Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #150: Chew: The Omnivore Edition, Vol. 4

So, there's a world where all of the superheroes get their powers from food. It's not actually weirder than any other superhero universe, to my mind, but it's definitely weird in a different direction. I like that, since superheroes tend to be all too much of the same thing all the time, but I know mine is a minority taste in the vast land of ComicShopia.

(Oh, and I'm sure a lot of people -- maybe even the creators -- would object vociferously to my characterizing bizarre and impossible food-related abilities as "superpowers." Those people are wrong, and probably too uptight, as well.)

Anyway, there are "food weirdos," as one character calls them. They have long, silly, Latinate terms to explain what it is they can do, which are often dangerous or violent and are also, of course, silly. John Layman and Rob Guillory told a long, funny comics story in that world, and called it Chew. That comic ended a couple of years back, but I'm still catching up.

(If you are also catching up, I started off by reading the smaller paperback collections: see my posts on volumes one and two and three-through-five and six. I've now switched to the medium-sized hardcovers, which each collect what would otherwise be two paperbacks, and have discovered there are now jumbo-sized hardcovers, making the just medium-sized ones difficult to find.)

So this one is Chew: The Omnivore Edition, Vol. 4, at the roughly two-thirds point in the overall story. If you're new to Chew, don't start here.

A very sad thing happened to our central hero, Tony Chu, at the end of the previous volume -- I'm not going to say what it is, because many of you reading this might actually want to read Chew yourselves. I will instead be vague. The aftermath of the very sad thing permeates this entire volume -- all ten issues reprinted here. The overall plot -- the search for the evil "vampire" who has been hunting other food weirdos and killing them to harvest their powers, the secret behind the bird flue epidemic that is this world's immediate divergence point from our own, and various interpersonal and inter-departmental squabbles involving Tony and his friends and the various government organizations they work for -- is also charging forward, in its own weird and quirky way.

So, frankly, there's not much I can say about this volume. Lots of stuff happens, and it is generally silly and/or goofy stuff -- though it can all be taken seriously within the deeply quirky world of this story -- but it's all stuff that follows on from stuff that happened earlier.

Don't start here. But do read Chew, if you haven't before. You can probably get the first collection cheaply, in print or electrons, and this is a book that definitely continued as it began. It is weird from top to bottom, in a lovely, fun way.

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