Remake & Reboot: The BATTLECHASERS Comic Series

After the meteoric rise of the seven artists who would later form Image, the next wave of superstar comics talent came in the late 90s with artist Joe Madureira. Going all the way from Marvel comics intern to drawing it’s then-bestselling title Uncanny X-Men, he left it all in 1997 to strike out on his own with the creator-owned series Battle Chasers. Bucking the super-hero stories he made his name on, Madureira wrote and drew a sword-and-steampunk-sorcery story about a band of adventurers on personal quests against the backdrop of a tyrannous overlord. Featuring a young girl named Gully, a wizard, a bitter swordsman and a steampunk robot name Calibretto, the series became known for its well-endowed red-headed lady pirate Red Monika.

But after nine issues and two prequel stories, Battle Chasers came to a screeching halt as Madureira left comics for a career in video games. At the time Battle Chasers was one of the best-selling titles outside of DC and Marvel, with the pre-orders on its never-released 10th issue breaking 60,000 — making it a top 20 title by today’s standards, outstripping any other non-Big Two title by double. And although Madureira has come back to comics for small stints on Marvel titles and to release a Battle Chasers omnibus, the epic story he had planned has never truly been told. But it could, and it should…. and here’s how.

The Concept:

I hit the high points of the concept earlier on here, and despite what critics say it is a winning formula. Inspired by games like Final Fantasy and Suikoden, Madureira created a kinetic story that appealed to a wide swath of people in and out of comics. If I was put in charge of resuscitating the book, I wouldn’t try to rehabilitate the series or reboot it… I’d take a page from Image’s recent Extreme relaunch and continue it with Battle Chasers #10. Pages from that “lost” issue popped up in penciled form in the recent Battle Chasers anthology, and I would have those finished by Madureira or an able-bodied inker and then strike out on a new path with a team that can carry out the artist’s vision and carry on in the artist’s absence. In addition to those final Madureira pages, I’d make Battle Chasers #10 double-sized to include the next chapter by that new creative team.

Make no doubt, Madureira would still be a major part of this. Look at how Danger Girl has come back at IDW with J. Scott Campbell still involved. Madureira would be involved as the book’s creator, plotter, cover artist and character designer, but I’d deal with reality about his schedule and find a team who could make you as excited about comics as he did back in the late 90s.

The Creators:

Writer – Adam Warren: Although years older than Madureira, Warren broke through to the mainstream around the same time as Joe and was hand-picked by Madureira to do back-up stories in the final issues of Battle Chasers years ago. Since then, Warren has grown by leaps and bounds as a storyteller with Empowered and the great run on Gen13 he had, and having him work directly with Madureira and bring Battle Chasers back to life would be good for everyone involved — especially us, the readers.

Interior Artist – Juvuan Kirby: One of many artists who broke in via WildStorm and studied at the hand of Jim Lee, Juvuan Kirby never really got his chance in the spotlight in comics and left it all for a career in animation and video games redesigning Blue Falcon for Cartoon Network. But his work in comics when you can find it, such as DC/Wildstorm’s New Dynamix series from a few years ago, shows off a energetic style that would be great if put to work the Battle Chasers world.

Interior Artist – Corey Lewis: An outsider to this no doubt, but Corey Lewis’s energy reminds me alot of Madureira’s early work and the idea of him collaborating with Adam Warren in the pages of a comic, let alone a Battle Chasers comic, would be jaw-dropping.

Plotter/Character Designer/Cover Artist – Joe Madureira: Like I said earlier, Madureira could and should remain the glue that makes this work. But with his career outside comics thriving, having him in a supervisory role akin to Liefeld on the Extreme books could keep the draw his name brings attached but also give the book enough freedom to maintain a consistent schedule.


  1. remake/reboot would be nice but really it only made to what issue #9 could just re-release the first 9 issues and then have this new team pick up where joe mad left off.

    I really wish someone would revisit this story/world, it started off with so much potential!

  2. Joe Mad is one of the best, no doubt about it. His problem will always be that he cannot keep up with a schedule. He has to be attached to this if it were ever to happen, it would fail miserably if he were not.