Review – New Challengers #3: Challenger vs. Challenger

Comic Books DC This Week
New Challengers #3 cover, credit to DC Comics.

New Challengers #3 – Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie, Writers; Andy Kubert, V. Ken Marion, Pencillers; Klaus Janson, Sandu Florea, Inkers; Brad Anderson, Dinei Ribeiro, Colorists

Ray – 8/10

Ray: Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie’s time-hopping adventure comic continues, as New Challengers #3 pits two teams of Challengers against each other. Last issue revealed the origins of one of the new Challengers, and this issue continues that single-character focus. This month’s character in the spotlight is Krunch, the rough-and-tumble Metropolis warrior. His story begins as a kid in Suicide Slum, idolizing the heroes who keep his family safe. However, by the time the flashback segment is over, he’s gone in a dark direction. He’s joined up with Intergang, stolen an alien rifle smuggled from Apokalips, and gone to prison. That’s bad enough, but the gang’s revenge while he’s locked away claims the lives of his friends, and sends him spiraling into an obsession with revenge. By the time the flashback segment is over, he’s begun a suicide mission against the leadership of Intergang and the soldiers of Apokalips. Although his death is never conclusively showed, it seems highly unlikely that this isn’t how he wound up a New Challenger.

The origin of Krunch, credit to DC Comics.

Krunch’s segment is compelling, but the present-day segment is a bit more of a mixed bag. Snyder and Gillespie are clearly having a lot of fun with the weird science/adventure elements of the DCU, and the confrontation between two generations of Challengers is compelling – although it does descend into violence a bit too fast for my tastes. The mysterious Doc, the man who gathered these new undead Challengers, has had a hidden agenda since the first issue of this series, and it comes to a head here as one Challenger pays the ultimate price and he begins his quest to wipe out the rest of them. While this is going on, the Challengers are catapulted through time and space to Skartaris, full of dinosaurs and volcanos. Andy Kubert’s art looks great, but unfortunately he splits art duties this issue with V. Ken Marion. Both artists’ work is strong, but it’s a bit disappointing that even on a miniseries this line can’t keep a consistent artist. Overall, this remains one of the stronger books in the line. Iit’s a wild, twisty – maybe a bit too twisty – callback to a bygone era.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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