One of the longest unanswered questions in modern comic-book fandom is set to be answered: What happens after Battle Chasers #9? Now, with a little bit of luck and a dash (or bucket) of patience (it’s been almost 14 years since #9) we’ll finally get to see the tale continue in comic book form. Oh, and there’s a game to boot.
In what was fandom’s worst-kept secret since Battle Chasers writer-artist Joe Madureira tweeted a teaser image of his next project (most fans would recognise Garrison’s blade), the official confirmation is out. While details are still up in the air, Polygon is reporting that Madureira is thinking of working on three-issue arcs that will continue the tale of Gully and gang while updating the book with Madureira’s current artistic sensibilities – after all, it’s been 14 years since we last visited the world.
— Joe Madureira (@JoeMadx) February 20, 2015
And that’s not all: Part of why all this looks more positive than previous attempts to revive the series is that Madureira is a huge gamer, and he’ll be working with his newly-founded game production company, Airship Syndicate, to bring the comic book into the digital gaming realm. Details are still a little hazy – but it’s possible that Madureira’s work on the highly-underrated Darksiders and its sequel might indicate that it’s going to be an epic-hack-and-slash RPG. Airship Syndicate have confirmed that it will, at the very least, be an RPG – but I doubt it’ll be anything like, say, the Baldur’s Gate series. The game might even be Kickstarted – but right now not a lot of it is confirmed.
(What I do want to suggest, however, is that if there is a cow level of sorts a-la-Diablo, let’s have Red Monika run it and have the enemies shout “TEEF! TEEF!” instead of moo?)
Set in a steampunk-esque fantasy word, Battle Chasers told the tale of a little girl (and power-glove-wielding) Gully, the warrior Garrison, the wizard Knolan, Knolan’s giant golem Calibretto (my favourite character) and bounty hunter / thief Red Monika. At 9 issues the story was really just getting started, but the impact on the comic world back then was big enough that a dozen other fantasy comics came out soon after, causing huge damage to my wallet. I can’t remember most of them any more (I guess Red Star counts?) but Battle Chasers, together with J Scott Campbell’s Danger Girl and Humberto Ramos’ Crimson on the Cliffhanger label, definitely sent ripples through the comic world. They never made it to Image levels of size (the erratic release schedule of Battle Chasers might have had some part to play), but even to this day comic fans remember that era.
When Madureira visited Singapore for STGCC back in 2013, he fielded questions about Battle Chasers from all angles, going from confirming that he was working on a new Battle Chasers issue to saying that he was thinking about it – in fact, his work on the series was so well-known that even non-comic readers asked him about when Battle Chasers would return. I’m glad to see all this come to rest, and have been vibrating with glee since the preview image appeared.
If words could ever represent tears of joy, this would be it – My praise for Battle Chasers will be effusive and unbridled mostly because, well, this blog wouldn’t exist without it. My interest in comics truly restarted after a hiatus of a few years when I got my hands on Battle Chasers #1-2 (the double issue reprint), and meeting Madureira and having him sign some issues was really a dream come true. If you chat with me online, and I pause for thought with a “hmz” … you’ll have to thank Calibretto for that. While I’ve been long resigned to not getting a new issue of Battle Chasers, now that it’s reality, well, sign me up.
Dear Joe Madureira, thank you. Let’s get a great game, and some great comics to read.