Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chase Variant One Shot (Is All I Need) - Guest Review by Simon Breeze

I've been curious about the character of Chase Variant ever since I saw an image of her on a web site the writer Rich Johnston runs called, Bleeding Cool - www.bleedingcool.com. What caught my attention was the fact that Chase is a four armed leather-clad woman and she was blasting away with a nasty looking gun in each hand, it just look so dammed cool! So when the opportunity to read issue one came along, I couldn't wait.

Chase Variant is a difficult comic to sum-up with just a few words, the main story itself is not that complicated, however the world in which it takes place in is, and there is the crux of it. Chase is a modified, cloned assassin, whom fights against other clone assassins, who themselves can be modified in one way or another. Chase for example we discover in this issue alone has six lungs, four arms, two hearts and can repair physical damage to herself with a jolt of power. It doesn't end there either, some of the assassins are aliens, some huge monsters, the list goes on. That is something I really liked about the comic, really, really imaginative and convincing characters throughout the story, you never find yourself once, no matter who bizarre the character, saying, 'That character just doesn't fit the story!' There is good reason for all of it.

I genuinely cannot describe the story anymore than that without writing a huge spoiler right here, and I don't wish to do that as I think it is such a great concept it would be a shame to ruin it for anyone who has not as yet had the chance to read it.

What did I think of this comic then?


The story is one of the most inventive and original that I have read in a while. Very quickly you find yourself pulled into the world of Chase Variant and intrigued as to where it is all going. The dialogue fits the characters and story perfectly and the art is great from cover to cover. I couldn't fault this comic even if I wanted to, it is genuinely that good. One of my bad reading habits is that I read mostly everything in trade, one advantage being that I don't have to suffer cliffhanger endings to much, believe me with this book I am suffering, and big! But cliffhanger is the wrong word to use, as it isn't a cliffhanger ending in the comic, the story is all done for the book, the world and the characters are not, and that is where I'm struggling, like a caffeine addict twitching away waiting for my next fix of coffee. What is going to happen to Chase next and how is the story going to progress from here? Two huge burning questions I was left with upon finishing this issue. So the writer and artists have done their job, get me the next issue NOW!

I would quite simply recommend this comic to anyone who can read, and if they can't read they should buy it anyway and look at the great art, I joke. If you like comics, pick this one up, you will enjoy it and want more when you are done reading it, I've already read it three times so far myself. I would give this comic an outstanding five out of five, a great first issue, I just hope that the guys can keep it going in future issues. (This last statement will make more sense once you have read the comic).

Chase Variant One Shot (Is All I Need)
Written by Rich Johnston with art by Saverio Tenuta & Bagwell
Published by Image Comics, 32 pages, $3.99

As always, my sincere thanks to Simon for another great contribution. Remember, you can find Simon's work on his
deviantArt site as well as his work and family blog.

If, like Simon, you'd be interested in submitting a occasional piece for publication - a review, article, or news - then drop me an email, I'd be happy to hear from you.