Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New Challengers #2 Review

There's A Twist!

Writer: Scott Snyder & Aaron Gillespie
Art Team: Andy Kubert, Klaus Janson, Brad Anderson
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 20, 2018

I've personally tried each of DC's New Age of Heroes books as the first issues have come out and decided to continue buying them from there after reading.  New Challengers was one of only a few that didn't immediately grab my attention and wouldn't have been something I kept reading. However I have been assigned to review the title so I'm here to weather the storm with anyone else brave enough to journey with me.  So lets peek at issue two and see if it inspires me a bit more going forward.

Moses Barber starts our issue off this month, computer hacker extraordinaire, who doesn't much enjoy the company of the general public. He's pulling code from various sources when he spots a common theme, something he pulled off LexCorp servers long ago is appearing other places, a lot of other places. At this point an ominous voice contacts him, stating they've been watching his every keystroke, then ask to meet Moses ... as we cut away to our cliffhanger from last issue to revisit this scene at another time.

We pick up as the New Challengers start to fight the giant crab monster that grabbed them last issue.  Things start off poorly, but begin to transition in their favor when Prof informs them he's upgrading their suits, via their hourglass tattoos. That's a whole lot to unpack right there but I'll roll with it because its fun enough and allows our team to temporarily fend off the threat. Then Aquaman arrives and I'm not quite sure what happens over the course of the next few pages.  There's some stuff about the Ocean evaporating into space, Aquaman sees visions of Atlantis and can no longer move but can cry, then the Challengers ditch who just saved them and go off to their next 'mission'.

We briefly jump back to the Moses backstory and catch a few more glimpses of his past, see how he was killed, which all seems to connect back to issue one and the man in the plane at the start of that cold opening. Then the New Challengers stumble upon what they've been sent looking for and quickly run into some more opposition in a hurry.

Prof demands the crew get out of dodge, that they're not ready to battle these, yet unnamed, creatures.  Moses senses a connection to what's going on, defies orders, and heads further towards what they came for (which is really difficult to describe in words, its very phallic looking).  He fights off a creature and reveals its again another mummy creature, flipping out in the process, but steadfast on his mission to get the golden item. He eventually obtains it, with a little teamwork from his new friends, as they all head back to safety.

Now back at the base Prof agrees to explain the ins and outs of whats going on, when he's ... well you have to buy the issue to get a peek see, but we end up with a decent enough cliffhanger this issue, and I think I might have accidentally enjoyed an issue of this series I otherwise wouldn't have read by being forced to review it. Hey stranger things have happened I guess.

Overall, New Challengers #2 wasn't perfect but was definitely a step in the right direction to get me back on board with this series.  I enjoyed following Moses, a bit more than our feature character last issue, and although the guest appearance in the middle of the issue was rather silly, I enjoyed enough of the other developments, and way things happened otherwise, throughout.

The art excels when its given larger panels to breath and show off in but suffers a bit when it gets asked to condense whats happening into smaller panels and squares.  It works well for the type of story its telling right now and I hope this team stays with it for a uniform look we rarely get nowadays.

Bits and Pieces

Issue two of New Challengers is a step-up from the introductory issue by showcasing a slightly more interesting character this time around and revealing some interesting happenings.  There are a couple twists and turns brought to the forefront this issue I got some enjoyment out of and the art, when not restricted to smaller panels, is a good pairing for this story. If you didn't enjoy issue one I'd suggest a peek at two and you may begin to change your mind a bit about the concept.


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