Characters: Chew

Character Page for the Image Comics series Chew

Warning: To prevent this page from being a sea of white only spoilers from the latest two arcs will be whited.

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General Tropes

Anthony "Tony" Chu

A Philadelphia cop with a special power: cibopathy, the psychic ability to see the past of anything he's eaten. He soon joins the Food and Drug Administration, now a very powerful law enforcement agency, which makes use of his abilities. He mainly focuses on food-related crimes, especially those concerning newly illegal poultry.
  • Adorkable: His interactions with Amelia, his rather shoddy disguises and his call to Olive to try and have dinner with her all land him squarely in this territory.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Is looked down on by pretty much everyone as a freak, his boss hates his guts, and all of his family barring Toni hate his guts for various reasons. The only people who don't seem to hate him or consider him a freak are Colby, Amelia, Ceasar, Toni and Mason. Subverted in recent issues, as the rest of the FDA highly respects him as does the public thanks to Amelia's reporting.
  • Berserk Button: Harming his family. The Collector's murder of Toni, sent him into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and Colby leading Olive into a battle that nearly got her killed earned him a beatdown.
  • Blessed with Suck: Cibopathy. He can absorb incredible amounts of information from anything he tastes, but he can't shut it off and those visions can potentially be really disturbing. Plus, his job forces him to use his powers by eating an astoundingly wide array of vile things.
  • Butt Monkey: Has to eat rather vile things as part of his job, his hated by just about every single character on the cast, his boss more than all of them combined, and over the course of the series has had to eat a petrified dog, has had his partner bite his ear off, lost his job, forced to eat dead baseball players and had to eat his own sisters toe to take out her killer.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Mere pages into the first issue, we see that Tony is willing to arrest his own brother. Played with in that it dosen't make him respect or obey applebee any more than he has to.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: The reason why Tony gets assigned to the FDA in the first place.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His fiance, and later wife, Min Tso went insane due to a brain tumor. He then dumped his daughter on his sister Rosemary and never came back for her.
  • Distressed Dude: During the "Major League Chew" arc, he's kidnapped by Amelia's psychotic ex Dan. Thankfully Amelia comes to the rescue and he gets to finish off the psycho that was holding him.
  • Eat That: What half of Chu's job consists of.
  • Happily Married: To Amelia as of issue 41
  • Heroic BSOD: Goes though this after Toni is killed by The Collector, ruthlessly murdering his minions and generally focusing entirely on his work. He snaps out of it at the end of the "Family Recipe" arc thanks to a Thanatos Gambit by Toni herself.
    • Goes though a brief one in Family Recipe after he apparently eats too much of Toni's toe to get information from her to defeat The Collector. He snaps out of it after eating a Gallisberry in Chog Sauce, which allows him to get the rest of the info from her.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Not intentionally, but Tony ends up doing this a lot to get information.
  • Love at First Sight: With Amelia Mintz.
  • Man in a Kilt: When he gets demoted to traffic enforcement.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Realizes that His treatment of Colby has lead Olive to distrust him and go off on a suicide mission against the Collector.
  • Papa Wolf: Tries to beat Colby into a pulp after he almost gets Olive killed.
  • Picky Eater: Not by choice though. Beets are the only food he can eat without getting visions thanks to his cibopathy.
  • Punny Name: Chu/chew
  • Required Secondary Powers: Presumably, Chu doesn't get readings from his own saliva.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While he was always fairly badass, he jumps up a level after Toni's death. Thanks to the skills he got from the dead baseball players Dan forced him to eat, he can now throw a deadly fastball, and the second Applebee tries to treat him like shit again for investigating his sisters murder, Tony gives him the mother of all dressdowns.
    • Takes another after Eating Poyo, easily mowing down the Collectors army before defeating the man himself.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: His relationship with Amelia is pretty much the only stable relationship of any sort he has. Toni also counts, being the only member of his family that dosen't hate or resent him.
    • Recently he's the darling of the FDA after a major bust.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He starts out fairly Bad Ass but after his kidnapping, his fastball takes it up a notch. Taken Up to Eleven after eating Poyo.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Keeps his ex-wife Min Tso's toe she gave him in his freezer. It's later revealed he did so that, when she was ready, Olive could take in her mother's memory before her brain cancer got really bad.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Colby.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Colby for most of "Blood Puddin." Tony realizes how rashly he'd thrown their friendship away and makes amends with Colby midway through the arc.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Savagely beats Coby for working with Mason behind his back and taking part in an OP against his advice that nearly cost his daughter her life.

