Writers: Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie/ Artists: V Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, Dinei Ribeiro / DC Comics
Five issues into the New Challengers and I think it’s about time we all accepted this book for what it is – balls to the wall, sci-fi adventure with absolutely no limits. Fighting zombies in scuba gear under the sea. Yes. Ripping a raptor’s head in two on the way up a prehistoric mountain. Yup. Fighting on the top of a semi-dead god’s head hurdling into space. Hell yeah. Scott Synder, you crazy for this one.
This issue tells the tale of two professors … or another two professors. After the revelation of our other dimensional professor, the spotlight gets turned on him and what happened to his universe’s Challengers of the Unknown. Meanwhile, our New Challengers, who are probably just as confused as we are, look to find the truth behind the craziness of their new lives.
New Challengers is definitely a book you have to read over again just to get everything that is happening. That is both a criticism and a compliment. Everything happens really fast and it can be hard to keep up sometimes, especially when the setting and situations change so frequently. However, it’s those constant changes and the breakneck pace that the book moves in that make is such an enjoyable read. I only worry that Synder is throwing so much at us at once, making it hard for readers to understand the plot.
The build-up of each character in the first four issues works in the books favor. By this point, it pays off as we have a better understanding of what each character’s motivations are as they get closer to the truth. With the focus being on the professor, I have mixed feelings about the new revelations. Shedding some light on his true intentions definitely changes our perspective on the character from this mysterious figure to someone rather selfish.
Anyway, the ending of this issue holds some promise. Synder excels at writing high concept books. New Challengers is definitely worth the read if you are just going in for the premise alone. From the looks of it, the team’s adventures are only going to get more extravagant as we move forward.
8.5 Dark Ultivacs out of 10
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