Chew 4: Flambé

chew volume 4 flambe cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Fun art, potential

Feels like all the pieces of the story have yet to come together

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Chew

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  John Layman

Artist:  Rob Guillory

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2011

chew #16 cover chicken flambe

Chew #16

Reprints Chew #16-20 (December 2010-August 2011).  As strange un-translatable words encircle the planet, Tony Chu finds work at the FDA is getting even harder.  Tony and his partner Colby are being put through the ringer by the boss Applebee who seems to want them dead, and the explosion of a research station orbiting the Earth could have earthly ties in addition to ties to the words.  Tony is digging deep for clues…but the danger could be coming home.

Written by John Layman, Chew Volume 4:  Flambé is an Image Comics detective comedy comic book collection.  Following Chew Volume 3:  Just Desserts, the series features art by Rob Guillory.  Issues in this collection were also featured in the Chew Omnivore Edition—Volume 2 and the Chew Smorgasbord Edition—Volume 1.

I keep wanting to like Chew more.  It isn’t a bad series and some of the humor is fun and spot on…but I am continuingly struggling with getting into Chew.  I can read a volume of Chew and put it down for months…this volume doesn’t do much to change that.

This entry feels a little less plot driven and more like a bunch of one-offs.  This isn’t really the case since the whole plot revolves around the words in the sky and aspects of previous volumes work their way into this volume.  This volume doesn’t seem to hold a central mystery or villain to rally around or rally against.  While the reason and the purpose to the words in the sky provide a mystery, it is a mystery that goes unsolved.

chew #19 cover flambe

Chew #19

The volume doesn’t rely much on Chu’s ability which is one of the more interesting powers in comic books.  He eats a few things to determine their origins, but it feels more like Chu and Colby just bounce around.  There is a nice issue featuring Chu’s sister whose role continues to expand, and I am always interested to see what Chu’s nemesis Savoy is up to (his part of the story is small, but does bring a significant aspect for future volumes).

Rob Guillory’s art is growing on me a bit and I like his cover work.  It still doesn’t feel like the art, story, and characters have really come together for me.  It feels like all the pieces are there, but that the core story is missing some connective fiber to make it a great story.

Chew is one of those comics that often substitutes weirdness for substance…and it doesn’t have to since it does have compelling characters, solid art, and a story with a lot of potential.  It almost feels like it tries a bit too hard.  I will stick with Chew and hope that I finally feel a tie to the story, but with each passing volume, my hope flickers.  Chew 4:  Flambé is followed by Chew 5:  Major League Chew.

Preceded By:

Chew 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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