John Colby

Tony Chu's partner who was badly injured while following a lead gained from Tony's powers. He is rebuilt as a cyborg by the FDA and rejoins his old partner. He opposes poultry prohibition and believes the government is lying about the bird flu but refuses to betray the FDA.
  • BadassAbnormal: Though only slightly thanks to the cybornetic half of his face.
  • Bi the Way: Sleeps with Applebee and Director Pena
  • Conspiracy Theorist: When it comes to the truth behind the bird flu epidemic.
  • Closet Key: For Applebee
  • Cowboy Cop: Colby is gleefully willing to violate every bit of police protocol that gets in his way.
  • Enemy Mine: He and Mason Savoy really don't like each other, but he still works with Savoy since he does realize the man is on to something regarding the bullshit chicken ban.
  • Jerkass: Colby is not a pleasant person to be around.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite this, he's close friends with Tony when pretty much everyone else in the comic hates him or wants him dead.
  • Loophole Abuse: Applebee tells him he can invite anyone to the party celebrating their wedding except for Tony Chu. Colby, naturally, Invites Mason Savoy, a wanted fugitive and traitor to the FDA.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: John Colby helps enforce the poultry prohibition while part of the Philadelphia PD and the FDA even though he strongly disagrees with it and believes that it is part of a government cover-up. Subverted later when he reluctantly partners up with Savoy and Ceaser to find out the truth.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: Sleeps with his and Tony's Bad Boss Applebee (to get Applebee off their backs) and later with his USDA boss, Director Pena.
  • Straight Gay: Colby fits the "straight" part of this trope so well there seems to be a bit of confusion over whether or not he is actually gay. At one point he sseduces Applebee and when he sends a taunting text to a criminal, his avatar is the Terminator robot on a rainbow flag background.
    • He's also seduced his female USDA boss so he might be bisexual.
    • This is confimed when he sleeps with a Reiviver in the Revivial crossover, also female and this time with no ulterior motive.
  • Tenchi Solution: How the Love Triangle with Applebee and his USDA boss is resolved, to his horror. Luckily, sorta, his marriage to Applebee ends this.
  • Two-Faced: Colby a Terminator-esque prosthetic after taking a chef's knife to the face in the first issue.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Tony Chu.
  • We Can Rebuild Him

Mason Savoy

Another cibopath. He is an agent of the FDA who mentors Tony when he first joins. He murdered health inspector Evan Pepper and believes that the government is covering up the truth about the bird flu epidemic. It is implied that he lost a significant other in the epidemic, the fallout of which sends him on the run, costs Tony an ear, and turns him and Tony into mortal enemies. While he has the same powers as Tony, he is much fatter and is seen eating food besides beets, getting far more pleasant or tolerable visions from his food.
  • Anti-Villain: He's ruthless, amoral, and willing to resut to kidnapping, backmail, and murder to find out the truth behind bird flu and stop the vampire. Conversely he clearly does care about Olive and Ceaser, has a point about the chicken ban, and is going after the same mass murderer the FDA is.
  • Bad Ass: Mason Savoy vs. ninjas. Mason wins.
    • He later Breaks his way out of a maxiumum security food prison and beats a super powerful man who gets powers from candy single handidly.
  • Big Bad: For the first and third arcs. Afterwords the Vampire and The Order of The Immaculate Ova take over while he becomes more of an Anti Villian.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: When it comes to the truth behind the bird flu epidemic
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost every fight Mason gets into is extremely one sided, even against a horde of ninja. He takes down Tony in less than a minute after Tony attempts to arrest him, beats Colby to a pulp, and easily defeats a man with a wide array of powers thanks to his ability to get power from candy simply by exploiting the man's one weakness.
  • Even Evil Has Standards Shows visible regret after drugging and kidnapping Sage.
    • He's appauled when Colby asks if he's going to eat someone their about to blackmail.
  • Evil Counterpart To Tony. He's a chibopath like Tony, but one willing to work far outside the law and outside moral decency.
  • Fat Bastard
  • Genius Bruiser
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's the quick and easy way for cibopaths to get info.
  • The Mole
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Mason Savoy's perspicacity knows no bounds.
  • Stout Strength: Stoutly built, but extremely strong.
  • Walking Spoiler: Talking about him too much spoils the main mystery of the first Arc.

