Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Comics Review: "BATTLE CHASERS #12" Ends its First New Arc with a Bang


STORY: Joe Madureira
ART: Ludo Lullabi
COLORS: Ludo Lullabi
LETTERS: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Tyler Smith
COVER: Ludo Lullabi
VARIANT COVER ARTISTS: Joe Madureira with Billy Garretsen; Jonboy Meyers; Stanley “Art” Lau; Reiq; Andrew Cockroach; Derrick Chew
MISC. ART: Ludo Lullabi; Hicham Habchi
34pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (August 2023)

Rated “M/ Mature”

Battle Chasers created by Joe Madureira

“Martial Law” Part Three

Battle Chasers is a fantasy comic book series created by artist Joe Madureira.  The series, originally published from 1998 to 2001, returns via Image Comics.  It is written by Madureira; drawn and colored by Ludo Lullabi; and lettered by Tyler Smith.

Battle Chasers focuses on five main characters.  There is Gully, a ten-year-old girl who has a pair of magical gauntlets.  Garrison is a legendary swordsman who possesses a powerful magical sword.  Knolan is a mighty 500-year-old wizard, and his companion, Calibretto, is a towering “Wargolem.”  Also aboard is Red Monika, a voluptuous outlaw who is the target of King Vaneer of the Unified Territories.  And Tyler Smith's Comicraft

Battle Chasers #12 opens in Capital City, specifically in “The Armory.”  There, the wizard Knolan and King Vaneer argue.  The king wants the legendary gauntlets of Aramus, but Aramus' daughter, Gully, has reclaimed the gloves.  And she ain't giving them up for no-damn-body!  And Calibretto is there to back her up!

Meanwhile, Maestro and his Master Paladins have cornered Garrison, but something dark has emerged from Garrison's sword.  Garrison will be tested, but it won't necessarily be by Maestro and company.

Not too far away, Red Monika takes on the Master Paladin known as “Leech.”  He needs her blood; she needs to find Garrison.  Which one is savvy enough to win this game of blood and bullets?

THE LOWDOWN:  I have previously written that I was a huge fan of Joe Madureira a.k.a. “Joe Mad” in the 1990s.  I was also a huge fan of Battle Chasers, and I am glad that the series has been revived, even if Mad is no longer drawing it.  Now, I must say that I am quite satisfied with the end of this first arc.

The “Martial Law” arc has come to an end, and according to a note at the end of the story written by Madureira, Battle Chaser's story arcs will comprise three or four issues.  When will Battle Chasers return?  Your guess is as good as anyone's, but Madureira has at least promised Battle Chasers #13.

As he did in the previous two issues, current series, Ludo Lullabi, has brought the series to life with his kinetic storytelling, which he composes in big panels and wide open page designs that recall Madureira's original run on the series from 1997 to 2002.  Lullabi's colors also give the series a dark epic tone that is not unlike that of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, beginning with The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), and Jackson's The Hobbit films, beginning with An Unexpected Journey (2012).  And Tyler Smith's Comicraft lettering is the perfect accompaniment to Lullabi's storytelling.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of artist Joe Madureira and of his former comic book series, Battle Chasers, will want to read the revived Battle Chasers.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"


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