Comic Book: Battle Chasers
, published by Image
Comics, was artist Joe Madureira's take on a sword-and-sorcery comic, sometimes deadly serious and sometimes with tongue planted firmly in cheek, or in Red Monika's case... cheeks. Five individuals were brought together by fate, which in this instance, is defined by accidentally releasing a multitude of that world's most heinous evildoers, and they end up becoming a most unlikely and reluctant band of heroes.
Today, the series is more well-known as a punchline for Madureira's infamous lateness and for late comics in general.
The Battlechasers team proper consists of:
- Gully — She's the daughter of the legendary warrior Aramus, and possibly the most adorable human child alive. She begins the series trying to protect a strange box she received from her father from a pack of werewolf assassins who killed her caretakers. The box contains her father's magic gloves that grant superhuman strength and invincibility; when she's forced to put them on, even she's able to beat up building-sized demons with ease. But still, the gloves may be too big for her figuratively as well as literally.
- Garrison — A master warrior and swordsman, who wields a powerful mystic sword a la Excalibur that can cut through anything. He begins the story as a drunken wreck mourning the death of his bride-to-be, but he takes up his sword again after learning that the daughter of his mentor, Aramus, has vanished...
- Knolan — An ancient, powerful, insufferably sarcastic wizard who can manipulate the elements. He was apparently a member of an older party of adventurers whose past was coming back to haunt them. Near the "end" of the series, it was implied he was running low on time.
- Calibretto — An ancient "War Golem", effectively a massive walking Magitek weapons platform filled with cargo bays worth of kill-stuff. Also a "pacifist", and nature lover, who was staying with Knolan before rescuing Gully from her pursuers in the first issue.
- Red Monika — A young, voluptuous female rogue and leader of a band of airship pirates. She accidentally sets off a massive jailbreak while trying to free a minor criminal from the local Alcatraz. Apparently Garrison's
lover Unlucky Childhood Friend, who still has a bond with him although they're on opposite sides of the law. Never a member of the main party during the run, but still a major character. And of course, she's two of the main reasons people read and remember this series.
Battle Chasers contains examples of the following tropes:
- Badass Adorable: Gully.
- Bald Black Leader Guy: The Maestro, leader of the Marshal Paladins (which Garrison used to be a legendary member of).
- Big Bad: August, apparently a former member of Knolan's party who went bad, was sealed away, escaped, and was hunting down his ex-comrades before trying to Take Over the World.
- Broken Pedestal: A later story had its villain, Sebastius Nefar, revealed as an illegitimate older son of Aramus — much to Gully's dismay.
- Cute Bruiser
- Dating Catwoman: Although Garrison chose — and lost — the "Betty" in his backstory, he and Monika were still close. (One bonus story by Adam Warren showed him promising to protect her from the Marshal Paladins in the past.)
- Dungeon Punk: Elements of this.
- Fiery Redhead: Monika
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man
- Heroic BSOD: Garrison spent the first few issues depressed over the death of his wife-to-be.
- The Lad-ette: Monika
- Ms. Fanservice: Monika.
- Orphaned Series
- Start of Darkness: The last published issue begins Sebastius' flashback about his childhood idolizing his absent father, until his hero reveals feet of clay in two of the most Tear Jerking ways possible.
- Terrible Trio: Red Monika and her two sidekicks, Bengus and Akiman.
- Troperiffic: The other reason people remember this comic besides Monika and its Schedule Slips is the fact that the entire plot was basically a pastiche of every cool thing Madureira saw in an anime or video game within three years of publication.