Back in 1998, my comic hobby was fledgling at best. There was a decent local shop, but at the close of my junior year of high school, I had other priorities for where my money was being allocated. Still, when I could, I'd stop by and pick up some books just to see what had been happening since I fell out of the hobby after the conclusion of "The Phalanx Covenant."
But as luck would have it, all it would take for me to get invested once again was the familiar style of Joe Madureira calling to me from the shelves. Four years away from the hobby, and his distinctive style was still burned in my brain. I'd never seen anything like Battle Chasers as a comic before, but after flipping through the pages, I was hooked. Here was one of my favorite creators and he was bringing Japanese role-playing games to comics. It was a high school gamer's dream come true.
To say it's been 14 years since Battle Chasers has been part of the conversation wouldn't entirely be accurate. While the comic itself hasn't been around for nearly a decade and a half, devoted fans of the book and its creator Joe Madureira have always wondered when and if Battle Chasers would return. Last year, we finally got our answer. Not only is Joe Mad planning on bringing back the gang for a comic book reunion, but his development studio, Airship Syndicate, has been hard at work on a Battle Chasers game as well.
Joe Madureira's fantasy adventure series Battle Chasers was a huge hit when it launched in 1998 from WildStorm's Cliffhanger imprint, but it quickly fell to an irregular schedule, with one issue delayed by sixteen months, and the series disappeared altogether after its ninth issue in 2001.
But that sixteen month delay is going to look like nothing compared to the gap between issues #9 and #10! Yes, Battle Chasers is finally coming back after a fourteen year break, to coincide with the launch of a Battle Chasers video game currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter. To celebrate the book's long-awaited return, we spoke to Joe Madureira about what he's been up to, and why readers should give the series a fresh chance! We also have an exclusive look at some of Madureira's character sketches and concept art for the series.
Earlier this year, Joe Madureira hinted at the possibility of Battle Chasers, his creator-owned series, returning in some form. After leaving comics for a time to focus on game development, and then releasing two games with Vigil Games and THQ, it seems the time is now right for Gully, Garrison, Calibretto and the rest of the gang to make their comeback. Battle Chasers: Nightwar will see Joe Mad return to the series and characters for the first time in almost 15 years, but this time the franchise is stepping into a new arena --- video games.
Using Kickstarter to fund the development for PC and Mac (other platforms will follow if stretch goals are met), Airship Syndicate is bringing the fan-favorite comic to life as a JRPG. If you're at all familiar with Battle Chasers, you know just how perfect a fit the world of that series is for a role-playing game steeped in the traditions of Squaresoft and Enix, but with a modern twist. That means there'll be loads of turn-based battles, mana and dungeon crawling to go around, but the dungeons will be generated randomly and have a bit of that Diablo flare.
Almost fifteen years after the comic disappeared from shelves, Joe Madureira's Battle Chasers is set up for a big comeback. Of course, since he's gotten a taste of video game development, Joe Mad's not content to just revisit the fan-favorite in comic book form.
Yesterday's Image Comics Show panel at Comic-Con provided fans with some nice bits of news about upcoming projects from the publisher, as well the announcement that TV and comics writer Marc Guggenheim has formed Collider Entertainment, which will aim to bring some of Hollywood's best creators into making comics...
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