Comic writer John Layman and illustrator Dan Boultwood put a new spin on the term ‘elder abuse’ in Chu #3. Saffron Chu rushes to the Shady Rest Assisted Living Facility, where she must confront Mr. Murder before he mistakenly kills Sage Chu, her twin sister. But as cunning and skillful as Mr. Murder is, will Saffron make it in time? What ensues is a hilarious sequence of events that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Right up front, is Chu #3 worth reading? The answer is yes. One of the coolest things about this series, just like its predecessor, is the fact that you never know where the zany journey of the characters is going to land next. In Chu #3, that destination becomes an old folks’ home.
The buildup to Mr. Murder getting his hands on Sage Chu is simply awesome. Mr. Murder is given a Terminatorish vibe in his endless efforts to accomplish his mission: kill who he thinks is Saffron Chu. The suspense is pretty surreal, broken every once in a while with the comedic tone you’ve come to love from the Chew universe. There are some great twists and shocking moments that’ll keep you coming back long after reading this issue as well.
Keeping the same energy and flow of the first two issues, Chu #3 also introduces us to yet another family member, Ong Chu. Ong Chu, who lives at the same senior home being invaded by Mr. Murder, gets a great short-form origin story at the beginning of the book that ties nicely into the story.
As a whole, this issue was a blast to read. It’s funny, dark, serious, but above all else continues to push itself out of the shadow of the original series. The new characters so far stand on their own two feet and are written pretty solidly. Saffron Chu stands out as the polar opposite character of her brother Tony as well. There are things that we see her do that if you’ve read Chew, you know Tony would have hesitated.
The story of course isn’t the only fun part of Chu #3 — the artwork gives some gruesome/hysterical panel moments, including a woman who appears to be stuffed to death with hard candy. Although the scenes are quick, Boultwood manages to fit a bunch of senior citizen tropes into a couple of scenes that give the setting of the story such an elegant touch. There’s a fantastic splash panel that features Saffron and Mr. Murder that almost looks like a theatrical movie poster. Overall, the artwork in Chu #3 is terrific and just makes you want to keep reading this book.
Chu #3 is a fun, fresh, and inventive installment and makes you eager to read the next. If you’re not reading this series already, you’ll want to catch up while it’s still in single digits.
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