoony. I think that is really the only way to go with such a gruesome core concept. For me, I'm just not sure I'm up to read a comic about a cannibal every month. It's just a tad too gross for me. I can handle Walking Dead since those are monsters, but the whole idea behind Chew makes me a bit sick. I know, I know, I'm a wimp with inconsistent rules, but what can I say?