Can you solve it before we do?note
The DC Challenge was a 12-issue maxi-series published by DC Comics
from November 1985 to October 1986. It was a Round Robin
series, with each of the first 11 issues helmed by a different author and artist, who ended each issue on a Cliff Hanger
which the next team had to resolve. The final issue was a collaborative effort by six of the authors.
The story revolved around a plan by an alien named Bork to merge the Earth with a demon dimension, and the efforts of the heroes to both figure this out and to stop him.
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Author: Len Wein
- Artists: Chuck Patton, Mike DeCarlo
- Chapter 3
- Author: Doug Moench
- Artists: Carmine Infantio, Bob Smith
- Chapter 4
- Author: Paul Levitz
- Artists: Gil Kane, Klaus Janson
- Chapter 5
- Author: Mike W. Barr
- Artists: Dave Gibbons, Mark Farmer
- Chapter 6
- Chapter 7
- Author: Paul Kupperberg
- Artists: Joe Staton, Steve Mitchell
- Chapter 8
- Chapter 9
- Author: Roy Thomas
- Artist: Don Heck
- Chapter 10
- Author: Dan Mishkin
- Artists: Curt Swan, Terry Austin
- Chapter 11
- Authors: Marv Wolfman, Cary Bates
- Artists: Keith Giffen, Dave Hunt
- Chapter 12
- Author: Mark Evanier, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Dan Mishkin
- Artists: Dan Spiegle, Luke McDonnel, Stan Woch, Steve Lightle, Denys Cowan, Tom Mandrake, Ross Andru
The DC Challenge provides examples of:
- Big Bad: Darkseid, but teased with Mongul and The Joker.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The Joker demolishes that Fourth Wall. He narrates much of the issue with his first appearance and in a later issue kills an alien about to tell Batman everything because it wan't time in the series yet.
- Circling Vultures: Aquaman is stranded in the desert, dying of dehydration. (This is the "can only be away from water 60 minutes" version of Aquaman.) Vultures are circling. What can he do? Wait until one lands and then open it up and drink its blood - since blood is like 98% water, it counts.
- Cliff Hanger: Each issue ended on a seemingly impossible to resolve cliffhanger, for the next creative team to get the heroes out of.
- Deus ex Machina: Mr. Mxyzptlik arrives in the story, seemingly just to resolve some cliffhangers.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: In the first issue, we have Congorilla and B'wanna Beast's gorilla companion. Later we get a chimp possessed by Deadman.
- Godwin's Law of Time Travel: Because of meddling Guardians, an alien ship sent back in time causes a temporary reality where Nazis won World War II and Adolf Hitler is still alive in his 90s.
- Hell on Earth: Bork's apparent endgame.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The authors were allowed to use any character from DC's history who they were not writing at the timenote . Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and various other "current" characters were involved, but also Jonah Hex, the Viking Prince, the Blackhawks, Challengers of the Unknown, and so on.
- Portal Network: There's a whole dimension for them, which can send people to any place and any time.
- Round Robin: The format of the series was as this.
- Space Is Noisy: Superman and, especially, Mongul talk freely in space—despite it also being mentioned that an arriving Boom Tube can't be heard because space is noiseless.
We solved it--have you?