Wednesday, May 16, 2018

New Challengers #1 Review

You Said What Now?!

Writer: Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie
Art by: Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, Brad Anderson, Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 16, 2018

As the last New Age of DC Heroes books drop its New Challengers turn in the spotlight.  A Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie collaboration is mostly the hook the would draw attention to this title unless you have an affinity for the Challengers comics from back in the day.  I personally don't and had to do a wiki search on what they even were while reading Metal, so I had a feeling it may affect my enjoyment going in.  Let's check it out with an open mind none the less and see whats what with the New Challengers.

Then. Somewhere over the Himalayas, we join a pilot who is scared to living hell flying through a lightning storm, with an ominous figure looming over him in the background. He's pushed out of the plane, as the villain takes control, flying the plane (possibly) into some Mountain opening which he seems very very happy about.

Now. Colorado. Characters start teleporting into this base disoriented and ready for battle as we're introduced to our first two people who will make up the team Robert Brink and Trina Alvarez. Others come flying into the picture as well, who were not provided names for immediately before we're whisked off to a flashback sequence filling in some blanks for our story.

Minutes Ago. The Narrows, Gotham City.  We catch up with what Trina is up to before being buzzed out of the city. From our brief glimpses, it seems Trina is some type of alternative medicine healer who isn't afraid to mix it up when trouble strikes.  As the Justice League battles the threat above some remnants of the battle make their way down to Trina's area, she dies in the battle and was teleported to her current location, as the story comes full circle and catches up with our beginning.

A gentleman named Prof introduces himself giving the shocked crew a rundown of what's happened.  They all have been selected to join the proud tradition of adventurers called the Challengers of the Unknown.  Prof starts to explain their condition and current state saying they're "dead but also alive, existing in two states of being at the same time".  If they leave "they are on borrowed time", which the tattoo they've all been given tracks, ironically in the shape of an hourglass.

Robert, who has heard enough of Prof's nonsense, decides to test the limits of these boundaries they've been given and quickly melts into a puddle of goo (GROSS!), replaced by a new teammate very quickly, who has suffered a similar fate to our already seen characters, pulled from the jaws of death.

The issue begins its conclusion with the team shuttled off to their first mission and quickly attacked by a giant crab monster, as Prof looks on the events through observation monitors.  We see an AI of sorts chatting away with Prof as he watches the happenings, this could be an existing character I personally don't know much about, which all seems interesting enough, we'll just have to find out more next issue because I have no connection to anything right now or not much past knowledge to go off.

Overall, New Challengers was a bit of a mixed bag, that introduces the concepts at play fairly effectively, while featuring at least one of our current new heroes in depth, but otherwise didn't do much to appeal to my interests to purchase future issues.  It comes off a little like the Terrifics story-wise, but without the connection to existing DC characters that intrigue me to keep me coming back.  Kubert does a solid job with the art and panel layouts, but much like Immortal Men, I'm finding it difficult to find reasons to recommend this issue right now, other than having solid art to look at.

Bits and Pieces:

New Challengers has a story paced a lot like other New Age of DC Heroes titles released already featuring teams, the Terrific's mixed with the Immortal Men is how I would describe it, which to me isn't a ringing endorsement to rush to buy the book just yet. Unless you've enjoyed both those titles thoroughly of course, which I haven't.  For now, unless you have a connection to the Challengers stories of the past, this is a pass with the possibility of becoming better in the future, if it hits the right notes. I mean the first splash page was interesting enough I just need a lot more of that.


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