The Info List - DC Challenge

DC Challenge was a 12-issue comic book series produced by DC Comics from November 1985 to October 1986, as a round robin experiment in narrative. The series' tagline was "Can You Solve It Before We Do?"

Publication history

The DC Challenge series was conceived during a rooftop party at the 1983 San Diego Comic-Con.[1][2] The premise of the series was that each chapter would be written by a different author and illustrated by a different artist.[3] No consultation between authors was permitted. As well, each chapter would end in a seemingly impossible cliffhanger from which that chapter's author had to have planned a viable escape, and the name of the next chapter would be provided. Authors were free to use any character or concept from DC's then-50 years of publication, with the exception of those whose appearances they were currently writing. Dick Giordano had been the original editor of the series, but turned the job over to Robert Greenberger before the first issue was published. The last issue of DC Challenge was a collaborative effort by six of the twelve writers.[4]

The issues

Issue Date Story title Writers Artists Featured characters Citations
1 November 1985 "Outbreak!" Mark Evanier Gene Colan and Bob Smith Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Adam Strange, the Riddler [5]
2 December 1985 "Blinded By the Light" Len Wein Chuck Patton and Mike DeCarlo Superman, Batman, B'wana Beast, Jonah Hex, Congorilla [6]
3 January 1986 "Viking Vengeance" Doug Moench Carmine Infantino and Bob Smith Superman, Hawkwoman, Jonah Hex, Batman, Aquaman, Adam Strange, the Viking Prince, Hawkman, Alanna Strange [7]
4 February 1986 "Atomic Nights" Paul Levitz Gil Kane and Klaus Janson Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Detective Chimp, Superman, Aquaman, Jimmy Olsen [8]
5 March 1986 "If There's a Hole in Reality, is Life a Cosmic Donut? or Thunderbolts and Lightning" Mike W. Barr Dave Gibbons and Mark Farmer Adam Strange, Doctor Fate, Captain Comet, Captain Marvel, Uncle Sam, the Blackhawks [9]
6 April 1986 "A Matter of Anti Matter" Elliot S! Maggin Dan Jurgens and Larry Mahlstedt The Silent Knight, Batman, Adam Strange, Deadman, Albert Einstein [10]
7 May 1986 "Don't Bogart That Grape ... Hand Me the Gas Pump!" Paul Kupperberg Joe Staton and Steve Mitchell Mister Mxyzptlk, Plastic Man, Batman, the Blackhawks, Woozy Winks [11]
8 June 1986 "If This Is Love, Why Do My Teeth Hurt?" Gerry Conway Rick Hoberg, Dick Giordano, and Arne Starr Batman, Orion, Blackhawk, Enemy Ace, Lightray, the Joker [12]
9 July 1986 "All This and World War, Too!" Roy Thomas Don Heck Geo-Force, Metron, the Son of Vulcan, the Guardians of Oa, Wonder Woman [13]
10 August 1986 "Jules Verne Was Right!" Dan Mishkin Curt Swan and Terry Austin Deadman, Superman, Tomar Re, Arisia, Vigilante, Adam Strange, Hawkman [14]
11 September 1986 "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?" Marv Wolfman and Cary Bates Keith Giffen and Dave Hunt Doctor Fate, Batman [15]
12 October 1986 "Prologue" Mark Evanier Dan Spiegle The Phantom Stranger, Bork, Mordorh, Darkseid, Desaad, Adam Strange, the Guardians of Oa, Floyd Perkins, Superman, Kaz, Batman, Detective Chimp, Darwin Jones, Jimmy Olsen, Vigilante, Uncle Sam [16]
"Phase 12.1: Fathers Against Suns" Mark Evanier Denys Cowan and Rodin Rodriguez Superman, the Manticore, Aquaman, Adam Strange, Mordorh, Anti-Matter Man, the Joker, Orion, Lightray, Metron, Doctor Fate, the Spectre
"Phase 12.2" Dan Mishkin Luke McDonnell and Rick Magyar Batman, the Joker, Kaz, the Guardians of Oa
"Phase 12.3" Roy Thomas Stan Woch and Jan Duursema The Viking Prince, Batman, Hawkman, Hawkwoman
"Phase 12.4" Gerry Conway Steve Lightle and Gary Martin Wonder Woman, Woozy Winks, Deadman, the Blackhawks, Metron
"Phase 12.5" Len Wein Ross Andru and Frank McLaughlin Superman
"Phase 12.6 Final Phase" Mark Evanier and Marv Wolfman Tom Mandrake Green Lantern, the Flash, Superman, Batman, the Elongated Man, Vixen, Hawkman, Wonder Woman, Vibe, Firestorm, Aquaman, Doctor Fate, the Spectre, Eli Ellis, Darkseid, Martian Manhunter, Metron, Jimmy Olsen, Floyd Perkins, Perry White


  1. ^ Evanier, Mark; Greenberger, Robert (w). DC Challenge 1 (November 1985)
  2. ^ Reid, Jeff (May 22, 2013). "DC Histories: The DC Challenge". IFanboy. Archived from the original on August 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In a playful twelve-issue maxiseries, DC decided to put its writers and artists to the test. With each issue written and drawn by a different team, DC Challenge told a story that was in a constant state of flux. 
  4. ^ Greenberger, Robert (August 2017). "It Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time: A Look at the DC Challenge!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (98): 34–44. 
  5. ^ "DC Challenge #1". Grand Comics Database. 
  6. ^ "DC Challenge #2". Grand Comics Database. 
  7. ^ "DC Challenge #3". Grand Comics Database. 
  8. ^ "DC Challenge #4". Grand Comics Database. 
  9. ^ "DC Challenge #5". Grand Comics Database. 
  10. ^ "DC Challenge #6". Grand Comics Database. 
  11. ^ "DC Challenge #7". Grand Comics Database. 
  12. ^ "DC Challenge #8". Grand Comics Database. 
  13. ^ "DC Challenge #9". Grand Comics Database. 
  14. ^ "DC Challenge #10". Grand Comics Database. 
  15. ^ "DC Challenge #11". Grand Comics Database. 
  16. ^ "DC Challenge #12". Grand Comics Database. 

External links