Tony has been cibopathic for as long as he can remember. After solving a crime with his strange ability, he was invited to join the FDA. He has since went on to solve various crimes using his cibopathy.
Chu was created by John Layman and Rob Guillory. His first appearance was in Image's Chew #1. At the back of Chew: Taster's Choice the creators said this about the making of Tony Chu
We wanted Chu to be a totally unstereotypical Asian-American.
Major Story Arcs
Tony Chu lives in a society where the government has outlawed poultry due to the contagion bird flu. His brother was a famous TV chef who had a nervous breakdown live on air, ranting about the inadequacies of substitute chicken products.
After a chance run in with a serial killer who was posing as a chef in a black market chicken restaurant, Tony's partner John Colby was seriously wounded. Chu chased down the killer into a back alley where he committed suicide. Chu was forced to digest the killer's flesh in order to learn the identities of his other victims. Although it provided him with positive identifications, his methods caused problems for his superiors.
The success of his work brought him to the attention of the FDA, one of the most powerful agencies in America. In exchange for surgery to repair his former partner's face, Chu agrees to work for the FDA along side Agent Mason Savoy, a fellow cibopath. However, at the FDA, life is made difficult by his spiteful new boss, Mike Applebee who forces him to consume everything from rotting human remains to dead dogs. While investigating the death of a health inspector, Chu encounters food critic and saboscrivner Amelia Mintz, and falls in love with her. Chu discovers that his new partner, Savoy, was responsible for the murder of the health inspector, and tries to take him in. Savoy bites off Tony's ear, threatening to eat it and go after Tony's family.
After the Savoy incident, Tony is given a prosthetic ear, and is placed with his former partner John Colby. Applebee sends the two to investigate a bank robbery where the only evidence left behind was a pile of feces. With Tony refusing to eat it, John suggests that they attempt to solve the crime by doing actual detective work. They found the perpetrators with the money, and illegal chicken. Tasting the chicken soup, Tony soon realizes that it's not chicken, but an odd fruit.
Trying to find the location of the strange chicken fruit, Tony goes with Chow to the island of Yamapalu. He is soon confronted by USDA agent Lin Sae Woo. He states that he was only tracking the fruit, and not trying to horn in on her case. She tells Tony that they'll meet at a bar and exchange information. So Tony waits, only for Lin to not show up. Tony is soon after arrested for the murder of Lin Sae Woo. While in jail, Tony is beat up by two men, and is saved by an Officer Kulolo after he is confirmed to be a member of the FDA. Tony goes to investigate a murder with Kulolo that he flashed on when he bit an inmate. They discover the body and learn that the man was killed over a championship cockfighting rooster. The two then find the rooster and take it to the police station. Kulolo allows Chu to take a look at Lin's body. After leaving the room Tony realizes that Kulolo cheated him and made off with the rooster, he also left him one of the chicken fruits he was after. After taking a bite, Tony realizes that the fruit is out of this world.
After taking a bite from one of the bodies at the island morgue, Tony learns that a vampire is storming the island, and is going to try to steal one of the governor's chefs. He also sees that the vampire killed Lin. Tony sneaks into the governor's compound and rescues both Chow and Amelia. He tells them to go south, but then stops when he sees that a gigantic fire is growing in that direction. Tony goes back for the chef Fatanyeros, and finds the vampire with him and the governor. The governor attacks Chu, and takes his gun. The vampire leaves with Fatanyeros and tells Tony that they'll meet again. Tony helplessly watches as the governor killed himself. Tony then leaves the island with Chow and Amelia. Upon his return, Director Applebee is strangely treating Tony nicely, and Tony gets the nerve to call Amelia. He gets nervous and doesn't say anything, but Amelia knew why he called, and she sets up a date.
Powers & Skills
Tony Chu is a Cibopath, which means he can psychically see the origins of any food he eats. Therefore, fruits & vegetables give him the history of how the produce was farmed. However, eating any meat will give him vivid visions of how the animals were slaughtered.
This ability was what led him to chase the serial killer chef at the chicken restaurant. When he tasted the chicken soup, he was flooded with visions of human beings who had been killed, chopped up & boiled into the soup. By eating the chef's flesh, Chu was therefore able to learn the identities of his victims.
The only food that doesn't give Chu any visions is beets. However, no-one else understands Chu's cibopathy, and therefore his old partner used to mock him about his strange dietary habits.
As a trained police officer, Chu has had to pass certain physical training, and is capable of using hand-held firearms.
Director Stephen Hopkins has stated that he will be working on the " Chew" TV Series. A show that is currently a working title. This was mentioned at 2010 SDCC, Stephen Hopkins stated that this show will probably air on AMC.
In 2011, it was reported that Chew was picked up as a television series for Showtime. The pilot script is said to be written by Terri Hughes Burton and Ron Milbauer.
Both creators of Chew have expressed interest in actor Ken Leung playing Tony Chu.