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Chassis is a comic book series set in a time when science advanced at an amazing pace. New technology meshed with the past bringing with it zoot-suit robots, jet pack gang-bangers, art deco skylines, and rocket car racing!

Rocket car racing, also known as the Aero-run is the world's most popular sport. It's a high stakes spectacle of speed and peril where flying rocket cars race at breakneck speeds around hairpin turns and gut wrenching drops. Its drivers are legendary, but the money and power behind the sport is deeply corrupt. Chassis, the 17-year-old daughter of Charles Foster McBain, one of the Aero-run founders, desperately wants to be a rocket racer but her father won't allow it. Partly due to the dangers of the sport, but mostly because of the nefarious gangsters and corporate thugs who control it. So the brash young girl, with the help of her robotic mechanic and best friend, SLIC, devises a plan to enter the race under an alias in hopes to prove to her father she's up to the challenge. But Chassis' daring decision only leads to more danger for her, her friends, and her father!

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Tropes:

  • '20s Bob Haircut: Caddie, Tommy Tropic's Fembot chauffeur, has Robot Hair resembling a stylised shingle bob: very fitting for the book's Art Deco aesthetic.
  • Ace Pilot: By definition, anyone who competes in the Aero-run has to be an ace pilot.
  • Action Girl: Chassis is not only an Ace Pilot who competes in the world's most dangerous sport, but she also takes on the gangsters who control the sport.
  • All There in the Manual: Due to the short run of the title (and the fact that it moved between three publishers), many details of the world where only spelled out in the #0 issue which was intended as an introduction for new readers. This included profiles of characters who never made it into the series proper.
  • Alternate History: History deviates during The Great War. The Plague known as 'The Virus' or the 'Perfect Plague' swept across the world in 1915; forcing hasty peace talks and and an end to the war in 1916. A Global Unification Congress (GUC), consisting of the world leaders present at the peace conference, is established to find a cure for the plague. By the time a cure is found in 1917, 80 million people have died worldwide. The money and effort put into finding a cure rapidly advance the development of science and technology. Lower world population figures make it easier to deal with poverty and food shortages on a global level, averting The Great Depression and World War II. By 1949, the GUC has rebuilt Europe, there is not a sign of global aggression in sight, births are at an all time high, Elanor Roosevelt is president of the USA, and the Aerorun is the number one sport in the world.
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  • Biker Babe: Chassis is the 'car driver' variant (with a flying car for bonus points).
  • Black Sheep: Sabotage is the scion of an old, traditional family from Japan. He scandalised his father by becoming thoroughly Westernised. He father paid for him to move to California to get rid of him. After failing to become an actor, he became an Aero-run racer. After acquiring a reputation as one of the dirtiest racers on the circuit, and an Anglo girlfriend, Sabotage has been disowned by his father. He doesn't care.
  • The Casino: Elizabeth Tall Mountain is the owner of the Dream Catcher Casino on the Algonquin reservation. The casino is the sponsor of her 'nephew' Mark Little Crow: the first Native American Aero-Run racer.
  • The Cheerleader: Twist, who became so obsessed with her favourite racer she started killing his rivals.
  • Diesel Punk: An Alternate History where many social problems are lurking just below the surface of the gleaming technological utopia, and where high-tech devices are constructed using (mostly) 1940s' technology.
  • Fiery Redhead: The 17 year old Chassis McBain disobeys her father's edict and runs away to compete in the Aero-Run; the world's most dangerous sport.
  • Fanservice: Just look at the covers
  • Fembot: Tropic's robot chauffeur Caddie is 'female'; being built with feminine curves and breasts, 'hair', and more delicate facial features. Chassis' Robot Buddy SLIC is smitten with her.
  • Fixing the Game: Organized crime largely controls the betting on the Aero-Run, and their attempts to influence the outcome of races is a constant threat in the series. In the second miniseries, Chassis discovers someone among the select circle of high-rollers is fixing races.
  • Flying Car: Rocket car racing, a.k.a. the Aero-run, is the most popular sport in the world, and the series centres around Chassis's attempts to break into the sport.
  • Functional Addict: Covergirl is in constant pain and addicted to painkillers as a result of the accident that nearly crippled her. However, she is still one of the top drivers in the Aero-run despite her addiction.
  • Grease Monkey: SLIC is Chassis's mechanic and keeps her rocket car flying.
  • Handicapped Badass: Covergirl was horribly injured in a rocket car crash that left her unable to breathe without the assistance of a machine that she has to carry with her at all times. This does not prevent her from being an Ace Pilot, and arguably the most dangerous driver in the Aero-Run.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Chassis is normally dressed in a skintight leather flight suit.
  • Hood Ornament Hottie: The covers often showed Chassis draped across her aero-car.
  • I Have No Son!: Sabotage was initially banished to America by his wealthy, traditional father: essentially becoming a Remittance Man. However. Sabotage's antics eventually become so extreme that his father disowns him altogether. Sabotage doesn't care.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: An excellent summary of Twist. She is a cheerleader so obsessed with her favourite Aero-run driver that she is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure he wins: sabotaging, and even killing, his rival racers.
  • The Mafia: One of the ongoing subplots is Chassis' attempts to break the control of the Mob over the sport of Aero-run. The comic is set an Alternate History 1940s, and the mobsters are portrayed as stereotypical 1930s gangsters
