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'Battle Chasers' #11 proves the revival's confidence was warranted
Image Comics

Comic Books

‘Battle Chasers’ #11 proves the revival’s confidence was warranted

It was great to get Battle Chasers back with issue #10. Issue #11 proves that it has staying power beyond that welcome novelty.

Ludo Lullabi and Joe Madureira’s long, long, long, long-awaited Battle Chasers # 10 was a very fun comic. Lullabi’s illustrations carried forward the bombastic kineticism of Madureira’s art from the series’ initial run while maintaining their own character. Madureira’s script skillfully reintroduced his titular crew of lovable misfit adventurers and their increasingly fraught circumstances. Above all else, Battle Chasers #10 was confident—a comic that knew exactly what it wanted to be and exactly how to be just that.

Battle Chasers #11 proves that confidence is warranted. Thief-on-the-run Red Monika and onetime Paladin Garrison get the spotlight here. Monika spends her pages reluctantly fleeing from Garrison’s former brotherhood, who he had stayed behind to delay. It’s a brief segment, but an effective one: Lullabi captures Monika’s frustration with her longtime friend and enemy’s heroic, self-destructive antics in the tension that’s building up alongside her injuries and again proves himself skilled at drawing humanity out of Battle Chasers‘ larger than life style—here via a brief moment of reflection that has to give way to a fight-or-flight choice forced by a marvelously horrible beastie.

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Battle Chasers #11

Image Comics

Garrison’s battle with the Martial Paladins is similarly asymmetric. Garrison is a mighty swordsman, and his sword Limbo possesses vast and terrifying power. But the Martial Paladins who succeeded him in the order have made themselves something other than human, with powers ranging from super senses to warging to just pain being a massive bundle of shapeshifting muscle and sneering hatred. The last of those would be Grave, a man who hates everything and everyone, Garrison most of all. Lullabi’s work on Grave is stupendous. There’s a method to his endless wrath, crude but effective—though he’s far from the pure juggernaut he imagines himself.

Battle Chasers #11

Image Comics

The craft that goes into Grave is the best illustration of Battle Chasers‘ well-earned self-confidence. Madureira writes him as thoroughly despicable. He’s a vicious, sneering misogynist who can barely be trusted not to kill his fellow Martial Paladins and who has convinced himself that he’s a righteous man. Why? Because he’s deep in grief and cannot get clear of it. It’s a very fine piece of character work on Madureira’s part, simultaneously humanizing his villain while underlining the extent of his vileness (Grave’s anguish is real. He doesn’t care if he causes that same anguish in anyone else). Furthermore, the origins of that grief are intriguing — a new wrinkle to the tale that’s a thematic cousin to its ongoing Sebastius Nefar story (in brief: Nefar’s a bad, bad man — and he may have been set on that path by none other than his father — who’s also series heroine Gully’s legendary hero of a dad). I’m really, really curious to see how it will play out.

Battle Chasers 11

Image Comics

All told, Battle Chasers‘ 11th issue is a darn fine comic. The action is bold and creative. The character work is strong. The story beats are intriguing. And Lullabi’s color work is really, really striking — especially a gradual and then sudden shift in primary page colors from a dusky orange to an increasingly supernatural blue — one executed in concert with a solidly assembled and exciting cliffhanger.

It was great to get Battle Chasers back with issue #10. Issue #11 proves that it has staying power beyond that welcome novelty. It’s well, well worth checking out.

'Battle Chasers' #11 proves the revival's confidence was warranted
‘Battle Chasers’ #11 proves the revival’s confidence was warranted
Battle Chasers #11
All told, Battle Chasers' 11th issue is a darn fine comic. The action is bold and creative. The character work is strong. The story beats are intriguing. And Lullabi's color work is really, really striking — especially a gradual and then sudden shift in primary page colors from a dusky orange to an increasingly supernatural blue — one executed in concert with a solidly assembled and exciting cliffhanger.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Lullabi draws a damn fine showdown, and deploys the differences in Grave and Garrison's fighting styles and physiques to thrilling effect.
His color work is similarly strong, especially the issue closing blue wash, which uses a dramatic shift in look to emphasize both the raw power on display and the status quo's upending.
Madureira's scripting is confident and exciting—his work with the crude, hateful villain Grave is particularly impressive, humanizing him just enough to make his viciousness sting all the more.
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