Review: ‘Chu’ #2 Gives Us More On Tony And An Extra Helping Of Saffron Chu Too

by Olly MacNamee

Uh-oh, seems Saffron Chu really is in the wrong place at the wrong time in Chu #2, from John Layman and Dan Boultwood. A hitman simply referred to as Mr Murder (damn, why hasn’t that name ever been used before?) gets a job: get hold of one Eddie Molay (a real ass-hole of the highest order, as you’ll discover in this issue), – and Saffron’s boyfriend – and send him a very bloody message in the process. It doesn’t look good does it?

But, all of this goes unknown to Saffron for a good deal of this issue as we earwig in on a family chicken dinner in the Chu family. The fact that they’re eating chicken reinforces in readers mind that this is a prequel kind of series to Chew, and a time when chicken wasn’t forbidden meat, although people are getting sick and beginning to die. Well, if you’ve read Chew, you know how this plays out. If not, they why not? Who knows, Chu may very well find the odd fan who hasn’t yet sampled the delights of this tasty buffet.
Boultwood’s animated art continues to delight and dazzle with exaggerated emotive responses more than suggesting the often over-wrought responses of the players involved. And around any family dining table, you just know that can be the whole spectrum of varied emotions. It certainly adds drama to the more mundane moments in life and keeps the energy and pace up. Being hunted by a hitman also helps with the pace too, as you can imagine. 

Cleverly, while this is a series billed as starring Saffron Chu, ostensibly it’s also a Chew prequel, with Layman incorporates a good deal of Tony Chu too, and offering him even more backstory in the process. It’s a strange payoff. One one hand, we are viewing the birth of a series that has long been completed, while also offering up a whole new unseen side to the Chu family saga. The old fans will get a real kick from this, while not leaving newer fans out in the cold. It’s a well executed balancing act by Layman. 
With the chicken pandemic included as an important story point in this issue, there is a sense of impending doom and inevitability to proceedings. But, in the inclusion of Saffron Chu – a character never seen before outside of this series – Layman introduces the prerequisite intrigue a good story needs. As well as the requisite peril from Mr Murder and the odd food reference too. I mean, you have all Google searched Mr Bucatini, right?

With her wise-assery and high energy, you can’t help but be taken in with Saffron Chu, and thereby set yourself up against Eddie Molay. Which isn’t too hard to do after a particular event in this issue. What a dick.
Chu #2 is another fun issue that ratchets up the drama and danger while entertaining readers old and new alike along the way and, out now from Image Comics.
Rating: 8.5/10

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