Reading the current BATWOMAN by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman will leave the average reader questioning who Agent Cameron Chase really is and what her motivations are. Her role in the current BATWOMAN series has been so significant that it's hard not to wonder about her.
Chase, the D.E.O. detective that has been on Kate's trail since the launch of the series, recently got significantly closer to uncovering the identities of both Flamebird and Batwoman in the most recent issues of the title. If you don't read BATWOMAN, why should you care about Cameron Chase? Why does it matter that Chase has top-secret information about Batwoman and Flamebird? Because all roads lead down one path -- Batman. The final pages of BATWOMAN #5 -- the series' most recent issue -- reveal more than we could have expected about Chase's character, her motives and what she will risk (and who) to reach her goals.== TEASER ==
Agent Chase can be summed up in a few words: determined, obsessed and; as Batman would say; a little xenophobic when it comes to costumed vigilantes. Prior to the character's appearance in BATWOMAN, Agent Chase first appeared in Batman #550 (January, 1998). The book; which was written by Doug Moench and penciled by both Kelley Jones and J.H. Williams III; depicted Chase on a search for a Claything -- until she runs into Batman. The two (reluctantly) work together since neither are willing to give up the goal, and it is in this first appearance that we see the dark side of Agent Chase. Her lack of sympathy and empathy for vigilantes, something that definitely resurfaces when she manipulates Flamebird in BATWOMAN #4.
Agent Chase's role in the current BATWOMAN series has involved working with the D.E.O -- the Department of Extranormal Operations. As of late, Chase's hunt for Batwoman have led her closer to uncovering the identity of Batwoman -- and this wouldn't be the first time her organization has asked her to uncover the secret identity of a superhero, either. Following her first appearance in Batman #550, Chase was given a brief self-titled mini-series where Curtis Johnson and J.H. Williams III were able to further explore Chase's character and what makes her tick. In the series' eighth issue, Chase was asked to uncover the identity of Batman -- yet when she is given the opportunity, she decides not too.
That Chase (above) is very different from the one that we have seen in the current BATWOMAN book who coerced Flamebird to give her Kate's name. The current incarnation of her character has no sympathy for vigilantes and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. She quite a different character than what she used to be. Aside from Chase's personality, something else is very different about her as well that we have yet to see addressed in the current BATWOMAN book. Based on her mini-series, Chase happens to have some "meta-human" powers of her own, and that's partly where her resentment towards metas comes from. The question is, with the relaunch of the "new 52," does Chase still have those powers? That remains to be seen.
Agent Chase has proven herself a formidable opponent for Kate Kane, and it doesn't help that she has some experience with Batman. But will the events that take place on the final pages of BATWOMAN #5 bring Chase one step closer to Bruce Wayne, too? Her vendetta against costume vigilantes isn't just personal -- it's business, after all. What do you think of Agent Chase? Would you want to see her with or without her powers? Have you been reading BATWOMAN?