Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Challengers of the Unknown #80 (DC/1973)

Challengers of the Unknown (DC Comics)

Credits only given for Jack Kirby (a)

One of the joys of comic collecting is picking up back issues, some of which are not what they might seem. Published in 1973 this is actually a reprint of Showcase #11 originally published in 1957. The only credit given by the publishers is for Jack Kirby who is obviously the artist and was hugely popular back then and still has legions of fans to this day, myself amongst them.

DC went to the trouble of giving the issue a more "modern" cover (well for the seventies anyway), though the original isn't too bad at all.

The story is simple enough. Missing explorers in Antarctica, Challengers called to investigate, race of aliens plotting to destroy most of mankind, enslave the survivors and take over the Earth. Typical fifties fare.

Unlike today's comics this actually requires reading. One of the reasons old stuff is so charming. Corny dialogue but not read in under three minutes like some modern comics.

It tells a complete story in one issue, one of the reasons that I preferred DC to Marvel as a kid.

You can pick up this comic for just a few pounds whereas the original Showcase comic will cost you a lot more beer money.

Since obtaining this I have purchased the Challengers of the Unknown Archive Editions, themselves not cheap but they do collect the entire run by Kirby in two volumes and worth sitting down to read.

Here's some other covers for your delectation.



  1. Would I be wrong in saying it reminds me of another (DC?) title: "From Beyond the Unknown"

    1. From Beyond the Unknown was a DC reprint title which concentrated on short stories (well worth picking up, I have a handful) whilst Challengers was about a team of four men (in later years they added, shock, horror a fifth member who was a woman) and undertook adventures involving the weird and the wonderful. If you are not familiar pick up a couple from back issue bins. Recommended (by me anyway!)