Caesar Valenzano

A hitman who works for Montero. He claims to be a deep-cover FDA agent who worked with Mason Savoy and didn't know he'd gone rogue. Turns out this is itself a cover as he was working with Savoy to find out the truth behind the bird flu epidemic. He forms close friendships with Tony and Colby after being reinstated.

Agent Vorhees

An agent with an unamed power that allows him to tell what something he eats is made of. Temporarily replaces Chew in the FDA, but sticks around.

Director Lamode

Chief Director of the FDA
  • Benevolent Boss: Treats Chu like royalty after his chicken bust and trusts his judgment. The only reason he calls on him despite Chu being on his honeymoon is that Tony's the best man for the job, something proven right.
  • Da Chief.
  • Mean Boss: Towards Applebee. Given the way Applebee treats Tony, it's more than justified.
  • The Napoleon

Agent Breadman

The number 2 to FDA Chief Director Lamode Currently interim director of the FDA while Applbee's in the hospital following The Collector's battle with the FDA. He retains the position due to Applebee getting the blame for the incident. . Has the apperance of a gingerbread man.

     The Chu's 
For Tony see "FDA"

Tropes applying to all of them

  • Big Screwed-Up Family: Ohhhh yeah.
  • Blessed with Suck: Though we only know about half of their powers, those we do know have major downsides. and Chow's just gets a laugh from Sage and Toni.
  • In the Blood: It's implied the food powers transfer from generation to generation, with Tony's chibopathy dating all the way back to the Old West.

Chow Chu

Tony Chu's brother. A professional chef, he is strongly opposed to America's new poultry prohibition law which creates tension between himself and his brother. He lost his cooking show when he accused the government of lying about the bird flu while on camera. He's recently gotten a ressurgence in popularity folllowing the FDA easing up on the chicken ban.
  • Big Brother Bully: To Tony as a kid. He's somehow even WORSE to him in present day.
  • Blessed with Suck: It is revealed in issue 36 that he too has a sort of power based on eating food, one that Toni and Sage have a laugh over.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: When it comes to the truth behind the bird flu epidemic.
  • Jerkass: Is a dick to Tony every time the two are together. This extends all the way back to childhood.
    • The biggest example of this is when Amelia calls about Tony being missing.. and Chow states that he hopes Tony's dead.
  • Morality Pet: Toni, the one person he treated at all decently.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Continually gets involved in poultry-dealing, despite knowing that it's illegal and that his own brother is a cop, is perfectly willing to send him to jail for the crime, and his brother can track down if he was involved in making anything poultry related. To put this in perspective, Tony tries to send him to Jail in the first comic, and only doesn't thanks to his bosses FDA protection, and Chow is fully ware Tony was moved to the FDA, yet continually brings chicken and other kinds of poultry around him.

