December 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: DC Challenge #4 (February, 1986)

More crazy!

So, I suppose right now, I should probably just admit that there is no way in hell this round-robin mini-series is going to produce a particularly coherent storyline, especially as the different creative teams seem bound and determined to make the whole thing as screwy as possible for whoever is coming after them.

I am absolutely fine with that.

Issue:  DC Challenge #4, February 1986

Writer:  Paul Levitz

Artists:  Gil Kane and Klaus Janson

The Plot:  We may finally have some answers!  Or we don’t!  Who know with this mini-series?

Commentary:  So far, most of the characters running around this story have been, with the exception of a few of the more historical characters, basically DC’s big guns:  various Justice League members like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Hawks.  Yeah, there’s Adam Strange and a few more obscure heroes teaming up, but they seem to be side stories while the Justice League characters are the ones doing the heavy lifting.

Then this issue comes along, and it’s like Paul Levitz invented time travel so he could mine my Misplaced Hero Case Files for inspiration.  How else do I explain the fact that four characters on the verge of maybe saving all the alien superheroes (including Superman, Supergirl, and the Martian Manhunter) from execution by firing squad by a different batch of invading aliens are Jimmy Olsen, Darwin Jones, Dr. Thirteen, and a pre-talking Detective Chimp.  Plus one other who is part of the cliffhanger.  The most recognizable member of that quartet is Jimmy Olsen.  And yes, I was unaware Detective Chimp apparently gained the power of speech in my lifetime.  Oh, and the four of them didn’t start off working together.  They were in pairs that just happened to find each other.

This is nuts.

So, there’s something about an alien invasion, and the whole Aquaman thing was basically to set a trap for the “traitor” the Martian Manhunter.  And these aliens managed to snatch Superman off Rann, so they aren’t confined to Earth.  Not sure why Hawkgirl, who was right there when Superman was captured, was allowed to stay free, but maybe I’ll find out later.  Or I won’t.  That’s the fun of DC Challenge:  it doesn’t have to make a lick of sense.

Grade:  B