There couldn’t be two series more different from each other than Chew and Revival and so the idea of them crossing over and being in continuity on both series… is just weird. BUT! Also very comic booky. With Adam reviewing Revival and Dustin reviewing Chew it only made sense that they would combo their efforts and give this strange Image crossover a once over. Here are the details about the issue from Image before they begin:
Tony Chu heads to Wisconsin in two all-new original tales by the creative teams of both critically acclaimed titles! A great jumping-on point for readers who’ve heard how damn good these titles are on their own, and a twisted delight for those already in the know!
When I heard about this Chew and Revival crossover a few months ago, half of me thought it was a quick cash-grab scheme for both sides involved and half of me thought it was a great way to introduce readers to one or both series. After reading the issue, I think it’s a little bit of both. For me, the Chew side stole the show. I honestly would’ve been fine if the whole issue was written and drawn by the Chew creative team and taken place in Revival’s setting. For me, the quirky art, horror yet still hilarious storytelling and great incorporation of Revival’s cast into their own story really set it apart from Revival’s half. Revival’s half just kind of seemed tacked on and wasn’t nearly as memorable as its counterpart. Not that it was bad, just it was a bit of a let-down compared to how amazing the series is. I feel weird critiquing this issue at all because of how awesome this idea was and how well it was executed. As Cooper says in Revival’s story, “It’s fun and it’s cool, so that’s all that matters. It’s what comics are for. Duh.” Overall, if you’re a fan of each or both series you owe it to yourself to pick up this book.
Here’s the thing, yesterday I would have given this issue a three, but after sleeping on it I realized how much I liked it. It isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty damn good. My one and only gripe is that the creative teams tell two different stories that are supposed to take place at the same time and so in that regard it’s a bit of a cop-out. The reason being that each team’s tale does actually fit within its own continuity, but you can’t have both.
The story by the Chew creative team was an easier to accept and soak in as it had the patented brand of humor and style that the series is known for. It still managed to have heart which was nice and unexpected for the crossover.
The Revival side of the story was a little harder to choke down at first, but then I thought about how well the ending was and how the team addressed why Tony Chu couldn’t just nibble on Em and solve the case and everything else. Also there is substance to the story that confirms what I believed to be true early on in the series.
At the end of the day it’s as Tim Seeley says via the character Cooper which Adam already quoted. Well said all around.
Writers: John Layman and Tim Seeley Artists: Rob Guillory and Mike Norton Publisher: Image Comics Price: $4.99 Release Date: 5/28/14 Format: One-Shot, Print/Digital