Chew has been on the most consistently great books at Image. It’s bursting at the seams with originality and has some of the most unique art on the stands. Chew: Secret Agent Poyo #1 fits with this, and is easily one of the best issues of Chew. It’s pure insanity……in chicken form.
Poyo has always been a fan favorite of the series, but he always deserved more space. He’s Chuck Norris in chicken form. John Layman treats this issue much like a long Chuck Norris joke, but it never gets old (like those jokes did). The plot is beyond over the top, and Layman never loses sight of it. It’s one over the top joke after the other. But Poyo never leaves the universe of Chew. Layman even includes one of the explanation pages that have become synonymous with the series. Every scene and insane thing happens feels like it could have taken place while the main book is happening. It’s a very fine line that Layman walks, but he walks it perfectly. It’s also a great chance to jump onto the series if you haven’t been reading for a while. It’s fairly self contained, besides the quick history about how Poyo became to be the badass robot chicken that he is.
Chew has always been a funny book, but Poyo easily takes the cake as the funniest issue of the series. There is ample humor abound, both subtle and outlandish. The multiple references to other Image books made me laugh out loud. Many of the scenes are quick, which make them feel like bits on SNL. They are quick, hit hard, then we are onto another scene that is just going to hit The best way to describe the humor in this issue: laugh out loud. I cried multiple times laughing, both from Layman’s script and Rob Guillory’s amazing art. His small nods and jokes have been one of my favorite parts of the series, but he out does himself in Poyo. Between the plethora of movie posters and labels for things will make this issue one that will be great to reread.
Rob Guillory’s art suits the over the top bad assery. He jumps from demons, to sheep falling from the sky, and embracing every British stereotype. It’s one great looking page after another. As said before, Guillory throws in quite a few scenery jokes. It took me a couple of reads to find them all in the end. Even after that it’s worth another reading to get the full effect of all the jokes. Much like the script, the art is outlandish, but it feels like it COULD happen in the Chew universe. We see sheep killing men by falling from the sky, and it wouldn’t surprise any reader to see Tony Chu to walk into the panel and try to solve the crime.
The best moment of the issue though, is late in the issue. I won’t give it away, but you’ll know it when you see it.
Chew: Secret Agent Poyo #1 is a great addition to the Chew universe. Poyo could easily support his own mini-series. #1 is pure fun.
Chew: Secret Agent Poyo #1 gets 4.5/5
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