Advance Review: ‘Outer Darkness/CHEW’ #1 Gives You A Good Size Serving Of Horror, Comedy And Sci-Fi

by Olly MacNamee

For any CHEW fans picking up this week’s debut issue of John Layman, Rob Guillory and Afu Chan’s Outer Darkness/CHEW #1 (Image/Skybound) cross-over, who isn’t familiar with the crew of The Charon and their horror-filled adventures in space, then I can guaranteed you that after the opening prologue, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’ve been missing. Take on grumpy and begrudging captain, one overly-fussy Second-in-Command and a diplomatic sit-down that doesn’t quite go the way you’d want, and you have the best of appetisers to ease  you into the main course and the wild, wonderful and gory world of Outer Darkness. You don’t know what you’ve been missing in this Green Inferno-in-space kinda book.

Cut to the 21st century and a catch-up with Tony Chu and partner John Colby, with art provided by CHEW co-creator Rob Guillory. It’s great to see Guillory returning to these characters, but it’s not for too long, as Chu and Colby find themselves transported into the future and onto The Charon and artist Afu Chan’s domain. And not by accident either, as they discover they’ve been transported to the ship due to Tony’s very special abilities. It’s not too long before Colby opens his big mouth and insert his foot well and truly into it. Ignorantly comparing what he’s witnessing to all and every successful space opera franchise does not endear him to the person – or alien – who’s summoned them both to the future. But then, when has Colby ever bothered to endear himself to anyone?

Given how sci-fi oriented CHEW became over its long-run, this cross-over was something of a no-brainer, I imagine. It’s also one of those great and goofy concept that crops up from time to time in the wonderful world of comic books, reminding one what great fun comics can be. I can’t wait too get stuck into the main course, next issue, to see where this series will take us, as this debut issue simply sets the scene, introduced the main players and allows one and all a jumping-on point into a book that will, no doubt, be filled with horror, comedy and great looking art. Tasty.
To infinity and beyond. Or, failing that, to the comic shop, at least, this coming Wednesday 4th March when this debut issue drops.

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