Sunday, March 18, 2012

CBR Chase


Here's an absolute must read - and yeah, I'm already telling it right away from the start.

One of the most original and interesting reads DC produced in these last couple of decades.

Comic title: Chase
Art by J.H. Williams III, Charlie Adlard, Rick Burchett, Kelley Jones, Yanick Paquette, Greg Scott, Diego Barreto, Eric Canete, Robert P Hall, Shawn Martinbrough, Michael Gray and John Beatty
Stories by Daniel Curtis Johnson, J.H. Williams III and Doug Moench

Published by DC Comics
From 1998/2011
Lineup Adam Strange, Animal Man, Countdown
Format: Omnibus trade paperback, collecting the 9-issue miniseries of Chase, Chase One Million, Batman #550 and short stories from DC Universe Heroes: Secret Files #1, Secret Files Guide to the DCU, Superman: Our Worlds at War - Secret Files #1, JSA Secret Files #2, Flash Secret Files and Origins #3, Joker: Last Laugh Secret Files #1, Batgirl: Secret Files #1 and Hawkman: Secret Files #1. 

Chase is a title created by J.H. Williams III and Daniel Curtis Johnson.
It lasted for 10 issues - not counting the specials and tie-ins/appearances/cross-overs in other books.
It really became something unique, thanks to the combined efforts of its creators.
The writing of Dan Curtis Johnson made its stories stand out as a smart noir-esque and mature title taking place in the DC Universe. A more realistic approach and supernatural to this costumed populated fictional world.

While J.H. Williams III really gave a life to this side of the DCU.
And was oh-so fitting to this unique approach.

Playing with the comic book medium, analyzing it and deconstructing this incredible premise. (of flying people dressed in spandex costumes)

Our titular character first appeared in Batman 550 (in 1998) to promote the launch of this new series (which is also included in this book).

Cameron Chase is an agent of the D.E.O. - the Department of Extranormal Operations - newly recruited by Director Bones himself, head of the DEO.
She's part of a special task force of the government, her role is to mointor and keep "metahumans" under control.

Being a former detective, most of her stories are told as cases and assignments.

Along the way she discovers she actually possesses powers of her own, the ability to negate superpowers of other metas in her proximity.

She also tries to come to terms with a long time trauma from her childhood during the course of her series.
Her father was killed in an horrible fashion involving costumed characters...
Walter Chase had been the super hero known as the Acro-Bat, many years ago.
With a bunch of other costumed heroes, they formed a team called "Justice Experience", probably inspired by stories about the Justice Society in the 50s no doubt.
But due to their inexperience, someone perished once during a struggle with supervillains. Someone took it personally and decided to avenge the death of that girl. He became Doctor Trap, went on a vendetta against the Justice Experience.
And killed Chase's father in front of her own eyes as a child.

Anyway, that is why Chase hate costumed vigilantes.

During the course of her series, Chase is assigned to various kind of jobs, tasking the Suicide Squad, Teen Titans, etc.
The stories shift from serious tone to more light hearted tales.
Her family secrets revealed in an amazing 6th issue, the Dark Knight guest stars several times and clashes with Chase...

It's a very fun book all around.
The quality is maintained, and supervised through and through, even in the guest issues or other appearances in other comics, like the ones from Shadow of the Bat or Secret Files.

And a fun exploration of what having spandex-wearing individuals around mean and the unforeseen implications those so-called heroes don't always think of.

Lots of different sort of stories, including a fan-favorite One Million tie-in special issue. (a story taking place in the distant future)
Case that Chase works on, personal exploration through her own abilities and confrontations over "super-powered activities" juridisctions. This complete collection covers a wide range of type of stories.
Various unexpected surprises awaits Chase on her journey.

Also guest starring such characters as Batman, The Teen Titans, Booster Gold, Green Lantern, The Flash, the Martian Manhunter, the Justice Society and many more!

Overall, a recommended book!
May you be a DC Comics fan or not. Newcomer or long time reader.
New to American comics or not.

It's a very fun entry point to all things super powers. At a more human level.

The stories in themselves are great, original, dark, "real".

And also, this is as good as it gets in published comics.
This book is a huge omnibus-sized softcover in full color.
Containing 352 pages worth of material, covering most of Chase's career.
(she appeared much later on in the pages of Manhunter and Bat-woman at the moment)

Simply said, an absolute must read!

I give it:

  3 / 3 Plastic-trophies!

1 comment:

  1. Well, that explains those two people currently appearing in Batwoman. (With the same creative team, I shouldn't be surprised)