Advance Review: Saffron Chu Steals The Show And The Stash In ‘Chu’ #3

by Olly MacNamee


Saffron Chu steal the show in this fats moving issue. A heist, an investigation and one last family dinner. What ever could go wrong, seems to in this fun issue from writer John Layman and artist Dan Boultwood.


With most readers of Chu #3 knowing how the bird-flu pandemic pans out there is something of an ominous atmosphere lingering about this book. This backdrop does not go without leaving its mark on this plot either, as America wakes up to the horrors yet to come. Although that doesn’t stop Saffron Chu from punctuating that feeling quickly with some sharp moves and an even sharper con. 
Writer John Layman and Dan Boultwood are back again and on fine form in this romping good read that shows our hero, or anti-hero for now, Saffron Chu organising and executing a hotel heist with intelligence, some smouldering acting and a little touch of the something in her that makes her special like her brother.

All the while Boultwood matches Layman’s sass and wit with an appropriate exaggerated cartoon style and an effective economy of line that would make the most seasoned animator jealous. While Layman’s previous partner-in-crime on Chew, Rob Guillory had a more glorious grotesque edge to his characters, Boultoood gives his more polish. But, that doesn’t mean they’re not ugly. Certainly not when Saffron’s boyfriend is still around and up to no good. The kind of ‘no good’ that gets everyone in trouble.
Tony Chu and Colby make a welcome appearance once again, keeping this fledgling series grounded (for now) in a recognisable universe, but this time any chance of a happy family reunion of a last supper is less than zero. I imagine as Saffron finds her way and her own readership, Tony will be able to sidle off stage and back into his own story. But, for now he and Colby, as well as the whole Chu family, are a warm blanket fans can cling to.
Saffron Chu has a zest and energy about her that her brother never had. It’s this energy that stands it apart from  the more recognisable Chew book. But, it’s an infectious energy that seems to have caught on, given Layman’s tentative announcements of at least one further mini-series coming in 2021. Glad to hear that we’ll be seeing more from Saffron and her family. Just ditch the boyfriend. 
Chu #4 is out Wednesday 28th October from Image Comics

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