Antonelle "Toni" Chu

Tony's fraternal twin sister, who works for NASA. She seems to be the only member of the Chu family that doesn't hate him. She's also cibovoyant, meaning she can see the future of any living person or animal she bites.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Takes over as main character for the "Space Cakes" arc.
  • Blessed with Suck: While being cibovoyant doesn't seem quite as bad as having cibopathy, it still sucks.
    • Exemplified leading up to her death. She has to go through the motions of planning a wedding that will never happen, as well as set up events to get her final message to Tony across, all while knowing she's about to be brutally dismembered by a horrible monster.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Falls into both tropes. She's sweet but WILL call you out on your bullshit and will kick your ass when needed. She's goofy, but she's also a highly trained NASA agent with Combat Clairvoyance.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Though it proves to be her undoing when one of the Vampire's agents sees her using it.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Has all her limbs cut off while awake before having her neck snapped.
  • Defiant to the End
  • Establishing Character Moment: She's first seen tackle hugging Tony, then arm punching him for not calling her. She follows this up by chewing out Rosemary for not wanting Tony there.
  • Good Is Not Soft: She's sweet yes, but she will call you out on your shit.
  • The Heart: Of the Chew Family.
  • Genki Girl: Oh yeah.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Toni hides her cibovoyant powers because she doesn't wanted to be treated like a freakshow like Tony is.
  • Neck Snap
  • Nice Girl: The single nicest person in the cast, and one of the few people not to treat Tony like shit.
  • Posthumous Character: Issue 31 onwards.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: She has to do this to living people to use her powers for particularly useful visions.
  • Man of Kryptonite: : A self-inflicted example. She eats nothing but beets in the weeks leading up to her death, making her immune to The Vampire's Chibopathy so he couldn't steal her power.
  • Neck Snap: Courtesy of the Collector
  • Shipper on Deck: For Tony and Amelia, being insanely excited when she finds out he has girlfriend, letting him call her on the way to a mission and trying to set up a nice dinner for them.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Stops Rosemary pre-rant and chews her out for her cold reception to Tony.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Leaves her toe behind so Tony can eat it and use what she learned to defeat The Vampire.
  • Will They or Won't They?:With Paneer. They do.. right before her death.

Olive Chu

Tony's daughter. She strongly dislikes him.
  • Badass: She stands up to Mason Savoy of all people stating on no uncertain terms that if he wants to use her powers, he'd better treat her as an equal rather than a tool and will only work with him on her terms.
  • Badass Abnormal: Has Chibopathy stronger than her Dad, who until Mason met her was the strongest Chibopath Mason had ever encountered. Not only that, but she then gains the ability to sculpt weapons out of food on top of that.
  • Blessed with Suck: Averted. While she has a stronger version of her dad's Chibopathy, she can turn it on and off.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You:Played with. He really did, as Tony was in no shape to care for her following Min's death. It was the fact he never came back for her that soured their relationship.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Slowly but surely towards Tony.
  • Emo Teen
  • Genre Savvy: When Mason Savoy claims to be a friend of her father asks to talk to her, she promptly books it. Unfortunately for her, Savoy has few problems druging a teenager, but fortunately for her, he simply wanted to recruit her.
  • The Glomp: Gives one to Tony when introduced.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Is routinely rude to Rosemary. If it were anyone else, she'd be seen as a brat. But since i'ts a cover for her activities with Mason and Rosemary is an awful person who cared more about herself than about her brother being abducted....
  • Mundane Utility: Uses her powers to accel in school.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Averted.

Sage Chu

Tony's younger sister.

Rosemary Chu-Shen

Tony's older sister who raised Olive for him. As a result she dosen't like him that much.
  • Education Mama: Is thrilled when Olive makes the Honor Roll, unaware she's cheating her way to it.
  • Happily Married: For some time.
  • Jerkass: Granted she has a reason to resent Tony, unlike the rest of his family, but she still takes it way too far.
  • Never My Fault: Blames all of Olive's problems on Tony and constantly badmouths him.
  • Pet the Dog: Is in tears following Olive getting her face slashed by The Collector and doesn't blame Tony for it at all, and instead lets him join in worrying about his daughter with not a hint of drama.

Harold Chu

Tony's crossdressing younger brother. Goes by the stage name Miso Honey.




