Monday, August 29, 2005
Character Donations #92-96
I've never been able to understand them, these CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN. As a kid, I used to MARVEL at the similarities between this and another quartet of adventuring, crash-surviving science heroes. I think it had something to do with the matching purple jumpsuits.
Who wouldn't love a team comprised of a pipe-smoking professor (Prof.), a young hothead (Red), a hulkish bruiser (Rocky) and some guy (Ace). So, you ask, where's the blonde woman to set things right? Well, a certain June Robbins came along just a while later to set things right.
Did I mention that The Challengers Of The Unknown were created by Jack Kirby in 1957? Four years before he went on to create The Fantastic Four for Marvel. The fact that they're DC Kirby creations should be enough to send them packing but what makes me want them gone is the simple fact that...well...they don't fit anymore.
They're just so damned Silver Age. They were created for a universe short on superheroes. A universe that hadn't quite let Barry Allen (The Flash) take hold. The DC Universe doesn't have this problem anymore. That's why we're doing this little exercise. Should problems arise, DC's superhero set are always more than up to the challenge. The Challengers were an idea, simply, ahead of their time and place. Plain and simple.
Only in The DCU can that not be such a great thing.