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‘New Challengers Vol. 1’ TPB (review)

Written by Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie 
Illustrated by Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson,
V Kenneth Marion, Sandu Florea

Published by DC Comics


I’m just going to come right out and say it: I’m a huge fan of the Challengers of the Unknown. So I was very excited when I heard that DC announced a new series.

It was also to be written by Scott Snyder! And it had artist Andy Kubert signed up! This sounded like a slam dunk.

And here we are with this book where the whole series is collected.

How is it?

We, sadly, this book starts off great and then gets increasingly more confusing and tiresome.

The beginning is really wonderful, however, and held a lot of promise. This book stemmed out of the Metal book that Snyder was writing.

We meet the Challengers of the Unknown and we find out what they are all about in the very first chapter and it’s pretty thrilling.

The opening pages have a lot of information thrown at the reader all at once. But co-writers Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie really give us a a great story for our efforts. Five strangers are given a second chance at life. They are all people who do not fit in. The writers give them all pretty distinct personalities as well. So far, so good.

The problem is that they have to obey the Professor. He’s got a mission to send them on. They are sent to go find a set of powerful artifacts. In doing so, the team must defeat a rival group of explorers. And they go through some weird dimensions to get to where they are going. Artist Andy Kubert draws the beginning chapters with aplomb and it’s beautiful to look at. It takes off in a fast and furious way and I was along for this crazy ride.

About halfway through is where we also lose Kubert as the artist and it’s like everyone just gave up.  I have never seen such a drop in quality so quickly. We started to learn about the mysterious Professor for instance. That plot line just goes to hell and gets thrown out quickly. The characters lose all sense of identity around chapter four and they never get it back. The sad thing is that nobody seemed to care and that was pretty much the death rattle for the book. That’s not to say V. Ken Marion did a bad job after Kubert left but it just felt plain. The ending is so quick and uncaring that I felt awful investing this much time into it.

This is a book that had so much potential. I wish that they took the time to follow through. It starts off with a ton of excitement and then fades. But man, I was enjoying it for a bit. It’s a shame they couldn’t maintain it.




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