Challengers Of The Unknown Must Die!

October 4, 2004 | Trades


Challengers Of The Unknown Must Die!
Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale
DC Comics
$30.95/$19.95 US (Paperback)
*** 1/2 (out of five)

If you don’t know about Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, you don’t know much about comics.
For over a decade, this writer/artist duo has combined to produce some unforgettable stories that have brought something new and fresh to established characters, such as Batman in The Long Halloween and Dark Victory and two of Marvel’s best in Daredevil: Yellow and Spider-Man: Blue.
While most comic fans’ memories of Loeb and Sale’s partnership begins in 1993 with the first of three fantastic Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight Halloween Specials, it was actually two years earlier that they initially collaborated. It was a little known and widely ignored miniseries featuring 1950s heroes, The Challengers Of The Unknown.
This eight-issue limited series, just released in collected form as Challengers Of The Unknown Must Die!, deals with the death of a team member, the destruction of the team’s headquarters and the consequences which lead to the team’s breakup.
But on a deeper level, the story examines the price of fame, what the term “hero” really means and how hard it can be for people to let go of the past.
While the art isn’t reflective of Sale’s future heights, there are flashes of brilliance especially in his use of design and inks.
Challengers Of The Unknown Must Die! isn’t a modern classic. It’s not a must-read or an essential. It is simply an early prototype of what we’ve come to expect from Loeb and Sale: a well-told, smart-looking story. It’s up to you to decide if you want to start from the beginning.

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