New Challengers #1 Review

by Olivier Roth on May 16, 2018

Writers: Scott Snyder & Aaron Gillespie

Pencils: Andy Kubert

Inks: Klaus Janson

Colours: Brad Anderson

Letters: Deron Bennett

Published by: DC Comics


It’s always fun when an older comic property gets a new coat of paint and revived. Sometimes the new version is a success, sometimes it’s a complete flop. Only time will really tell. For New Challengers by Scott Snyder and newcomer Aaron Gillespie - part of the DC New Talent Showcase in 2017 - with art by the amazing Andy Kubert and inks by the legendary Klaus Janson, if the first issue is any indication, we the readers are in for a pretty fun ride.


The first issue starts with a mysterious figure being flown, in what appears to be a pretty big storm, to parts unknown. It’s a not too uncommon set up to start a new comic, but it does establish a shadowy figure, who may become the series antagonist, with a special glowing bone that does reappear later in the comic. What is this “artifact” and what is its purpose? Mystery!


From there, we get to meet the new crop of Challengers. Unlike some revamped properties, Snyder and Gillespie make it a point to properly explain to new readers what the Challengers “deal” is right from the start: they are people who are recruited at the point of death to explore and protect the universe. However, when their time runs out (indicated by the hour-glass tattoos on their arms), they will go and join the hall of heroes. This is where the creative team makes it a point to give a nod to the original team from the 50s which is appreciated for long-time fans.


Being all new characters, Snyder and Gillespie also smartly don’t concentrate on all four right off the bat, but give us glimpses into each of their personalities while concentrating on one in particular this issue. This makes it that  the issue isn’t overburdened by too much character work that can, and should, be worked into future issues.


I had one tiny grippe from this debut issue and it revolved around one of the characters chosen and how they are portrayed. However, since I don’t want to spoil the issue itself, I’ll leave it at what happens is way too similar to another DC team.


Since the New Age of  Heroes from DC has been dubbed as an artist focused line, it makes perfect sense to have a legend (in my mind at the very least) in Andy Kubert with inks by Klaus Janson be on this book. I’ll fully admit that I am a major Kubert fanboy and that he can do no wrong in my eyes, but I can also safely say that this book is wonderful to look at. Kubert has always had a knack for drawing great action scenes and fantastic posing of the characters. His art is dynamic and is only enhanced by Janson.


All in all, this was a strong debut for the New Challengers and I can’t wait to read more.

Our Score:


A Look Inside