Chew 2: International Flavor

chew volume 2 international flavor cover trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Zany and kooky

Don't always love zany and kooky

Comic Info

Comic Name: Chew

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: John Layman

Artist:  Rob Guillory

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2010

chew #8 cover poyo

Chew #8

Reprints Chew #6-10 (November 2009-April 2010).  Tony Chu has just been reassigned to John Colby at the FDA, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to continue to do his own thing.  When he discovers a strange fruit posing as chicken from the island of Yamapalu, Chu is off to the Pacific to investigate its origin.  On Yamaplu, Chu discovers that something is stalking the people of Yamapalu and that the kidnapping of high-profile chefs including his brother could be for nefarious purposes…Chu is on the case!

Written by John Layman, Chew Volume 2:  International Flavor is an Image Comic book collection.  Following Chew Volume 1:  Taster’s Choice, the volume features art by Rob Guillory, and the issues were also collected as part of Chew Omnivore—Volume 1 and Chew Smorgasbord—Volume 1.

The first volume of Chew wasn’t bad, but it also didn’t wow me.  It had its moments and was kind of fun, but I had a hard time seeing where the story could go for longevity.  Chew 2:  International Flavor starts to form a bigger picture which is what the series needed.

The collection really starts branching out and developing characters.  Chu’s brother Chow, Amelia, Colby, Applebee, and the mysterious cadre of food villains start to build.  There are a lot of divergent storylines in this collection, and it sets up future stories.  I have hope for some of the food cabals being built, but I’m still a bit wary.

chew #10 cover

Chew #10

Chew suffers because it often gets a bit too clever.  It sometimes feels like the story would best be served by not stylizing as much and adding so many wacky characters all the time.  While many I’m sure love this, I think it almost feels like it is trying too hard at points.  I admire the comic’s ingenuity, but I do want a bit more substance from future volumes.

Much like Chu, the series keeps adding different abilities to people which almost feels like it makes Chu less special and the fact he found Amelia not as surprising.  You have a guy who learns things from drinking blood and a guy who can tell stories through his food.  If everything is possible, it takes away from Chu’s unique skillset.

Chew still to me feels like and acquired taste (pun intended).  I don’t love it and I don’t hate it, but I understand why some people do.  It is a series of extremes and kookiness and that isn’t always my bag.  A contrast to this would be something like Mike Allred and Peter Milligan’s X-Force which has a similar tone, but a story that remains compelling throughout the telling…but perhaps I’ll like future volumes of Chew better.  Chew 2:  International Flavor is followed by Chew 3:  Just Desserts.

Preceded By:

Chew Volume 1:  Taster’s Choice

Followed By:

Chew Volume 3:  Just Desserts

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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