Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Thing and The Challengers of the Unknown



Here's another all-Kirby cover. The Challengers of the Unknown have one of the cooler names ever given to a comic book team. The concept of a group of adventurers who feel they are living on borrowed time facing off against fantastical hidden menaces is pure fun. I like that they are among the handful of characters that kept the heroic spirit alive between the disappearance of the golden age heroes and the emergence of the silver age. I think that Ben Grimm would fit in well with the Challengers crew, even if he had never been transformed by cosmic rays.

3 comments:

Cathy and Dave said...

Dave sez,

I'm always bummed that I missed catching The Challs and the original Doom Patrol in their prime...

Uncanny how the original Doom Patrol and Challengers of the Unknown are similar to the Fantastic Four...

Has Ben teamed up with Cliff Steele yet?

Flying Tiger Comics said...

This is what made the amalgam universe Challengers of the Fantastic so completely cool! :)

pblfsda said...

@Dave: The similarities among those teams might not be a coincidence. When Kirby left DC in the left 1950's after creating the Challengers, he was pretty bitter. He was doing monster stories at Marvel when Justice League Of America became a hit for DC and Stan Lee got orders to make a new super hero team. You'll notice in that first Mole Man story the Fantastic Four aren't wearing uniforms with capes and symbols or even masks. They're wearing some kind of work overalls or one-piece flight suits. Even their eventual uniforms are identical, single-color and formless, just like the COTU.

When the FF became a success, DC and Marvel got the same idea at the same time (Doom Patrol/ X-Men). When somebody noticed that Rocky, Ben, Cliff and Hank all talked like Jack Kirby, Stan started to give Hank an increasingly complex vocabulary.

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