Reading: Comic Book Reviews

Chew Vol 1 Taster’s Choice (2009): This is one of the weirdest premises for a comic I’ve read yet.  The US is in a post bird-flu world that left 23 million dead. Well, maybe. As a result, the most important and powerful law enforcement branch is the Food and Drug Administration. Tony Chu is an agent of the FDA and more he is a Cibopathic.  This means he gets psychic impressions of what he eats. This first issue introduces us to the main characters and explains how Chu got into the FDA. It’s not a comic for the squeamish especially since Chu gets impressions from whatever he eats, not just food. The story, by John Layman (who also does the lettering), is completely engrossing. By having Chu thrust into the world of food related crimes, the audience is right there with him.  Moreso, Layman does a great job of making the more immediate stories interesting why setting up the long story.  The artwork, by Louisiana native Rob Guillory  (who will also be at Louisiana Comic Con Lafayette), is gritty and fits the noir tone of the writing. The story is often bloody, and Guillory, who also does the coloring, does a great job of showing us the gore without ever going into just pure goriness.

Wonder Woman Vol 2: I read Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman Volume 1 a while back.  That book collected the odd numbers from 1-13 and dealt with who exactly Wonder Woman is/was.  This is a character that has gone through numerous reboots. This story which collects the even issues from 2-14 and here Rucka provides his own origin story. It’s a great story to get people who loved the movie interested in comics. We discover Diana’s powers at the same time we do. We get introduced to her greatest villain as well.  Rucka is a great writer and makes you interested in every character by giving each a chance to develop even if they are not given plenty of time. The art work, by Nicola Scott (and in the interlude Bilquis Evely) is gorgeous.  This is at its heart is a story of hope and the coloring, done by Romulo Fajardo Jr, matches the tone.  At the beginning of this story, Diana doesn’t speak English. Jodi Wynne’s lettering does a great job of informing us of when she is having trouble with communicating.  Again, if you liked the movie, this is a great book to read. In fact, I would read this one first and then Volume 1.

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