For dirty rotten trade waiters like me, Chew’s penultimate story arc finally arrives this week! It’s Chu vs. Savoy, two chibopaths (if you don’t know what is, you shouldn’t be reading this volume yet) searching for the truth about the avian flu–and on a collision course with a final confrontation.
Chew Vol. 11: The Last Suppers (Image Comics)
Unlike the previous volume, there is no personified threat or Big Bad like we had in The Collector…unless you count Savoy. But honestly, who can hate Savoy? He’s awesome.
What makes Last Suppers’ focus on him even better is that we get more direct Chu/Savoy interaction than we’ve had in a long time. Even when these characters are at odds with each other, their chemistry is fantastic. There’s a particularly fun scene involving tea and dinosaurs that might be one of my favorites in the entire series.
As far as the narrative goes, Layman once again shows a knack for setting up and executing a good old fashioned misdirect. The first big ‘reveal’ seemed a little too obvious, but the one we get at the end of the issue genuinely surprised me. That’s a bitter pill to swallow for a jaded, know-it-all curmudgeon like me, but it also makes for a great reading experience.
Art-wise, there’s really not much else you can say about how great Rob Guillory is. In addition to his superb eye for storytelling, he’s also one of the best in the business at portraying characters’ expressions (Chu) and body language (Savoy). Add in his outstanding color work, and Last Suppers is just one more example of why Guillory is awesome.
Also, he draws dinosaurs in this one. That should be enough right there to make you go buy the book.
I normally like the way Layman shifts the timeline in Chew, but in Last Suppers it gets pulled and stretched so much that the narrative thread feels one tug away from snapping into oblivion.
Also, we barely touch on some really cool (and confusing) stuff with Olive before her subplot is completely abandoned. And speaking of abandoned, I miss the days when Amelia was interesting. Her role in this story arc ends up being little more than a main course of red herring with a side of MacGuffin.
Is It Good?
But those minor quibbles aside, Last Supper is a pretty standard example of why Chew is such a great book. We get some big hints about the series’ mythology, but the real reasons people love this series are the quirky characters, great dialogue, and fantastic visuals–all of which are on full display in this volume.
For fans of the series Revival, there’s a bonus tale at the end featuring crossover with Chew, which is exactly as weird (and awesome) as it sounds. Even if you’ve never read an issue of Revival before, the story is still great–which is pretty much a given when it’s Layman/Guillory serving up the story.