Chase

Chase One ShotDC has had some success recently taking older properties and turning them into TV series. They’d already turned the Human Target into a TV series and that one didn’t need much alteration as it is mostly an action/spy comic and that’s a staple of television. They didn’t need to figure out how to get rid of the superheroes/supervillains.

DC has another action/cop series on now in Chase. Human Target started out in the early 70s, Chase first appeared in the late 90s and though both seem to translate well to the TV screen, Chase has had to make far more changes. I haven’t watched Chase on TV, but have seen the TV commercials. I’ve just looked up the comic character and TV series on Wikipedia and they don’t mention any relation between the two. Maybe there isn’t one, but if there isn’t the TV show comes very close to ripping the comic off. Yes, the comic is about a government agent who investigates superheroes and the TV show is about a Federal Marshal, but I’d assumed that was the changes they needed to make to get the concept on TV. Both have strong, blonde, female characters as the main federal agent, both the show and the comic are named “Chase”, I don’t think it was too much of a jump to make the assumption that they’re related.

Ah well, whether they are or not, DC just released a collection (one of its 1 shot 100 page spectaculars) of the early comics in the old Chase series. The stories hold up pretty well. They reprint issues 1 and 6-8, introducing the character and showing the story arc where she attempts to unmask Batman. The writer, J. H. Williams III shows a great sense of humor in the Batman story arc without falling into “zany”. Chase thinks she’s doing pretty well in her investigation, but Batman with the help of Oracle, Nightwing and the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott (Sentinel at the time) runs her around and shows her only what he wants her to see. The way he plays her is pretty funny without being mean or making her out to be an incompetent and really allows the character to be built and developed.

The reprints hold up well enough that I’d really like them to do something more with the character today other than her appearances in Manhunter. Failing that, I’d like to unearth my old issues and complete the series run. There were quite a few good characters in the series from introducing the Department of Extranormal Operations to developing the character Mr. Bones in a very appropriate way. I also like the background they put together for Chase with her father being the hero the Acrobat with the team the Justice Experience. It let the writer comment on how comics have changed since the late 60s. I’m kind of surprised Grant Morrison or one of the other writers that love minor characters hasn’t used the Justice Experience in anything. They could team up with the Inferior Five!

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