New Challengers #4 Review: Fighting the Dinosaur-Riding Undead

The New Challengers of the Unknown are in Skartaris and under attack from undead warriors mounted on Velociraptors (probably really Utahraptors or Deinonychus, but whatever). Krunch and Bethany take to the fight quickly, and we learn Bethany's history. She had leukemia as a child, recovered and grew to be a soldier, and was taken from her unit and tortured in Afghanistan. However, she survived that too; her induction into this club of the living dead that is the New Challengers of the Unknown didn't take place until she returned home.

New Challengers #4 cover by V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, and Dinei Ribeiro
New Challengers #4 cover by V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, and Dinei Ribeiro

New Challengers #4 is another compelling backstory and adventure for this iteration of the Challengers of the Unknown. Bethany is another great member of this cast, and her history is both engaging and tragic.

This fight to survive in Skartaris makes for a great struggle. The Challengers are vulnerable and only human, and they face supernatural enemies riding dinosaurs and wielding magical artifacts.

Well… I say they're only human. Krunch and Moses pull off a couple of moves that would seem to require superhuman strength. Krunch is huge and strong, but Moses is a hacker. I didn't think he was supposed to be this strong.

Nevertheless, this is another solidly scripted issue of the New Challengers.

New Challengers #4 art by V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, and Dinei Ribeiro
New Challengers #4 art by V. Ken Marion, Sandu Florea, and Dinei Ribeiro

V. Ken Marion's artwork provides a nice and gritty touch to the visuals. There is a lot of linework here that drives home the feeling of being in a rough and dangerous world. I will say that more could be done to visually distinguish Bethany and Trina — their similarity is almost laughable. Bethany gets a sleeve torn and is usually toting guns, so it's not hard to tell them apart from a practical standpoint. However, their faces and hair are almost exactly the same.

Dinei Ribeiro contributes some solid color work here, giving the world a lot of vibrance and life through bright colors cast against the often darker and violent foreground.

New Challengers #4 is another good issue for this New Age of Heroes title. The characters are further fleshed-out, and the danger they find themselves within is both tense and exciting. The art team contributes some solid work, and the book earns a recommendation. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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