DC Universe Presents, Vol. 1: Deadman and the Challengers of the Unknown by Paul Jenkins, Dan DiDio, Bernard Chang (Illustrator), Jerry Ordway (Illustrator)

As a part The New 52 event that started September 2011, it’s the start of a new series spotlighting some of the DC Universe’s super heroes. Volume 1 collects the first 8 issues in the DC Universe Presents title. The first five issues featuring Deadman and the last three featuring the Challengers of the Unknown.

Ever since he died and became Deadman, Boston Brand has served the deity known as Rama Kushna, inhabiting bodies to complete missions that she dictates. But for the first time, Deadman may have a clue how to gain some control over his ‘life.’ This first arc of DC Universe Presents is written by Eisner-award winner Paul Jenkins (BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT, Inhumans) and illustrated by the dynamic Bernard Chang.

The Challengers. Out of time and on the run. Eight survivors of a fiery plane crash, bound by fate and death, are on a desperate mission to uncover the mysteries of the Unknown before the powers that saved their lives, claim them for eternity. This second arc is written by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio with art from the comics legend Jerry Ordway.

This one is hard to review because it’s two very different stories put together. I’ll give you a short review of each.

Deadman: Deadman is an extremely unlikable person when he was alive. Dead, he’s not much better. He still causes havoc and messes with people’s lives, but that’s his job. His job is to step into trouble people’s lives and help them sort through their problems by living their lives and using their bodies. His personal goal, however, is not the same. His goal is to figure out why the god Rama, who put him in this role, did so. The whole story is about how he gets some answers.

I thought the Deadman section of the comic was great. There are some quotable one lines in there. I caught myself leaning over to my husband to read something poignant to him twice.

The Challengers: The Challengers is about a group of people that are supposed to begin a reality TV show when their plane crashes. This is apparently some predestined kinda thing for all of them but the pilot Ace who wasn’t supposed to be there all along. It’s about how the challengers get weeded out by some mystical force as they look for answers as to why they were chosen.

Boring. I didn’t even want to finish it. If volume two is just about their journey, I’m out. If the second volume has Deadman in it then I’m reading it but then not going to continue The Challengers. I felt like it was just a really jumbled up story that would have been better off as a crappy made for TV movie.

Deadman gets four stars. The Challengers gets one. I’m giving it an overall:


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