cover to Super DC GIant S-25

Super DC Giant #S-25, 1971

On arriving at DC in 1970, Jack Kirby concentrated on creating brand new characters and concepts and generally refrained from revisiting the past (well, other than the re-tread of the Newsboy Legion in Jimmy Olsen). It’s quite interesting therefore to see this rare example of him tackling one of his old creations: the Challengers of the Unknown. This cover was the only time he drew them for publication in the 1970s, though he returned to them once more in one of the last comics he ever did, DC Comics Presents #85, which saw Superman team up with the adventurers who lived on borrowed time. Inks here are by Vince Colletta.

This Super DC Giant features a host of reprints from the original Kirby run, and credits Kirby alone for both story and art, ignoring the script contributions of the Wood brothers and Wallace Wood (no relation), who inked the stories.

Interestingly, there’s also a text feature, written by Kirby that acts as a mini-autobiography and potted history of his career to date. He manages to get through the whole piece with no mention of Stan Lee (probably understandably), or Joe Simon, who completely fails to get a look in on the creation of Captain America — or the Challengers. Ah well.

Included too is this Bob Brown portrait of the Challs in their then-current gear.

Images ©2010 DC Comics