X Reviews … DC Universe Presents #6

Since every comic is someone’s first, the books have to be able to stand on their own. X Reviews one new issue each week based on their own merit (and yes, “review” can mean spoilers!) A good story is a good story, no matter how long or short the run. This is where we draw the line for…

DC Universe Presents #6

story by Dan Didio & Jerry Ordway
art by Dan Didio & Jerry Ordway;
Ray McCarthy, Andy Lanning
& Marlo Alquiza
colors by Tony Avina
letters by Travis Lanham
cover by Ryan Sook
published by DC Comics

For my eighth birthday party, my mother hired a magician. The Incredible Issac or some such nonsense. He had a the stereotypical top hat, white gloves and tuxedo with tails just like Zatara. I remember watching him do his act and thinking, “its in his other hand or the bird is in his pocket.” Basically I could tell the fix was in.

He did do one trick, however, I could not figure out. He put his assistant in a trunk and put 5 swords through the trunk. We’ve all seen it. I have since learned how the trick works and it was very anticlimactic. To my young 9-year-old mind, however, the idea of the unknown was truly magic.

Stop for a minute and think about all the things we consider to be “unknown?” It doesn’t have to be to science at large, but to you personally. Are there times in your life when you find out about something and say, “Well duh, why didn’t I think of that?” There is so much knowledge we don’t know that seems incredible and amazing when others do, but is it really fantastic or simply unknown?

The unknown is what DC Comics is exploring in the new story arc of DC Universe Presents #6 featuring the Challengers of the Unknown. The irony here is that when it comes to this team of characters, they are pretty much unknown to me and most casual fans in general. I am sure there is and long a celebrated past about what these characters did and stand for, but this is one of the rare occasions when you will here me say, “So what?” I have no idea who the originals were. They are (DRAMATIC PAUSE) Unknown (DRAMTATIC PAUSE) to me. (send your hate mail to noob@alt3redegos.com)

From what I can gather, the old school characters where like some magical/technological keep the monsters at bay sort of group. That seems to still be the case, but more up to date. The story focuses around a group of people flying to the Himalayas to film a Celebrity Survivor type TV series. Insert mystic disturbance here and suddenly the survivors are being nursed back to health by Hari Vishnu or whatever the guys name was and then when they were back in good health again, kicked out in the cold. Literally. On a side note, I never get tired of people getting micked in books and TV. Ruffied in real life is a no no, but a good Mickey Finn in a movie, now that is entertainment.

After everyone is accounted for except their pilot Ace (really … Ace?), a helicopter finds the group but is unable to land on the mountain terrain. They manage to climb to a plateau just as a rock slide begins. The Helicopter has landed but the windows are smashed and the pilot, is unconscious. Strange as he just landed the craft. Not as strange as the mountain coming alive and trying to eat one of the party however. HEROIC MOMENT, Clay jumps out of the chopper and saves June from the proverbial belly of the beast. As his dying request, she takes the magical spiral and prepares to face the challenges ahead.

The fate of worlds … resets in our hands.

I wanted to like this book. I really wanted to like this book. I love Jerry Ordway scripts and art. I just was not feeling it here. Yes, the writing and art is exactly what I am looking for in a comic. Yes, the story moves along a good pace. Yes, they reveal enough to peak your interest but not so much as you are not intrigued. The premise here is so old, I spent 20 minutes trying to think of a good joke and couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I don’t know if it is the concept or the delivery, but this is not my best Jerry Ordway moment. To be fair, Co-writer/artist Dan Didio is also to blame, err, responsible for the script as well. I gave the book an average for “come on guys lets get a new twist on this bad boy!” Do I see myself dumping this title. Nope. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This story arc only has a three issue run before it turns into a pumpkin and begins new at issue #9 featuring the an FBI agent and her serial killer father named Vandal Savage. Maybe there is time for redemption.

DC Universe Presents #6 has a cover price of $2.99. For more information on this or other great DC Comics visit their website at www.dccomics.com.

Did I forget to mention the co-pilot’s name was Maverick? Really, Goose and Iceman where not avail for this hop above the hard deck? Come on guys!

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