Quick, pick three adjectives and a noun. Did you pick, “luchador”, “kung-fu”, “cybernetic”, and “rooster”? If not, you’ve obviously not read Chew: Secret Agent Poyo. In what is surely the greatest comic ever written about a kung-fu, cybernetic, luchador rooster, John Layman and Rob Guillory craft a story of international mayhem for our feathered protagonist Poyo.
After Poyo is riddled with mercury-tipped, hollow point .45 caliber rounds, he’s on the brink of death. As doctors operate to save him, rebuilding him into something even better and more dangerous, he fights for his soul against the legions of Hell. And he wins. Because he’s Poyo. After fighting his way back from death and being rebuilt to be the world’s only cybernetic, luchador rooster, Poyo goes on a mission.
It seems a mad scientist has struck England with a device that makes it rain farm animals, and is now threatening the world! Poyo is the only chicken that can stop this dastardly villain’s plan, and he does it in the way that only Poyo can. Plus, in the end, there are chogs.
John Layman takes the ridiculous and makes it seem normal, and I love him for it. In the Chew-niverse, as I’ll call it, Poyo fits in perfectly, what with him living in a world populated by chogs and all. Layman is quite possibly the only writer who could write about a kung-fu-using, luchador-mask-wearing, Mach-5-hitting rooster and make it less than corny. The ridiculousness of the book just leaves you with a big, goofy smile on your face, and the end of the day, aren’t comics supposed to be all about making the reader happy?
Rob Guillory hits a home run with the art. He makes Poyo pop. His art helps make this more than just an off the wall story. He creates something that can, and should, be thoroughly enjoyed. I wouldn’t want any other artist drawing Chew or Secret Agent Poyo. Rob Guillory should just draw Chew for the rest of his life so I’ll remain happy.
This easily gave the largest, goofiest grin I’ve had in a long time. The whole book is so absurd, but done in such a great way. John Layman and Rob Guillory put out a story like no other, and make it a very enjoyable read. It’s such a fantastic book by a fantastic creative team.
Parental concern: Moderate. There’s a couple of f-bombs, some other cussing, and blood.
In addition to reviewing here at SMC, Leo is one half of the Panel Pals Podcast, where he podcasts and blogs about comics, webcomics, video games, and more!