Advance Review: Saffron Chu Has To Handle Hitmen, Con Men And Old Men In ‘Chu’ #3

by Olly MacNamee


On the run and running out of luck. Saffron Chu must try and save her twin sister from ten sinister hitman, Mr Murder, while Tony Chu is called in to the aftermath. Dark, but funny, with a firebrand of a leading lady. You can’t help but root for yet another bad apple of teh Chu family.


They say every family has its fair share of skeletons in the closet, but in the case of the Chu family, you get the feeling its more literal than figurative. Especially when we learn the dark and disturbing history behind patriarch of the family, Grandpa Ong Chu. A man limited to an old folks’ home these days, but a man with a very checkered past indeed. 

Looking after him – but not doing a very good job of it, given the hitman mowing down pensioners on her watch – is Sage Chu, twin sister of our anti-hero Saffron Chu.

As well as fleshing out the Chu family, there is the odd foreshadowing reference to the debilitating bird-flu that, in this series, has yet to ravage the world and lead to the banning of all chicken meat, but it’s a nice touch. That, and the purposefully daft  on-the-nail names writer John Layman is utilising in this particular story. We’ve already met Mr Murder – the hitman tearing through people indiscriminately – and now we meet Mr Papers, a counterfeiter of some standing within the criminal community. I won’t explain the situation in which we meet him, after all this is an advance review, but if you do pick up Chu #3 you can find out from yourselves.

The black humour, the cutaway exposition and flashbacks; these are all common tropes John Layman used in Chew, and by adopting the same narrative beats and breaks for this prequel comic book it creates a very cozy sense of familiarity while also forging an all-new story involving this black sheep of the Chu family. Although, it’s a family with a whole flock of black sheep, as we continue to discover. But, whereas Tony was more po-faced, Saffron Chu is very much the opposite. A ‘seize the day’ kind of character with the energy to match. Of course, there is always the chance her fate is already sealed given her absence from Chew, but the jury is still out on that one. It does, however make for interesting speculation, which is always at the back of my mind, whenever a new issue comes out. I mean, have you seen who she hangs out with?

Dan Boultwood’s artwork continues to dazzle. The comical style of art completely suits the story being told by Layman. A more serious style just wouldn’t work and any spin-off to Chew really did have to find a suitably silly artists to take on where Rob Guilroy left off. It’s his exaggerated style that injects Saffron with the sense of energy in each facial expression and movement.

A woman on the run, and with a cad of a boyfriend, is not a winning combination. But, by this point in the series, everyone will be rooting for Saffron to get out safely. Although, the odds aren’t looking all that good.

Chu #3 is out Wednesday 30th September from Image Comics.

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