Page 45 Review by Jonathan
"Your thumb. You broke your own rule. "No live human trials.""
"Yeah, well... someone had to do it. Who better? It was right after you left. Hit a bit of a dark patch. Hard to believe it's only been seven years. Feels like a lifetime."
"I'm glad you called. I wish you'd done it sooner."
"I know, it's just... you know me. After your mom... and after you left, I busied myself with hard work. And we've done a lot of good. We brought healing to people. But what good is it if I can't even share this with my children? It's the Jenkins family farm, for God's sake. I was wrong, Ezekiel. About a lot. You were right to leave. But I'm glad you're home. I want to start over. I want my family back."
"Yeah, I'd like that. There's a lot to work through. But I wanna move forward. All I ask is this: No more secrets. No more surprises. From now on, everything's aboveboard in this family. Deal?"
"Scout's honour, everything aboveboard."
Of course it is Jedidiah, of course it is...
Here's the publisher's tasting notes to tantalise us further:
"Jedidiah Jenkins is a simple farmer. But his cash crop isn't corn or soy. He grows fast-healing, highly-customizable human organs. For years, Jed's organic transplants have brought healing to many, but deep in the soil of the Jenkins Family Farm something sinister has taken root. Today this dark seed will begin to sprout, and the Jenkins family will be the first to taste its bitter fruit."
Jedidiah might profess to be a simple farmer, but he's a wee bit more... devious than that. Not just with the public, but also his family as well. Which is a not inconsiderable part of the reason son Ezekiel was estranged from him for nigh on seven years. Still, he's been lured back into the family fold by his undoubtedly charismatic father, who has also managed to charm the public with his miracle healing produce. And of course, because everything is above board, what could possibly go wrong? Errr... pretty much everything?
Much like Rob Guillory's (and John Layman's) hilarious long running CHEW series, which starred Tony Chu, the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he ate, this is madcap genetically modified fun right from the off going straight for the joke-jangling juiced-up jugular.
It feels slightly darker in tone than CHEW, which I think is entirely due to the somewhat sinister vibe of the all-too-evangelical Jedidiah, who is a wonderfully ambiguous character, much like Mason Savoy turned out to be in CHEW, but it's still primarily laughs aplenty hitting the reader's plate. Several other crackpots, Jenkins and otherwise, are introduced by the end of this first arc, fleshing out our cast nicely, and I'm expecting this to be a highly flavoursome character-driven comedy caper that will satisfy my taste for the farcically absurd. Because, you know, I don't get enough of that working in a comic shop...