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Friday, October 17, 2008

Chase, Published by DC Comics, 32 pages, $2.50 cover price, back issue prices vary


Everyone knows the pain of a doomed relationship, either personally or through a friend. Sometimes it is due to someone’s inability to grow up. Perhaps the reason is too much distance, either geographically or emotionally. Or, it could have been because a publisher cancelled a really great comic book title, leaving a giant hole to be filled in readers everywhere.

(I may have shoe-horned that last example, a bit.)

DC Comics’ Chase was launched and cancelled in 1998, thus making emotional donuts out of said readers. One of those donuts was me.

Chase had a premise previously unseen and was, in my opinion, one of DC’s most entertaining titles at the time. It’s cancellation was a loss for readers.



The main character, Cameron Chase, worked for the DEO. That’s “Department of Extranormal Operations” to you and I. They keep an eye on all metahuman activity. Considering Chase’s disdain for super powered individuals, one may wonder if this is the perfect job for her, or the worst job she could have. Regardless, the premise worked.

Writer D.C. Johnson made Chase a deep, complex and likeable character, simultaneously weaving wonderful webs of entertaining plots. One of the most enjoyable came in issue six, entitled “Family Secrets.” Within, he reveals the reason for Cameron’s dislike of superheroes, as well as giving a thoroughly engrossing peek into the world of previously-unknown second-tier DC heroes. That single issue was my favorite of the entire run.



The art of J.H. Williams III was based in reality, pregnant with mood and, somehow, seemed engulfed in shadows without being obscured. His storytelling and panel arrangement were non-traditional, but never confusing. His work fostered “eye-flow” and the reader wasn’t left wondering which way to go on a page. In short, it was quite stylish.

Chase is still a wild ride, and is recommended for all but the youngest of readers. Find it at comics shops or online retailers and auctions.

Mark Allen