Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Classics - Challengers of the Unknown #24

   There are several reasons why I love this issue of Challengers of the Unknown.

   The team was one of several non-powered teams of heroes at DC in the '60s who tackled strange menaces using their unique skills.

   The team was made up of daredevils Prof, Red, Ace and Rocky - with June occasionally joining in on an adventure.

   This issue from 1962 includes two separate stories. One takes them to southeast Asia, where they try to track down a swindler - but first they must pass a gauntlet of tests that challenges their ingenuity.

   The second story is the one I like, because it features Multi-Man, who's probably the villain who most often plagued the team during their original run.

   In his original appearance, his power was tied to his own death! Every time he was "killed," he was reborn with a new and terrible power. But this story seems to lock his baseline form in as a big-brained, small-bodied "man of the future."

   While his powers vary widely, his look would stay the same through numerous future appearances - he was about the closest the team came to having an arch-enemy.

   I love the Challs because they were like brothers (like my three brothers and I) - they squabbled more than any team at DC (with the possible exception of the Doom Patrol), but they used their brains to overcome the bad guys.

   But there's another reason to like this issue - this was the month that DC's comics jumped in price, from a mere 10 cents to a massive 12 cents per issue! The inside front cover features a full-page letter from the editors, apologizing for the jump in price - how classy is that? After 25 years of only charging a dime, rising costs forced the increase.

   It's quaint and admirable that they cared so much about their readers. These days, prices jump up by a dollar without so much as an "eat it, fanboys!"

   Those were the days.

Grade: B




Kevin Findley said...

I first met the Challs when DC was publishing their 100 and 80pg Giants. Loved their adventures with the Sea Devils coming in a close second. When I discovered the JSA/JLA team-ups, I always thought that these two teams would have made for a great crossover as well.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

In the 60's, The Doom Patrol crossed over with the Challengers, in Challs #48 and Doom Patrol #102. And the Sea Devils appeared in Challs #51.

Sam Kujava

Kevin Findley said...

How did I miss 51? Shoot, now I have something else to buy!

Thanks Sam! :)