Things are looking dangerous in the retirement community… Your Major Spoilers review of Chu #3 from Image Comics awaits!
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Dan Boultwood
Colorist: Dan Boultwood
Letterer: John Layman
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 30, 2020
Previously in Chu: Massacre at the old folks’ home! If you love elder abuse, this comic is for you!
THEY CALL HIM MISTER MURDER
This issue opens with the story of Ong Chu, grandfather of Tony and Saffron, and how so many of the tales about him go back too far to be realistic, but all make him out to be a uncompromising, ruthless bastard. Of course, thanks to Saffon’s boyfriend Eddie, a killer calling himself Mister Murder has arrived to kill “Chu”, making everyone expect that he’s after the old man. In fact, he’s come to kill Saffron’s twin sister Sage, who works as the old man’s caregiver, and whom Murder thinks is Saffron? It’s all pretty complicated. Of course, somewhat less complicated is Saffron’s way with a gun, as she kills not only Mister Murder, saving her family, but another would-be hitman, and successfully convinces brother Tony that she hasn’t been up to no good. As the issue ends, she is staring at another corpse she has created, with the story making sure to tell us that it’s only the beginning.
LIES, MISDIRECTION AND INVEIGLEMENT
The real charm of this issue comes in the characterization of the players, from conniving Saffron, to sweet twin Sage to suspicious brother Tony. (Also, Grampy Chu is clearly up to something, and when a body shows up in his room, the police don’t seem to be surprised.) Having not read all of the original series, it’s hard to tell if this is a sequel or one of those fancy interquels that takes place during the other story, but I have to say I like it. Even though Saffron is clearly a bad person, she’s also one that we empathize with during the story, as she tries to convince people to see the truth, The art is equally charming in this issue, with an upbeat, cartoony sensibility that takes a bit of the curse off moments like brains exploding all over an elderly man or someone taking a bullet in the eye, and the moment where Saffron pretends to be Sage actually shows off how strong Boultwood’s art is, as you can tell by her body language which sister she’s meant to be. That’s pretty impressive stuff.
BOTTOM LINE: ONLY THE BEGINNING?
I wasn’t a hardcore fan of the original series, but Chu #3 makes me wonder if I shouldn’t be a regular reader of this one, with art that is both pretty and subtle, a story that does interesting things with Saffron’s questionable morality, and a very strong 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you’re into black humor and cute young women doing horrible things that you should (but don’t) hate them for, this is a comic book for you.
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Saffron's situation goes downhill, but she's smart and witty and you almost root for her anyway, even as she kills multiple people.