Wednesday, August 15, 2018

New Challengers #4 Review

Laughing in the Face of Death

Writer: Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie
Art Team: V Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, Dinei Ribeiro
Release Date: August 15, 2015
Cover Price: $2.99

The New Challengers, "who in the heck are they", one might say to themselves.  Well over the course of four issues we've actually gotten some background on each of our four main characters, and by cleverly mixing that in as the story is progressing, I've actually come to enjoy this title much more than I ever anticipated doing. So let's dig into this last Challenger of the bunch we've yet to dive into and check out what's set up for the series final two issues.

The events from last issues cliffhanger resume with the New Challengers preparing to take on the zombie-barbarians, riding raptors, they confronted. Bethany is our narrator this issue and seems to have a knack for beating death ... that is until Green Arrow mucks that up in her flashback later in this issue.  The gang ends up fighting through their tassel, with some Mortal Kombat-esque finesse highlights via Moses and Krunch provided by V Ken Marion, but take a moment to lick a few wounds, most notably for Bethany who was stabbed through during the fight.

The big theme here centers around Bethany, and the team for the most parts of this issue, fighting through adversity with a never say die attitude that you can't help but cheer for.  After Bethany recovers enough from the fight for the team to continue on their mission, they use some nearby Pterodactyls to hitch a ride to take on the mummy enemies that keep popping up, leading to the issues big revelations.

The ending, in all honesty, gets a little fuzzy for me as far as understanding exactly what unfolds. I can figure out the mummy gang gets away with the prize the Challengers were sent for, but somehow Bethany is able to manipulate energies around the area they're all in to get them to home base safely.  Upon their arrival home, the base is in flames, due to the circumstances from the last issue when they were sent away, and an evil Bethany appears to be attacking the group as the issue comes to a close.  I could be way off and be missing something though as the conclusion comes fast and furious with a few muddy transitions between panels.

Overall, New Challengers continues on the track of being a legitimately entertaining comic book you could recommend to someone with a passing interest.  I wonder how the formula will change up a bit with all the character introductions out of the way, but as it stands now this has been one of the better New Heroes books at getting the reader invested in the new characters, and concepts, presented.   

V Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, and Dinei Ribeiro do a great job at showcasing some great action scenes and bringing some color and life to the book.  Zombie-barbarians were riding raptors you score points in my book anytime you can pull that off. However, I did get a little confused towards the back end of the book with the end game at hand still a big at large.

Bits and Pieces

New Challengers has deemed itself to be worth a look see if you're interested in the New Age of Heroes lineup DC is offering, or even have a past connection to the Challengers of years past.  Some great action shots by the art team push the book into an area of over the top levels of fun almost worth the price of admission alone.


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