Review: New Challengers #4

by Seth Singleton
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[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Scott Snyder, Aaron Gillespie
Artists: Sandu Florea, V Ken Marion
Letters: Dieron Bennett
Colors: Dinei Ribiero
These guys know how to fight. Since the first issue, the story of the new challengers has been a steady series of looking back at the paths and the moments that brought them to this team. This issue looks back at Bethany and how she continues to beat death, but always at a price to those around her. What will her price cost the New Challengers?
Bethany is a fighter. Her story of survival is one of triumph and tragedy and it shapes her actions when the team is on a prehistoric island. She survived leukemia as a child and imprisonment in an insurgent camp when she served in the armed forces as an adult.
These experiences have made Bethany tough. She’s a fighter. She is fighting the hurt from her past and present and the anger that she feels at not having control.
Fighters can be careless when they are single-mindedly pursuing a goal or target. Bethany throws a dinosaur into the path of Moses, and later when Trina checks for an unconscious Bethany’s pulse, Bethany spins and throws her into a choke hold.
Krunch’s desire to be the biggest and strongest is more comical than threatening here. Yet, it is a great example of how another fighter is just as reckless as Bethany.
There is always a trade when someone cheats death. When Bethany beat leukemia a mine collapsed and killed her father. When she escaped the terrorist prison, her mother died from a stroke. Back home, the Green Arrow is preventing a criminal attack, and her man, Tim, gets killed in the crossfire. Turns out, she also got shot, but she did not die. This makes Bethany hate that she survives at the price of others.
But it gives her the will to fight and use the piece of the weaponized artifact that the evil Prof and the mummy bad guys against them. It gets pretty technical, but, essentially she changes the frequency of their energy to transport the team back to Challengers Mountain.
When the gang gets back to Challenger Mountain everything is a mess. Things are going crazy, the original team is nowhere to be found they find a twisted version of Bethany charging toward them.
It’s great that Bethany wants to take charge and drive the others into action, but that does not mean that they are built for it. It’s an attempt to deal with a present problem with a solution that works for the moment, but it will lead to problems if she does not try to take a more responsible leadership role. Now that we know that there is a dark version of Bethany, perhaps this will be the moment when she has to face her greatest challenge.
Scott Snyder and Aaron Gillespie are doing a great job of twisting the expectations of the original Challengers of the Unknown and the impact that the Dark Multiverse has had and continues to have on the rest of the multiverse. Some of those changes involve the Mountain and I think that the story is about to go deeper into the next issue.
DC-Comics-News 4-out-of-5

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