Image has another huge week with too many books to review so we pick on the cibopathic Chew for our first shot this week. 

Over at DC we knock back a potion of Grant Morrison’s final Action Comicsissue before dusting off the JSA Liberty Files: Whistling Skull #4.

CHEW #32

ART/COLOR: Rob Guillory
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: Image Comics
UPC: 70985300808803211

Image had an incredible week, and when you are the go-to place to publish your own work and have the top talent in the industry dropping projects at your feet, you inevitably have some of the best books come shipping consistently.

It has been nearly four years since the debut of Chew, a crime story in the not so distant future where eating chicken is illegal. Not only that, the FDA has risen as a top federal crime agency and in this world people have sense based superpowers.

Some can communicate through food, detect the future of what they eat, and some like the star of the book, Tony Chu can read the history of the food he eats.

That is to say, when Tony eats a hamburger he experiences the lives and loss of 100 cows. This comes in handy, when more than once Tony has had to sink his teeth into a corpse to find out what happened to the body.

Chew is a hilarious book based on such a bizarre concept that is the reason for it’s success. You’d be lost picking this issue up if you are not caught up, a lot has happened in the past few issues. Newcomers should pick up the perennial bestsellers Chew Vol.1 in paperback or hardcoverOmnivore Edition.

Tony tackles terrorists at the taco tasting and immerses himself in his work while mourning the loss off his sister. Over lunch a strawberry milkshake lunch, tensions rise between Colby and D-Bear in an illegal chicken shack when Colby connects the dots on D-Bear’s post mission phone calls. Luckily this ends in a knock out fight in the kitchen with butcher knives and swearing.

Near the end of the issue, Tony makes plans to reconnect with his cibopathic daughter, Olive Chu.

Fun issue but this would be confusing to anyone not caught up, so save your lunch money for a few days and pick up the trade to dine on these fine comics!


WRITER: Grant Morrison, Sholly Fisch
ARTIST: Rags Morales, Chris Sprouse and more
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Price: $4.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194130637701811

Mr. Morrison has had quite a couple of weeks. First, the death of Robin Damian Wayne in Batman Incorporated #8, and now this…

Grant and Rags finish up their run on Action Comics, starring none other than the big guy, Superman.

The breaking news is that Andy Diggle (The Losers, Daredevil, Doctor Who), tapped to take over after this team’s departure with Tony Daniel (Batman, Detective Comics) on art has quit the title over professional differences with DC Comics.

Tony Daniel will now be both writing and drawing the book, after Diggle’s one and only issue #19 hitting the stands next month.

We’re going to be keeping an eye on this nugget of gossip for sure. Many creators have expressed similar differences with the higher ups at DC since the New 52 relaunch.

This issue was not cheap at a $4.99 cover price but was worth the price of admission to the fifth dimension. Morrison has done what he promised to do in his bestselling novel Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. He’s let Schrödinger’s cat in and out of the multidimensional bag and referenced 75 years of Superman’s history from each Crisis to silly Golden Age Legion of Super-Heroes stories starring Superboy to a brand new and over arching reconfiguration of the Fifth Dimensional imp Mister Mxyzptlk. 

If you can let this 18 issue Superman story wash over you from a place of superhero innocence and remember that this is the development of Clark Kent before joining the Justice League, this issue leaves off at a great point. By feeling that Clark graduated from the blue jeans and sprinting around in a single bound to fighting fifth dimensional time bubbles and hoisting an impossibly giant Doomsday into space, Kal is ready to take on saving Metropolis and the world (and the terraformers on Mars) hundreds of times over. 

Supergods could be a prerequisite to Morrison’s Action run, I’m curious to see if fans were turned off from the writing here, because I was teetering on the line of enjoyment / confusion through most of it, with leaning toward over 90% of enjoyment by the end of each issue. The trick is that Morrison doesn’t want these to be easy comics to read, and the more you understand that the better your experience may be!

The backup story drawn by Chris Sprouse and sometime Action writer Sholly Fisch is a cute and well drawn story set in the future at a Superman museum. This is in the era of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Basically a young kid stands up to bullying while Superman videos play in the background and we hear “Man of Tomorrow”, “Faster than a speeding bullet”, “Look, up in the sky” as sound bytes from the movies. Sprouse is an amazing artist, and we hope to see him draw more DC Comics in the future. He may not though, as he also jumped ship from his DC assignment Adventures of Superman earlier this month with anti-gay bigot writer Orson Scott Card. Sprouse did the Kal El thing and stood up for justice. Way to go, Chris!


WRITER: B. Clay Moore
ARTIST: Tony Harris
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Price: $2.99
Publisher: DC Comics
UPC: 76194126988700411

As we near the end of this week’s missive, save for the most popular superhero of all time, these books aren’t that easy to pick up and enjoy without a bit of prep.

Luckily the audience here has years of comic book experience to be able to handle this kind of thick, psychedelic and rare form of comic book suggestions that you’ve come to expect from us!  That is to say, when suggesting you read The Whistling Skull, branded as JSA Liberty Files, you’ll undoubtedly not be surprised that this book has absolutely nothing to do with Justice Society, Earth Two, Jay Garrick or Hawkman.

B. Clay Moore and Tony Harris have devised a way to tell old school bizarre tales of the weird starring original characters under the DC Comics banner. With no connection to the New 52, no superheroes that you know, and starring The Whistling Skull alongside partner Nigel this is a very strange book, indeed. 

This is also the book I am most looking forward to reading each month.

The Whistling Skull and Nigel are patrolling the English countryside and stumble upon the work of ex-communicated Nazi doctor Klaus Hellman. Hitler was not keen on Hellman’s machinations for making his own brand of super-soldier and was kicked out of the reich. Posing as broken down circus caravan, The Whistling Skull and Nigel stop to assist but are trapped by the Nazi Hellman and his band of gypsy freaks.

The origin of The Whistling Skull and his powers are slowly being revealed, but he is the most recent in a long line of Skulls. Nigel is a sweet and innocent—albeit not that bright—Watson to the Skull’s Sherlock. This fantastical WWII superhero adventure story sits on the shelf nearHellboy/B.P.R.D. or is reminiscent of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Also, what is amazing about this book is that while familiar, it is truly unique in scope and the art by Tony Harris is amazingly detailed and dark. Noir overtones, occult madness, Nazi Doctors and a skull with a steampipe on the right temple. Can you ask for anything more? Yes. “More issues of this please”, I say, with my fingers crossed, to not have DC editorial mess with this amazing book!