This trade collects Batman #550 (Chase’s first appearance), Chase #1-9, and 1,000,000, and material from a variety of Secret Files issues.
Chase is a short lived comic from the 90s that has become somewhat of a cult classic, and I personally see why. Cameron Chase is an intriguing lead, and a former private detective working for an agency that exclusively deals with those she hates (meta-humans) is a strong premise with tons of potential.
Of course lasting only 9 issues her ongoing series didn’t have nearly enough time to fully explore that potential, but it hit some of the high notes by filling in her background and taking some unexpected turns along the way. The biggest disappointment here is one of the most unique aspects of her character, her ability to momentarily dampen superpowers, is essentially forgotten halfway though. And the comic meanders a bit as it focuses on various other DCU characters guest starring (likely in an attempt to improve sales).
Still I enjoyed the main series and Chase’s adventures contained within, particularly a two issue arc where she tries to outmaneuver the Batman.
While opinions on issue #1,000,000 will vary wildly, I’ve read numerous DC 1,000,000 issues previously and generally enjoy their imaginative take on established characters. This one was no exception, as Johnson provided just enough context to get into the nice little thought-provoking story he was telling.
The extra excerpts were a mixed bag, but generally decent. A couple odd choice though. For example, my favorite of the bunch is “The Evil That We Do,” in which Vandal Savage hires The Word (an amusing character who sadly never appears anywhere again) to research potential allies in his battles against the Justice League. The Word of course runs into Chase at one point, with a footnote that says “See this confrontation from Chase’s point of view in DCU Heroes Secret Files #1.” With 8 different excerpts chosen from Secret Files comics, I find it mind boggling that the companion piece referred to was left out.
A note on style: this is a product of its time and is vastly different in approach than today’s comics. For one thing it’s much more wordy, including long thought blocks and excerpts from written reports Chase turns in. It’s done well and suits the story, but is worth mentioning. The art is also darker and not as “polished” looking as many of today’s comics (although that’s starting to change again). I personally think the art is perfect for the stories being told and the atmosphere needed, but again just something worth mentioning.
Overall while not perfect Chase is a very good read and I’m likely to look up some of the comics where she later appeared as a guest star.