I’m always on the lookout for enjoyable queer media to share with you guys. A few months back I found Freelance, a comic book series from Chapterhouse. Read on to see why you should pick up this four-issue story.
I wouldn’t have known about Freelance if the cover hadn’t caught my eye. There was just something ‘queer’ about it as far as I could tell. I even talked about it in our Admin’s Queer Representation in Comic Books podcast.
The current series is a retelling of an old story focusing on a fictional Canadian hero. However, this time around, writers Andrew Wheeler and Jim Zub have changed the main characters for a modern era. Do check out our interview with Andrew Wheeler about how he started working on Freelance.
Originally Lance Valiant was a hero with Natasha as his girlfriend. John Collins was a pirate and ended up being Lance’s sidekick.
In the current retelling, both male characters are queer and share romantic feelings for each other. John’s full name has been changed to John Cabot while Natasha is now Tasha Kolchak. The series is a globe-trotting adventure story with a serious threat, different dimensions, and a cute little queer love story without making the character’s sexuality a big deal.
The current four-issue story is considered as the first season in the series. The first issue introduces us to the three main characters and focuses on the first arc, involving the villainous Apollyon who is freed by Aurora Dawn (think Chapterhouse version of Marvel’s Hydra).
While the two male leads have a romantic connection, the story doesn’t sideline Tasha. She’s the brains of the three-person team and knows how to handle herself in a fight, too. The second issue focuses a lot on Tasha, her mother, her hometown, and even her former employer. Tasha also isn’t used as a sexual object to please comic book fans who look forward to females in action-focused series wearing next to nothing while fighting enemies.
Another good thing about the four-issue season one is that it does offer a resolution to a lot of plot threads. We get to know more about Lance’s background. We also get a good little start to Lance and John’s relationship, which will surely end up experiencing trouble because this is a comic book series. Tasha and her mother also seem to have come to an understanding, though the two still have a lot of issues to work out.
The art by Vaneda Vireak is very simple, and I do feel it works in favor of Freelance. The linework makes the characters look more fluid during the action sequences as well as more expressive when interacting with each other.
Freelance by Chapterhouse is definitely a comic book series you should pick up. It has a diverse cast, a main female character who isn’t treated as eye candy, and characters who aren’t defined by their sexuality.
All four issues of Freelance are currently available. A second season will be released sometime next year.
Are you a fan of Freelance? Have you read other comic book series from Chapterhouse? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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