Battle Chasers combined elements of fantasy, steampunk and science fiction with creator Joe Madureira’s artistic energy and audience appeal to create one of the most popular series of the late 1990s. But it was plagued by now-legendary scheduling delays, including a 16-month lag between issues 6 and 7, before the title faded away in September 2001 with Issue 9. The 10th issue, which presumably would have resolved the story’s cliffhanger, was never released.
Madureira, much to the consternation of his fans, drifted from the comics industry to pursue a career as a video-game designer, finally returning in 2007 to illustrate Marvel’s The Ultimates 3.
But what was that about Battle Chasers? Glad you asked, because Image Comics’ November solicitations, released today, feature a listing for the Battle Chasers Anthology hardcover — not The Complete Battle Chasers or the Battle Chasers Omnibus — which collects “every issue ever published of one of the most beloved comic book series of all time.” Whether it is, indeed, one of the most beloved comics of all times is obviously debatable. The hardcover does, however, collect “every issue ever published” of Battle Chasers: issues 0 through 9. So there’s that. Unfortunately, the 10th issue was never released.
Here’s the real sticking point, though: The 340-page hardcover is priced at a whopping $100, or $10 per issue for a series that was never completed; $150 for the signed and numbered limited edition. Sure, there are never-before-seen sketches and additional artwork, but still — $100 for a story that was never completed? Yikes.