Jan 22, Michael Emond rated it it was ok. Even though I am rating it low because it got really boring really fast, I would consider this an essential collection for any Jack Kirby fan to get. It has some of his earlier art and some of his earliest writing. The first issue in the collection actually had me excited.
Some fun, crude early comic art bursting with energy and action and a fun adventure story with the four Challengers of the Unknown. Four men who cheated death and pledged the rest of their lives accepting unknown challenges. T Even though I am rating it low because it got really boring really fast, I would consider this an essential collection for any Jack Kirby fan to get. The stories aren't horrible and would be fun for a young child but there is ZERO attempt to flesh out the four characters in any way.
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Aside from their four specialties Ace is a pilot, Prof is a diver, Red is a climber and Rocky is a fighter they are all the same character. There is a lot of opportunity to make them different and unique and make the stories more interesting by giving us a glimpse of who these men are when they aren't in the middle of an adventure - but it was never done. So we have some silly sci fi stories with four men. And it raises the question - why these four men?
Their specialties rarely figure into the plot. Again - that is a sign of the weak writing. So - from an entertainment perspective I lost interest halfway through. But as a collection of classic comics and Jack Kirby I would give it 4 stars. Feb 20, Jack Holt rated it it was amazing. I was surprised what a large role June Robbins later sometimes June "Walker" had on the team even from the very beginning of the series.
Although she started out as "just" a computer scientist, she quickly became one of the linchpins of the series, often prompting the Challengers' adventures.
Somewhere along the line, she became a pilot and also a world traveler and explorer—— just like the Challengers themselves. This was even occasionally acknowledged within the story structure itself. It sti I was surprised what a large role June Robbins later sometimes June "Walker" had on the team even from the very beginning of the series.
It still seems quite unusual for the times to me. But welcome nontheless. I vaguely remember a story from the 's dealing with a brief discrepancy that arose in these stories. June Walker Robbins I used to think that no one could ever "disguise" Jack Kirby's work but both Bruno Premiani and Wally Wood added a patina of elegance to the book that it might not have had otherwise.
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This is particularly true of the fine black inking in the first few stories. Wood's Sci-Fi style was more of a complement to Kirby's own work I think, but you can see Wally Wood in the facial expressions and the jawlines. It was a very enjoyable collection. Sep 16, I. You can see the roots of so much of what Kirby did later here and while there's some interesting stuff, it's not his best work and you can feel him constrained. A worthwhile artifact but not essential. Sep 28, Benjamin added it Shelves: bedside-reading , comics , library-borrowed.
When my nearby comics store had a sale, I almost bought this book before I read it, and I'm so glad that I didn't. Yay for libraries. I grabbed this on a lark, as usual, based on Jack Kirby's involvement, but I found this book mostly boring, with a slight streak of infuriating. In short, it's very s comics. For instance, the premise: four adventurous men nearly die and so decide that they should go on adventures to live life to the fullest. Which is fine, except those four men are a jet pilo When my nearby comics store had a sale, I almost bought this book before I read it, and I'm so glad that I didn't.
Which is fine, except those four men are a jet pilot, a mountain climber, a deep-sea diver, and a wrestler. It's like the most boring line-up of "adventurous" careers ever. Was circus strong-man already taken?
CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN
Also, right about now, you might be thinking that this book with four dull men--only differentiated by their hair color--might not be the best on women, and you'd be right. The opening pages actually point out four adventurous women on a radio show, before switching to talk about the men. There is one female Challenger who more or less fills the Jimmy Olsen role of getting into trouble or being taken over, though, like Jimmy, she does save the day at least once, i.
The stories are also pretty s: an endless array of criminals who discover superpowers or ancient mystical energies that they steal from archaeologists, with an occasional mad scientist or alien thrown into the mix. It's very typical for these stories to end with the Challengers whisking the offender off to jail; in one memorable moment, the challenger hand over the alien criminals to alien law enforcement, who promise to put the criminals in "space jail.
With his name Mar 05, Mike Clooney rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed. The wacky pseudo-science common to SA DC books in particular would leave the average 8-year-old shaking his head in It's always great to look at this stuff in its proper historical and nostalgic context, though, and this is a handsomely produced hardcover. This volume isn't the best introduction to Jack Kirby, but if you're sinking 40 bucks into it, you're undoubtedly already a Kirby aficianado anyway. The early Challengers stories weren't Kirby's finest work, especially given that his exuberance and dynamism were inhibited by DC's then-standard 6-panel page format.