An incredibly Badass fighting rooster who is later converted into a [cyborg by the USDA.

Director Pena

The elderly director of the USDA.
  • Gag Boobs
  • Jerkass
  • Woman Scorned: Reacts to Colby and Applebee's marriage by Not sending Poyo to help, resulting in most of the FDA horribly injured and countless deaths.

Lin Sae Woo

The first USDA agent introduced in the series sent to Yamapalu to investigate a series of murders. She ends up teaming up with tony.. and then becomes the first on page victim of the Vampire.


The Vampire/The Collector

A cibopath who pretends to be a vampire and learns things by drinking blood. He has a yet-unexplained interest in the space program.
  • Arch-Enemy: Becomes Tony's after he murders Toni. The feeling becomes mutual after Tony refuses his offer.
  • Big Bad
  • Blood Sucking: :The Vampire has discovered that cibopathy works nearly as well with blood as it does for flesh. He makes an exception for those with special abilities. Those recipes? Call for meat.
  • Collector of the Strange: A disturbing example.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Thanks to a combination of knowledge of an obscure food related art and eating an entire judo team, he hands the FDA their asses when they try to bring him in.
  • Evil Is Petty: Seriously, one guy just had a power to string guitars with pasta. The Collector ate him anyways despite this having no practical application whatsoever.
  • Fangs Are Evil
  • Hoisted By His Own Petard: Killing Toni, who thanks to knowing about her death in advance left her very pissed off brother the knowledge of how to end him.
  • Karmic Death: Tony kills him the same way The Collector killed Toni.
  • Mega Manning: Like all Chibopaths, however unlike the others, he focuses on this specifically, trying to gain as many food abilities as possible.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Due to being able to get them easily and having collected quite a few over centuries before the story proper.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: He's a cibopath, not actually a vampire; a explanatory page in "International Flavor" confirms that there is no such thing as vampires, but the fear that the idea thereof inspires is real, and the power of harnessing that fear is undeniable...
  • We Can Rule Together: Gives this offer to Tony, who refuses.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Upon finding out he can't absorb Toni's ablities and that she's already set his downfall in motion.

Jack Ray Montero

A businessman who invented "fricken," a chicken substitute using frogs with modified DNA. Savoy finds out that Montero knew about the bird flu epidemic before it happened and later gets the truth out of him after biting him.

Alani Adobo

A file clerk on Yamapalu who bribed her way off the island and onto a smuggling boat full of Gallisberries. She was the only surivior of the boats and a diet of nothing but Gallisberries. When she took a bit of her last one, the fire writing appeared in the sky, leading her to start an anti-chicken eating cult known as the Brotherhood of the Imaculate Ova, preaching that the letters were a warning against chicken. She's now leading a holy war against them.


A terrorist group that believes the government is covering up the real truth behind the bird flu epedimic. They serve as a recurring antagonist.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: While they are dangerous, they are nowhere near as dangerous as the Order of the Immaculate Ova or the Collector.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Played with. They are a legit threat, being armed gunmen who easily get into secure areas, and in any other setting they'd be fine. But they constanly get beaten down due to going up against food weridos.
  • Western Terrorists

Dan Franks

Amelia's Psycho Ex Boyfriend. A sports writer with an obsession with writing a tell all about dead baseball players sex lives, Amelia dumped him due to him never shutting up about the idea. After getting encouragment by his buddies to finally write the book, he decides to kidnap Tony to get the info.

Peter Pilaf

A classmate of Olives with an unknown food power that allows him some form of control over people through cooking. He takes his school hostage, prompting Chu and Colby to intervene.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: An implied rapist and definite murderer, who still wouldn't murder astronauts, a crime the Collector did that he was blamed for.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: He claims he could kill hundreds of people at once. This is likely true given that he's later shown imprissoned in the bowels of the FDA's supermax prison with three other incredibly dangerous food weirdos.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Heavily implied to have used his power to have his way with girls in his class.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He grossly underestimates Chew and Colby.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: Uses his powers to mass murder and brainwash classmates after being laughed at by them for so long.


