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Characters: Chew

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.
  • 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.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: The reason why Tony gets assigned to the FDA in the first place.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His fiance And wife Min Tso went insane due to a brain tumor But not before leaving him with a daughter, who he then passed on to his sister. .
  • 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 vampire, ruthlessly murdering his minons and generally focusing entirely on his work. He snaps out of it at the end of the "Family Recipie" arc thanks to a Thanatos Gambit by Toni herself.
  • 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: Tony when he gets demoted to traffic enforcement.
  • 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 his Kidnapping and force feeding, of dead baseball players, by Amelia's Ex and Toni's death have given him a mean fastball and made him far more self assure and gung ho, to the point he Tells Applebee off and just a glare can make the guy give in to Chu these day and gives The Vampire/Collector a badass boast
  • 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 dosent' hate or resent him.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Keeps his ex-girlfriend and later wife Min Tso's toe she gave him in his freezer. It's later revealed he did so that, when she was ready, Sage could take in her mother's memory before her brain cancer got really bad.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Colby.

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.
  • Bi the Way: Sleeps with Applebee and his USDA boss.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: When it comes to the truth behind the bird flu epidemic.
  • Closet Key: Colby is this for Applebee.
  • Cowboy Cop: Colby is gleefully willing to violate every bit of police protocol that gets in his way.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 seduces 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.
  • Tenchi Solution: How the Love Triangle with Applebee and his USDA boss is resolved, to his horror.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: When it comes to the truth behind the bird flu epidemic.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost every fight Mason gets into is extremley one sided, even against a horde of ninja. [[spoiler: 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 abliity to get power from candy simply by exploiting the man's one weakness.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shows visable regret after drugging and kidnapping Sage.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Tony and Colby. He's a chibopath like tony but one willing to work far outside the law, in contrast to Tony's by the book cop nature and like Colby he believes the bird-flu epidemic was a coverup, but unlike Savoy Colby refuses to go against the law to do so.
  • 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.

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.
  • Happily Married: To Tony as of issue 41
  • Covered in Gunge: Get's covered in blood on her first date with Tony after he kills a guy holding her hostage.
  • 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 dosen't do food stories and upon learning where Poult Plus comes from.
  • Love Interest: Tony's
  • Out of Focus: During the 4th , 6th, and 7th arcs, though her lack of focus in Space Cakes, the 6th arc, is explained by the fact she refuses to leave a heavily injured tony's bedside .
  • 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
  • Unphased Everyman: Zig-Zagged

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.
  • 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 pretty much a dick to Tony every time the two are together.
  • 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 fullya ware Tony was moved to the FDA, yet continually brings chicken 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 revealed to be 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.
  • Defiant to the end.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shipper on Deck: For Tony and Amelia, being insanely excited wehn she finds out he has girlriend, letting him call her on the way to a mission and trying to set up a nice dinner for them.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Leaves her toe behind so Tony can eat it and use what she learned to defeat The Vampire.
  • Killed Off for Real

Olive Chu

Tony's daughter. She strongly dislikes him.
  • Blessed with Suck: She inherited her father's cibopathy, though it's unclear if she also inherited his uncontrollable visions.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: 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.
  • Genre Savvy: When Mason Savoy claims to be a friend of her father asks to talk to her, she promplty books it. Unfortunatley for her, Savoy has few problems druging a teenager, but fortunately for her, he simply wanted to recruit her.
  • Emo Teen
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Averted.

Poyo

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

Min "Mindy" Tso

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.

D-Bear

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.

  • Butt Monkey: Has been beaten up and hit by a truck.
  • 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 buisness was beating the ever loving shit out of D-Bear and making D-Bear give him his FDA payment.

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.

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. .

The Vampire

A cibopath who pretends to be a vampire and learns things by drinking blood. He has a yet-unexplained interest in the space program.
  • Blood Sucking: The Vampire has discovered that cibopathy works nearly as well with blood as it does for flesh.
  • Fangs Are Evil
  • Hero Killer: Kills Toni.
  • Mega Manning: Like all Chibopaths, however unlike the others, he focuses on this specifically, trying to gain as many food abilities as possible.
  • 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.

Mike Applebee

Tony and Colby's boss at the FDA until they get transferred to other departments.
  • Bad Boss: Mike Applebee, who hates Tony for no discernible reason and seems more concerned about torturing Tony than solving cases. Colby mockingly attributes it to Applebee being a repressed homosexual... which is where he gets the idea of getting Applebee off of Tony's back by sleeping with Applebee from.
  • Dirty Coward: Is strongly hinted to be this in issue 32, when he finally gets a taste of the abuse he has heaped upon Tony (and Colby, to a lesser extent) throughout the series. All he can do is whimper in fear at Tony, implying that while Applebee is good at dishing out abuse, he is very bad in taking any.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Makes Tony eat a finger for his lunch for a case they already had fingerprint data on.
  • Jerk Ass: almost consistently one towards Tony and Colby
  • Kick the Dog: Damn near everything involving him and Tony. Highlights include
    • Making Tony eat a finger for a case that they already had the info on without telling him.
    • Attempting to make tony eat shit for a case.

Sage Chu

Tony's younger sister.

Other members of the Chu family

All fit under the Big Screwed-Up Family trope.
  • Rosemary Chu-Shen: Tony's older sister. Takes care of Tony's daughter Olive. Dislikes Tony.
  • Tang Shen: Tony's brother-in-law and Rosemary's husband. Also dislikes Tony.
  • Ong Chu: Tony's grandfather. Had a stroke at some point in the past and uses a wheelchair and oxygen tank.
  • Harold Chu: Tony's younger brother. A transvestite who uses the stage name "Miso Honey."
  • Bok Chu: Tony's late father.
  • Bao Chu: Tony's mother.
  • Chip Chu-Shen: Tony's nephew.
  • Bree Chu-Shen: Tony's baby niece.
  • Charlie Chu: Tony's distant cousin. Works for Oni Press.
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