John Layman and Tim Seeley present what may be one of the odder (yet awesome) crossovers I have ever seen: Chew/Revival. Two series almost completely different in look, tone and feel are coming together despite their differences. I absolutely love both series so I’m super excited to read this event. Is it good?
Chew/Revival #1 (Image Comics)
Tony Chu of the FDA is brought to Wausau, Wisconsin on a special case. What case you may ask? Well, technically two different cases in two different timelines/alternate worlds. In the Chew world, Tony is with his partner Colby as they team up with Officer Dana Cypress and Ibrahaim Ramin to investigate a reviver with a mysterious power. In the Revival universe; Tony, Dana, and Ibrahaim investigate a case with a bunch of stolen bodies from a cemetery.
This kid speaks the truth. Also, why is he reading Saga?!
This is a rather interesting comic, even more so than I originally thought it would be. Instead of being the same story told from two different perspectives, there are such unique implementations of tone and feel that it’s essentially two different stories using almost all the same characters.
The thing is though, both stories are told and presented in a way that feels more natural to exist in their own universe. The story in Chew’s parallel world wouldn’t match up with the same tone and style in Revival’s world and vice versa. As such, it’s almost like reading two issues from both series where they happen to crossover, though Revival’s story tends to be a bit more out there than usual.
If you are a fan of both comics, you are certainly going to enjoy the writing here. Layman’s sense of comedy wrapped up in Revival’s world, with Tim Seeley’s characterization and horror involving Chew’s character are both up to level of quality that you would expect from both series, not remotely dipping at all with addition of the new characters.
The writing is consistently solid throughout, the dialogue is good and funny but also thoughtful at the right times, and the pacing and flow are solid. Plus, each writer understands the other’s characters well and properly portrays them in the story. It’s just fantastic to read through and through for the fans. Though, I’m not sure if nonfans or fans of only one of the books will appreciate the way each writer nailed the corresponding characters as much — it’s still worth a shot even if you are new to either series.
A cheese-eating yokel, I will not lend you a hand both literally and figuratively.
Also impressive is the artwork from both Rob Guillory and Mike Norton. Both of them are great in their own books and they bring the usual level of quality you would expect here. Guillory’s cartoony visuals alongside the darker and messed up portions of the story are great, while Norton is great with the moodiness, horror, and more personal moments. The only problem per say with the artwork is that Gillory’s versions of the characters from Revival look a little like rehashes of previous characters he has drawn. Just a very minor nitpick though.
Is It Good?
Chew/Revival #1 is a great crossover one-shot story — perfect at capturing what makes both series great and telling their own little stories in each of each other’s worlds. If you are a fan of both, there’s no way that you won’t enjoy this comic and if you are only a fan of one, Chew/Revival #1 still comes recommended anyways if only for the portion of the book you normally only like. Give it a shot.