Amelia Mintz

Tony's girlfriend. She is a saboscrivner, meaning that she can write or talk about food so vividly that it can cause people to actually taste it. She uses her ability in her job as a newspaper food critic. Her power allows Tony to taste foods without the often disgusting visions that usually come with them. The two begin dating though Amelia is sometimes annoyed at the time taken up by Tony's job.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: A nice, understanding woman who is not to be crossed.
  • Brown Note: The alternate use of her saboscrivner powers; by describing especially noxious foods, she can make anyone who reads the words or hears her voice fall sick.
  • Covered in Gunge: Get's covered in blood on her first date with Tony after he kills a guy holding her hostage.
  • Happily Married: To Tony as of issue 41
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: She can describe food really, really well. She can do this so well she can leave people enraptured by describing awesome food... or reeling and puking by describing really bad food.
  • Hot Scoop
  • Intrepid Reporter: On the ocasions she doesn't do food stories and upon learning where Poult Plus comes from.
  • Love Interest: Tony's
  • Mama Bear: Beats the shit out of Mason when she thinks he's about to hurt Olive. She likely would've killed him had Olive not stopped her.
  • Out of Focus: During "Flambe", "Space Cakes" and "Bad Apples". Afterwords she returns to prominence.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Part of why she loves Tony. Most of her exes were jerks and her most recent one is a racist sociopath who later kidnaps Tony and forcefeeds him dead baseball players.


A black market chicken dealer who works as an informant for the FDA. He used to deal heroin before chicken prohibition made chicken dealing more profitable.

  • Ascended Extra: Becomes Tony's partner after his falling out with Colby
  • Butt Monkey: Has been beaten up, hit by a truck and brainwashed.
  • Funny Afro: His third appearance onwards.
  • Karma Houdini: His status as an FDA informant allowed him to avoid arrest by Tony and John while they were still on Philly PD. However...
    • Laser-Guided Karma: Once John became an FDA agent, his first order of business was beating the ever loving shit out of D-Bear and making D-Bear give him his FDA payments.
    • He also gives some to an EGG agent who would've gotten off easy due to a clean record by breaking her jaw. While she'll be given a comfortable suite at an FDA supermax prision, she'll be eating through a straw the whole time.
  • Sixth Ranger: Temporarliy joins the FDA at the begining of "Blood Pudding" due to the FDA being short handed after the vampire injured most of their agents. ]

Paneer Sharma

Director of NASA with a crush on Toni
  • Badass: He sends The Collector running, someone who just defeated the FDA's best single handidly.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Has a tendency to save the day with Jetpacks and Lasers
  • Extreme Doormat: When it comes to Toni. All it takes is a little sweet talk and he'll do whatever she wants.
  • Heroic BSOD: Slowly undergoes this due to all of Toni's brothers shunning his attempts to connect with them.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Toni.

Lt.Marshall Mello

Tony's boss during his brief time as a traffic cop.
  • Adorkable
  • Benevolent Boss: Unlike Applebee, he sees Tony as the asset he is and only fires him due to his kidnapping and likely would've hired him back in a heartbeat if Tony hadn't returned to the FDA.
  • Foil: To Applebee. A nice guy with no power who sees Tony for the asset he is instead of shitting on him constantly.
  • Nice Guy
  • The Pollyanna
  • Punny Name

Min "Mindy" Tso-Chu

Tony's ex-girlfriend. It is implied they broke up due to her blatant insanity. Later, it is revealed they were actually married, and her "insanity" was caused by brain cancer. When Tony proposed to her, she accepted and asked him to eat one of her toes.
  • High School Sweethearts: With Tony
  • Overprotective Dad: Had one who tracked her and Tony down on prom night then beat the shit out of Tony for having sex with his daughter.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: To Tony Chu.
  • Yandere: She cut off her toe and asked him to eat it so they could literally be a part of each other. He turned her down, but kept the toe in his freezer for Olive.