Following the end of Volume 6: Space Cakes, the Chew characters have been steadily changing, and this issue highlights and gives those changes a firm push down the tracks. The tangled web Colby's been weaving is starting to entangle him, as his conflicting interests are pressuring him on all sides. It's hilarious watching this normally lazy character have so much on his plate and be so flustered by it. A few issues ago, he'd have been making fun of himself for his current behavior. I especially love how the plot is trying desperately to move forward on his end, but Colby is too preoccupied putting out the fires from the mess he's created for himself to work towards any of the truly important goals.
And then, there's Tony. Tony's always been a serious character, but since the death of Toni, he's been heading down a dark, dark path. Where it was amusing and a little surprising before, it's becoming downright scary now. Tony has had a lot of issues throughout the series, but he's evolving steadily and finding new ways to solve problems on his own that would have required the entire team before. I have mixed feelings about where this character is going. On the one hand, his descent into darkness and watching him throw aside his morals is fascinating, but I fear our a--hole hero isn't going to be able to come back from this.
What always makes Chew's dark comedy work so well are Rob Guillory's visuals. The overly cartoony style of the art provides a ton of visual gags and makes even the normally disgusting situations Tony finds himself in funny, or at least bearable in their awkwardness. This issue threw out several visuals that stuck out to me: fancy Colby, which is again fun to see this normally laidback character in such an awkward position and so domesticated even (It's the glasses over the robot eye that put it over the top.) and the Chew world's version of the U.S. Navy, which is (no other word for it) gay. I'm not really sure what Layman and Guillory are saying about the real-life Navy here, but wow are the Navy's “uniforms” something else. (It's the pink, feathered boa on one seaman that put it over the top.) I'm a little scared to see what the rest of the armed forces are wearing now. And, lastly, we have another incredible scene from a Poyo adventure out of context, which, well, you'll just have to see for yourselves.
End Bad Apples: Chapter III review.