Artist Joe Madureira steps down as Vigil Games’ creative director; is a return to the Battle Chasers comic imminent?
Earlier today, artist Joe Madureira announced on his Twitter account and Facebook page that he would be leaving Vigil Games, the video game development outfit he co-founded in 2005 with video game designer David Adams. During his time as creative director at the Austin, Texas-based company, Madureira helped oversee the development of 2007′s Darksiders, an action-adventure game for multiple gaming platforms that received mostly positive reviews, drawing favorable comparisons to action-adventure gaming classics such as The Legend of Zelda and ultimately selling over a million copies worldwide. The game’s sequel, Darksiders II, was released earlier this year to similar acclaim. Vigil Games’ parent company THQ has been plagued with staggering financial difficulties of late, narrowly avoiding NASDAQ delisting by performing a 1-for-10 reverse stock split in July of 2012.
Madureira hinted on his Facebook page that he is at work on “The Next Big Thing” that will be revealed over the next few months, but stopped short of offering any actual details as to what this project might be, although he did mention that comics work is at the forefront of his immediate plans.
“Joe Mad!” first garnered mainstream attention with his work on Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men in the mid-1990s, where his distinctive art style—incorporating character design influences from animation (both Western and Japanese) and manga—found welcome reception among readers and spawned numerous imitators. In 1997, Madureira joined Wildstorm Comics where he created Battle Chasers, a solid sword-and-sorcery comic book by all accounts whose creative merits would eventually be eclipsed by its notoriety for missing publisher deadlines. Madureira produced nine issues of Battle Chasers over a span of three-and-a-half years—the ninth issue was published in late 2001 by Image Comics when the artist brought over the property to the creator-owned comics publisher after DC Comics’ 1999 acquisition of Wildstorm—but the concluding tenth issue was never released. With today’s news, fan speculation will surely be focused on whether or not he will finally be able to draw the Battle Chasers story to its long-awaited conclusion.