The New Challengers of the Unknown are lost out at sea with a massive beast killing them. During this struggle, we see the recent history of events in Moses Barber’s life that have led him to becoming a Challenger. He was a hacker and a data miner until a shadowy organization discovered his activities.
In the present, Aquaman arrives to fight off the sea monster, but the Challengers’ mission is far from over.
New Challengers #2 grabbed me a lot more quickly than the first issue. It gets immediately to an active conflict, and Moses Barber is an interesting character. We jump into strange and supernatural scenarios fitting for the Challengers.
Also, as a similarly socially shy geek who spends a lot of time at his computer, it’s easy to relate to Moses.
That’s not to say that he’s more interesting than the focus of the first issue, Trina Alvarez. However, it does help, to spoil things slightly, that Moses’ personal mission ties into what the New Challengers are doing under the Doc.
The ending deliberately derails any revelations about the Doc and the Challengers of the Unknown. It’s not a bad twist, but the intentional ass-pull nature of it isn’t as cute as it thinks it is.
Andy Kubert once again delivers the artwork to the comic, and the line-heavy and somewhat grainy style is still a good fit for this iteration of the Challengers of the Unknown. It feels both classic and gritty, and both are words that fit this reboot of the team. Klaus Janson’s thicker inking style matches that aesthetic, and Brad Anderson provides a tamer color palette well-suited to the task.
New Challengers #2 is a more read than the opening issue. This book is more plot and character focused as opposed to the first book’s need to dangle mysteries in front of the reader. The plot flows well, and the art continues to look good. This one comes with a recommendation. Pick it up.
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