Review: New Challengers #1

Challengers Mountain has returned to the DC Universe and chosen a new team of explorers! Five misfit strangers are given a second chance at life, but only if they obey the orders of the mysterious Professor and execute deadly missions in the most unexplored corners of the multiverse! And if the new Challengers of the Unknown fail…it will be more than just their own lives that hang in the balance!

Going in to this first issue, I knew very little about Challengers of the Unknown, the classic Jack Kirby creation that has been around for over 60 years. I’ve read the recent reboots which have been forgettable and with their recent role in Dark Nights: Metal, I was interested in seeing where this series would go. After the first issue, that interest is a big deflated.

With a story from Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie the first issue is the gathering of the team laying out the concept of the series. The concept though it something we’ve seen numerous times. A group of misfits are brought together and have a failsafe put in that forces them to comply and do dangerous and crazy missions. It’s basically the same concept of Suicide Squad. And beyond that set up, there doesn’t feel like there’s a lot else in this first issue.

We meet the characters and get just a dip of who they are and why we should care. We get a little bit of their personalities and how they might clash. And they have a mission that’s so much of a mystery it’s hard to completely care. It’s almost too much set up and not enough action and plot progression. This would be the part of the movie where we get the flash sequences of the various characters and then they’re pitched the deadly mission. Even how they’re brought in to line is rather cookie cutter, been there material.

The art by Andy Kubert with ink by Klaus Janson and color by Brad Anderson is good. There’s a bit of a throwback style to it and that style matches a rather dragged out plot. When we get to the end we see where things pick up and get interesting. The visuals shift and get entertaining, the WTF moments come a bit late.

The series has a lot of potential. With a team that can go anywhere and experience anything there’s so much that can be done part of the fun will be to see where it all goes. There’s also the mystery of the team mention in Metal that’s a mystery. The concepts are there. The mystery is good. The canvass on which it can all be painted is impressive. The delivery though is a bit lacking. This very well could be a case where the overall package is better than the individual issue but with just one that’s a bit difficult to tell. As is, this is one I’ll read but the excitement has waned.

Story: Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie Art: Andy Kubert
Ink: Klaus Janson Color: Brad Anderson Lettering: Deron Bennett
Group Editor: Marie Javins Editor: Rebecca Taylor
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review