Comic Book Review: New Challengers #1
Just from the look of it, New Challengers was another new book from DC that I took interest in almost immediately. Mostly this was for what new it had to offer aside from the rest of the new books so far. My only concern like any of the others before was how accessible this could be spinning out of the pages of Dark Nights: Metal. It goes without saying that it would be a shame to want to give a book like this a shot only to feel lost because you didn’t keep up with the event.
Through the events of this first issue, I was glad to see that DNM was not required reading to understand what was going on here. I would say that everyone might find themselves on the same level of understanding. Considering all the unknown elements to New Challengers, I did like that this story starts off with everyone at a loss as to what is going on. These characters have no history, and that leaves just as much room to figure out where they each come from and why they have been brought together. By the end of this issue it all began to make sense, from the Professor’s perspective at least. I would say this team is a bit more unconventional than The Terrifics since currently they all seem pretty average aside from size or the things they do for a living. The first character they chose to make an example of in terms of how she got dragged into this mess was smart. Her life was as normal as it get for someone living in the Gotham Narrows to end up here.
The reality of their situation hit with the right reaction given what comes to mind when you find out that you were pulled out of the very moment of your death. Not a truth you take lightly if you ask me. I mean their first concern was funny for what they initially ignored, though all the same the pacing was on point getting us straight into the thick of this plot. After that, they didn’t pull punches in explaining just what could happen in any one of these explorers stepped out of line or refused to cooperate. Of course this all does raise questions about this Professor. Answers that might have been answered in Dark Nights: Metal, though for the rest of us it will be a wait to discover this on our own.
Their first mission wasn’t anything too complex in objective, and that is the wisest way to approach a new story like this. With so much new unfolding between characters, plot, and story, the last thing you want to do is have too much going on at once. Makes it difficult to absorb what is important.
The artwork for New Challengers was fitting for the tone. Andy Kubert’s pencils weren’t too rough, and not too defined. He meets us halfway to create a decent picture that captures the tense atmosphere that comes with mystery. Plenty of detail goes into the characters and settings as well which is something to appreciate. The best way to engage readers is to make sure that they are taking in everything that happens with these characters and the world around them. Of course there could be more detail that is sometimes lost in perspective, but that is nothing too major. Klaus Janson on inks is a good fit for the added darkness which adds to the mystery surrounding the Challengers of the Unknown. That aside, the color work was solid. For this issue there wasn’t too much that stood out beyond the selection of dark tones, though all the same the colors had range. I only hope that in the issues to come, bolder steps are taken to wow us with the spectacle that is unexplored corners of the multiverse.
New Challengers #1 I would say successfully introduces us to the Challengers of the Unknown,and what makes them so special from everyone else who aims to solve the mysteries of the multiverse. This first mission so far is a good test for determining what these characters have to offer, and if this is a miniseries worth seeing through to the end.