Challengers of the Unknown (alternate series)

Challengers of the Unknown is the title of a comic book series used on various occasions by DC Comics. Most of these series dealt with the original Challengers of the Unknown. The concept behind this team was a group of individuals surviving a disaster (a plane crash with the original group) and deciding to collectively do something with the "borrowed time" they have left.

On two occasions DC used the name and concept, with a new set of characters, as the basis for a new series. The first of these two, intended to be an ongoing series, was published from late 1996 to mid-1998. The second was a six-issue limited series published in 2004.

1996 seriesEdit

Challengers of the Unknown
Cover of issue #4
Art by John Paul Leon and Shawn Martinbrough.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics Weirdoverse
GenreAdventure, Superhero
Publication dateFebruary 1997 – July 1998
No. of issues18
Main character(s)Kenn Kawa, Clay Brody, Brenda Ruskin, Marlon Corbet
Creative team
Written bySteven Grant
Penciller(s)John Paul Leon
Inker(s)Shawn Martinbrough

Started as a part of DC's Weirdoverse group of titles, the 1996 series was published for a total of eighteen issues, cover dated February 1997 to July 1998. The characters were a mix of races and were, like the original group, the only survivors of a plane crash:

The 1996 series was originally conceived as the basis for a television series that never came about, as writer Steven Grant revealed in 2000:

COTU (as I took to calling it, to distinguish it from the Jack Kirby's original Challengers of the Unknown, nicknamed "The Challs") actually started a year earlier, when I was brought in to create a new COTU for a TV pitch DC wanted to make to Warners. Yes, it can now be told, and I freely admit, that we threw out the original team because, Space Cowboys aside, trying to pitch a concept built around four aging white guys to a TV market focused on a youth audience and pushing a veneer of multiculturalism (plenty of activist groups argue it's a pretty thin, even invisible, veneer, and they make a good case) would have been flat-out stupid, a waste of everyone's time and money. So: out with Ace, Rocky, Red and Prof; in with Brenda, Kenn, Marlon and Clay.[1]

2004 seriesEdit

Challengers of the Unknown
Cover to issue #1
Art by Howard Chaykin.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
Schedulemonthly limited series
Publication date2004
No. of issues6
Main character(s)Zach Dyamond, Tessa Crowne, Rydell Starr, Kendra Harte, Holden Crosse
Creative team
Created byHoward Chaykin
Written byHoward Chaykin
Artist(s)Howard Chaykin
Collected editions
Challengers of the Unknown: Stolen Moments, Borrowed TimeISBN 1-4012-0941-6

The 2004 series was a six-issue limited series, written and drawn by Howard Chaykin. Unlike the other two versions this group didn't originate in a plane crash, instead, it was made up of survivors of a large scale terrorist attack in Long Beach, California:

  • Zach Dyamond
  • Tessa Crowne
  • Rydell Starr
  • Kendra Harte
  • Holden Crosse

Collected editionsEdit

Chaykin's series have been collected into a trade paperback:


  1. ^ Grant, Steven Master of the Obvious Comic Book Resources, September 27, 2000
  2. ^ Stolen Moments, Borrowed Time at DC

External linksEdit