“Challengers of the Unknown” – Part 1
Written by Dan Didio and Jerry Ordway
Artwork by Dan Didio, Jerry Ordway, Ray McCarthy, Andy Lanning and Marlo Alquiza
Last month, DC Universe Presents finished up with Deadman’s story, which was quite a satisfying one. This month, the book’s second arc begins, highlighting the Challengers of the Unknown, a rather old DC trademark that has made a few appearances through the decades, but hasn’t made much of a dent. Dan Didio – who’s been working on O.M.A.C. up until now – does a great job reintroducing the mythology behind the Challengers and reinterpreting it for the modern age and the ‘New 52’.
With it’s new origins as a reality show gone wrong, Challengers of the Unknown (the show in the book) sends six celebrities and an archaeologist out with the show’s host to brave the wilderness while simultaneously attempting to outwit the other players and ‘win’ the competition. Even from this first issue featuring the revamped Challs (as they’re nicknamed throughout DC history), there’s an obvious sense that the reality show premise is simply there to get these characters out into the unknown.
The story features Nanda Parbat – the mystical place where the revamped Jason Todd trained – as well as a giant ice monster that attacks the team as they attempt to escape the icy mountains via helicopter. It’s action-packed and fun to read, both qualities of which have been exemplified by Didio over on O.M.A.C. The only problem with this introduction to the Challs is that we get very little actual background information of any character. Of course, Didio and Jerry Ordway have months ahead of them to establish this team as a part of the new DC universe.