On June 17 Newsarama published news that Joe Madureira‘s Battle Chasers comic will finally get completed. While there wasn’t a lot of new information, there was a couple of tidbits that are worth pointing out. The first being that Joe Madureira has apparently put together a team of artist to assist him in it's completion. Since none were named in the article, I know that there are at least 2 artist which sprint to mind for me. Artist that could be good fits to get the work done and have a similar style to Madureira.
Jonboy Meyers: I love Meyer's work. I could see his artwork on pages next to Joe Mad!. Hell, I could see Meyer's doing finished inks over Mad!'s layouts and just turning the whole book up a notch.
Gerardo Sandoval. I remember when I first saw Gerardo's work on Guardians 3000. It reminded me so much of what makes Madureira's work resonate with me then, more so now.
None of this really matter, because Madureira is going to put together a great team regardless. But I never miss an opportunity to give these guys a push when I can.
What I found most interesting in the Newsarama article was the comments people were leaving, some of which stunned me with their ignorance. So I thought it would be a good idea to take the time and provide answer to those comments in order to avoid a repeat of that here.
What has Joe Mad! Been doing for the last 20 years?
Well, aside from penciling Ultimates 3 1-5, Savage Wolverine 6-8, Inhuman 1-3 Joe has been working in the game industry. His first game studio Vigil Games produced 2 Darksiders Video games. A new Darksider's game is happening, but I don't think Madureira has anything to do with it. There is also 2 art books for Darksiders that is chock full of Madureira art as well as other artist involved with the games.
His second game studio, Airship Syndicate produced a Battle Chasers video game. Which I should take the time to point out that many of the people who have played the game are not necessarily aware there's a comic. As I'm sure there are people who read the comic who didn't know there was a video game.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's look at some of the key's. It's kinda funny to think that a book with only 9 issues has keys. In all reality it's more along the lines of variants I guess. There are assorted foreign variants for some of the issues, which i will not be covering. Like the Splinter variants, just as an example.
Cliffhangers Sketchbook #0 1997. There's an A cover and a Wizard World Chicago variant B cover. This is the first Battle Chaser anything. While it's not a story, it's still the first Battle Chasers. The A cover has a massive print run which has always worked against it.
Frank Frazetta Illustrated #2 1998. While this is the first Battle Chasers story, it's a magazine and that weighs heavily against it in my book. Because I'm a comic guy, not a magazine guy. The Frazetta cover A is a $5 to $20 book depending on condition. There's a B cover which is the same as the Wizard Platinum limited 500 copies version. The B cover is by Joe Madureira with the Battle Chasers on it, those both go for significantly more $20.
Battle Chasers #1. There's a couple covers for this book, I'm a pretty firm believer that the Another Universe Red Monika variants are the ones to have. Beyond that personal preference, there's probably not one cover that's really better than the others.
Battle Chasers #6 Another Universe Adam Warren Red Monika Variant. Sorry, I'm a huge Adam Warren fan and I buy these when ever I see them, if the price is right. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Warren is working on the new issues, since he's done Battle Chasers interior artwork before. Infact, Warren's first interiors for BC was a back up story in this issue.
Battle Chasers #7. issue 7 seems to be one of the harder issues to find in the wild. There's a regular cover by Joe Mad!, a JSC variant which oddly enough, seems to be the most common one I run across. The C cover by Ramos appears to be the hardest to come by in the wild, but that just what i've found over the years diggin in bins.
Battle Chasers #9. This was the last issue to be published. It's also worth pointing out that this issue is a flip book with Adam Warren drawing an early adventure with Garrison and Red Monika. Aside from Joe Mad!, Adam Warren is the only other artist to draw any Battle Chasers interiors that I'm aware of. Granted, they are both back up stories.
Issues 6-9 were not reprinted in the Gathering of Heroes HC and TPB. Because of that and the sporadic releases, those seem to be the most expensive issues with the lowest print runs. 8 and 9 also don't have variant covers. In September Image will release a new Battle Chasers TPB, however it's unclear if it's a reprint of Gathering of Heroes or will include all 9 issues and the preview. Based on the page count, I think it's going to included all 9 issues and the backup stories… but you'd think someone at Image Comics might have wanted to include that in the September solicitation.
You might be asking, why does any of this matter. Truth is, it might not. However if people who have never heard of Battle Chasers before find the TPB in September, or end up picking up issue 10 off the rack one day, they'll probably want the rest of the issues. That's a great opportunity for a flip. I seem to go through spurts of buying Battle Chasers comics, I think I have a short box of assorted issues and variant covers now, not counting my PC copies and slabs. Why would I possibly need a short box of battle chasers when it's only 9 issues? Because it's a property I still have faith in.
Till next week!