  • Moral Guardians: A minor subplot in the second miniseries (that is never properly resolved) involves Mrs. Wyatt who is seeking to have Chassis' comic book banned as an example of moral degeneracy.
  • Most Common Superpower: Just take a look at the page image.
  • Mushroom Samba: Chassis is given a bottle of perfume that actually contains a powerful hallucinogen. After putting it on, she suffers violent hallucinations while driving that cause her to crash her car.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Elizabeth Tall Mountain has this reaction after her sabotage of Matt Geer's car causes her 'nephew' Mark Little Crow to crash. He manages to avoid a stand full of spectators, but, in doing so, slams into the sea in an apparently fatal crash.
  • My Greatest Failure: In her first professional race, Chassis McBain is forced to take evasive action due to a dangerous maneuver by ALEX Prime. In doing so, she collides with 'Rocketman' Rodriquez; forcing him off the track. Rodriquez collides with a pylon and is killed. This event haunts Chassis throughout her career, and makes her always help racers in trouble, even if doing so causes her to lose the race.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: Tommy Tropic used to a rumrunner for The Irish Mob during the days of Prohibition. When he made enough money, he bought a tropical island and started a casino: supposedly cutting his ties to organised crime. His casino is successful enough for him to sponsor one of the major races in the Aero-run. Rumours still circulate about possible mob ties, but he comes across more as a Lovable Rogue than anything else.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Twist once sets her personal droid to sabotage Chassis's aerocar during a race. His sabotage initially puts her behind. However, he then causes one of her rocket engines to explode. The sudden boost of power propels her to the lead and allows her to win.
  • Outside Ride: After Matt Geer's aero-car is damaged by sabotage and crashes, Chassis saves him from the subsequent explosion by having him leap on to the hood of her car and flying off while he clings on for dear life.
  • The Plague: The backstory to the Alternate History involves the outbreak of a virulent disease known as 'the Virus' to scientists, and as the 'Perfect Plague' to the media during The Great War. This virus forces hasty peace talks and a speedy end to the war in 1916.
  • Red Baron: Several of the top Aero-run racers are much better known by their nicknames than their real names. These include Covergirl, Sabotage and Sky Fish.
  • Remittance Man: Sabotage is the scion of an old, traditional family from Japan. He scandalised his father by becoming thoroughly Westernised. He father paid for him to move to California to get rid of him. Eventually, Sabotage's antics became so extreme that his father disowned him entirely.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: In Chassis' alternate 1949, Adolf Hitler is a cartoonist.
  • The Rival: Chassis' two main rivals on the Aero-Run circuit are Covergirl and Sabotage. Both are extremely ruthless and willing to whatever it takes to win, regardless of the risk to themselves or others. In Sabotage's case, this extends to outright cheating.
  • Robot Buddy: SLIC is Chassis's best friend as well as her loyal mechanic.
  • Robot Dog: Elizabeth Tall Mountain owns a robotic attack dog named Coyote.
  • Robot Hair: Tommy Tropic's Fembot chauffer Caddie has 'hair' of what appears to be black lacquer resembling a '20s Bob Haircut: very much in keeping with the Art Deco aesthetic of the book.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Rothchild Billings owns a company called Rotwang Electronics. And the face on the outside of its Art Deco skyscraper headquarters looks like the robotic Maria.
  • Single Tear: When Covergirl suffers a Villainous BSoD over her hatred of Chassis, a single tear escapes from under visor and rolls down her cheek.
  • Sinister Shades: Chassis' main rival Covergirl wears a reflective visor that she never takes off. Given her body had to be reconstructed are after a near-fatal crash, it is possible the visor is permanently attached to her face.
  • Spy Catsuit: Chassis' one piece racing suit.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Disfigured Aero-Run racer Covergirl never removes her sunglasses/visor, and is even shown to sleep in them. It is never explicitly stated, but they might have been permanently attached to her face in the extensive reconstructive surgeries she underwent following a near fatal crash.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: Rothchild Billings is forced to call off his engagement to Chassis by gangsters who offer to pay off his debts. They hope the emotional distress will cause Chassis to lose her next race.
  • Two-Faced: Chassis' rival driver, the icy and calculating Covergirl, had the right-hand side of her face hideously scarred in an aero-car crash.
  • Underside Ride: Twist's personal droid clings to the underside of Chassis's aerocar to sabotage it during a race.
  • Villainous BSoD: Covergirl suffers a breakdown over her irrational hatred of Chassis, and confronts Chassis with a gun. However, she cannot pull the trigger and Chassis tells Tassel to let her go; realising that Covergirl is not a threat to anyone except herself.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Twist sends her personal droid to sabotage Chassis's areocar during a race.
  • Wacky Racing: The Aero-run is raced over a variety of courses, all of which have unique obstacles and dangers.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Covergirl was almost killed in a spectacular Flying Car crash. She underwent extensive reconstructive surgery that included the implanting of various mechanical improvements in her body. However, her lungs were so badly damaged that she cannot survive without a portable respirator machine she must always carry with her.
  • Wrench Wench: Although primarily a driver, Chassis does know her way around an engine.
  • Zeerust: Deliberately invoked. There are flying cars and robots, but people still go to cinemas to watch newsreels.


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