Thursday, May 8, 2014

Battle Chasers


In early 1998 I began seeing promos for a new comic called Battle Chasers. I didn't give it much thought, as the promos made the book look like just another bad girl T & A comic book. I stepped away from the from the hobby not long after the first issue came out and it would be a number of years before I actually read the series which only lasted nine issues.

Battle Chasers is the brain child of Joe "Mad" Madureira. Although Joe is a hell of an artist he has been heavily criticized as being a slow artist. Over the four years that Battle Chasers was being published only nine issues ever hit the racks and their was sixteen month wait between issues six and seven. Joe left the comics industry putting issue ten on indefinite hold to pursue a career in video game. Darksiders ring a bell to anybody?

Battle Chaser #1
Battle Chasers is an absolutely gorgeous run of comics. The setting is somewhat like the iron kingdoms a perfect blend of fantasy with some aspects steampunk as there are airships and war golems which are similar to warjacks.

The story focuses on the characters of Gully, Garrison, Knolan, Calibretto and Red Monika. Gully is young girl who's father mysteriously disappears and is in possession of a set of powerful magical gauntlets that her father left behind. Garrison was a former royal guard and one of the greatest swordsmen ever known. He enters the story as a despair drunk fighting the loss of his wife. Knolan is a old wizard who keeps company with the outlawed wargolem Calibretto. Last is Red Monika a bounty hunter and the reason why I initially passed on the book.

Red Monika
The story is only nine issues, I'm not going to spoil any of it here. The single issues can be found as well as a few collected editions but be prepared to open the wallet wide. The collected edition is available at comiXology if you don't mind reading it digitally. Battle Chasers is a great fantasy book and despite the slow output of issues it was one more popular titles of the late '90's. Although issue ten was never released it made to #14 on Diamond's top 300 for the month it was due out with over 60,000 pre-orders.

After Darksiders 2, Joe Mad left video game design and stepped back into the world of comics teasing that Battle Chasers would be making a comeback. I want to be optimistic of seeing Battle Chasers in print again, but like many other comics fans as much as I enjoy Joe's work, I'm not holding my breath for it.

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