It is, however, interesting to see the characters and themes of the yet-to-be-born Fantastic Four beginning to germinate in these prototype Challs. It's also a treat to see Kirby inked by the great Wally Wood in the latter few issues, lending a sleeker polish to Kirby's usually rougher-hewn blocky figures. Not recommended for a casual reading experience, but worth a look for rabid scholars of the medium.
I enjoyed this. As with most Silver Age comics, the stories follow a predictable formula that wears thin after a while. T I enjoyed this. His art is the best part of the book. It jumps off the page. So many of the stories are about temporary superpowers that it gets kind of repetitive. Kirby themes abound like being kidnapped by a criminal circus. I liked the artwork a lot, especially when inked by Roz Kirby, who gave it the most detail. Wally Wood's inks make it look too simplistic. An interesting inconsistency is June's last name--Robbins initially, then Walker in stories Kirby is credited with writing , then back to Robbins for good in a story where the writer credit is unknown.
One of So many of the stories are about temporary superpowers that it gets kind of repetitive. One of the repeated lessons in these stories is not to underestimate the abilities of women, and negative remarks by the male Challengers don't abound the way they often did in this era. Sep 10, Tazio Bettin rated it it was amazing Shelves: comic-books-and-graphic-novels. But it's much better than Lee's derivation. Kirby's art is amazing as usual, and the stories have that ingenuity and freshness that is difficult to find in comics nowadays.
It tends to be repetitive at some points, and it takes a while to get accustomed to recognizing the four heroes: their faces all look similar and only the color of the hair really helps telling them apart.
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But that aside, it's a little jewel that I'd definitely recommend reading. May 07, Russell Grant rated it it was ok Shelves: owned. I'd give this 2. This is widely considered to be a dry run to what Kirby would do with the pop culture changing "Fantastic Four" in the the 60's.
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The problem with it is, it's a very dry run. The stories just aren't that interesting and seem to have too many plots featuring ancient boxes that slowly get opened with new things to challenge the Challengers. Art wise it's pretty solid, especially later when Wally Wood shows up to ink, but lacks the dynamic punch of classic Kirb I'd give this 2. Art wise it's pretty solid, especially later when Wally Wood shows up to ink, but lacks the dynamic punch of classic Kirby superhero work.
So it all ends up being a rather flat read that is beautifully presented. Mar 30, Chris Aylott rated it liked it. Four heroes "living on borrowed time" take on mad scientists, aliens, and strange beasts in a series of slam-bang adventures mostly written and drawn by the great Jack Kirby.
Much has been made of the Challengers as a precursor to the Fantastic Four, but these stories look backwards more than forwards. They're old-fashioned two-fisted pulp adventures in which anything can happen, and they're a lot of fun. For those who are curious about what the Fantastic Four would be like if they had different hair colors instead of unique and interesting personalities. View 1 comment. Mark rated it it was ok Apr 12, Lazlo Deathray rated it it was amazing Mar 12, Bart Hill rated it it was ok Apr 09, Robert Hunter rated it liked it Apr 29, Bartek rated it liked it Nov 15, Dave rated it really liked it Jun 29, Ron rated it liked it Feb 11, Eric rated it it was ok Jan 10, Simon Bucher-Jones rated it liked it Jan 28, Daniel rated it liked it Nov 10, Paul Porry rated it it was amazing Mar 11, Charles rated it it was ok Mar 12, Paul Corupe rated it liked it May 13, See all free Kindle reading apps.
Don't have a Kindle? About the Author Jack "King" Kirby's comics career began in and continued for nearly six decades. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.
Verified Purchase. The Challengers of the Unknown was the prototype for the Fantastic Four. Jack did it without skin tight costumes and super powers. Even so the action and mystery are equally fantastic to his later work.
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Wally Wood adds the finishing touches. I would recommend the Kirby Omnibus volumes over this. I loved the early Challengers of the Unknown as drawn by the great Jack Kirby. I love this book. Long gone real comic days. As a kid growing up had a paperboy route when to 1 penny ma pa corner candy store Mr. Paul introduced me to comics in Chicago still collecting. God bless them.
Challengers of the Unknown by Jack Kirby
Excellent and hope to buy more of these hard bound issues. Go to Amazon. Unlimited One-Day Delivery and more. There's a problem loading this menu at the moment. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Back to top.