Monday, February 13, 2006
Can You Solve It Before We Do?
During a chat with some other comic book afficianados about 52, one said, "Well, I'm no longer worried that it's going to be 'The Challenge'." "Indeed," another chimed in, "but DC Challenge was, I believe, the last time until this month that we saw Space Cabby." Suddenly, a voice from the Monkey Youth (they follow us everywhere; you know, to drink up wisdom) squeaked out, "What's The Challenge?"
Some events, like the Holocaust, My Mother The Car, the Great Crash, and Beanie Babies should never be forgotten, lest they be repeated. The DC Challenge is one of them. What DC did to the original Secret Society of Super-Villains by accident, they did to DC Challenge on purpose: change the writer and artist with each issue.
DC Challenge was intended as a carefree romp through the pre-Crisis multiverse. The first issue set up a story with lots of characters and lots of unsolved plot points. Each successive issue had to follow from that, and do the same. It was like 52, but with no plan and without the creators being allowed to talk to one another. Guess how that worked out?
I think people are remembering it more kindly than it deserves. Instead of being an engaging relay race or parlor game, it came off like a 50 car highway pile-up. Wrecked storylines with plot points dangling off them, smashed into each other; bloody, wounded readers everywhere. Even today, merely looking at the covers can hurl grown men jibbering in a fetal position. Thank goodness characters are invulnerable.
Since it's an article of religious faith that DC, like Batman, always has a Master Plan, I think that DC create the "DC Challenge" to make us WANT to say good-bye to the multiverse.
Do you remember the Challenge and what do you think?