DC Universe Presents 1: Deadman & Challengers of the Unknown

dc universe presents volume 1 deadman and challengers of the unknown cover
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10

The Deadman story has some good moments

The Challengers of the Unknown is pretty dull

Comic Info

Comic Name:  DC Universe Presents

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Paul Jenkins/Dan Dido

Artist:  Bernard Chang/Jerry Ordway

# of Issues:  8

Release Date:  2012

dc universe presents #2 cover deadman

DC Universe Presents #2

Reprints DC Universe Presents #1-8 (November 2011-June 2012).  Boston Brand has problems…he’s dead.  As Deadman, Boston can hop body to body and is changing lives.  WIth the hopes of finally finding peace, Deadman questions if his next assignment will be the last.  Plus, Challengers is one of the most popular reality shows on TV, and the Challengers travel the world doing incredible things.  Being a Challenger however could mean death at any turn…and life is short!

DC Universe Presents Volume 1:  Deadman & Challengers of the Unknown is New 52’s anthology series.  This volume is divided into two parts.  DC Universe Presents #1-5 is “Deadman” written by Paul Jenkins and art by Bernard Chang.  DC Universe Presents #6-8 is “Challengers of the Unknown” and written by Dan Dido with art by Jerry Ordway.

I really like anthology series.  As a Marvelite growing up, series like Marvel Two-in-One, Marvel Team-Up, and Marvel Comics Presents were great fun due to their changing characters and stories.  The New 52 presented a relaunch of the DC Universe and DC Universe Presents promised “odd” DC characters getting full length stories…but it doesn’t work.

dc universe presents #8 cover challengers of the unknown

DC Universe Presents #8

The Deadman story is almost a filler story.  Deadman was a supporting character in both Justice League Dark and Hawk and Dove.  Here, Deadman gets a solo story which explores both his origin and his abilities.  The story works somewhat and feels almost like a Vertigo comic, but overall, it doesn’t feel developed enough.

The Challengers of the Unknown is a different type of trainwreck.  I was really surprised that the Challengers were one of the first characters used by this title.  I think the idea to make the Challengers a reality TV series was a decent one…if it had been done ten years ago.  Here it feels a bit gimmicky and desperate to change up the idea of the characters.  It sets up a bigger story, but the lackluster story here leaves it hanging.

Anthology books are good because they switch up their stories frequently.  I prefer one or two issue storylines in anthologies and this collection shows that longer stories don’t always work.  DC Universe Presents may have benefited from putting two stories in each issue like Marvel Comics Presents or Dark Horse Presents…it could have spawned a continuing readership.  DC Universe Presents 1:  Deadman & Challengers of the Unknown was followed by DC Universe Presents 2:  Savage.

Related Links:

DC Universe Presents 2:  Savage

DC Universe Presents 3:  Black Lightning and Blue Devil

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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