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(March-April 1957)

DC, 1956 Series
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Price:
0.10 USD
Pages:
36
Indicia frequency:
bi-monthly
Publisher's Age Guidelines:
Approved by the Comics Code Authority
Indicia / Colophon Publisher:
National Comics Publications, Inc.
Brand:
Superman DC National Comics
Editing:
Whitney Ellsworth (credited); Jack Schiff (actual)
Color:
color
Dimensions:
standard Silver Age US; then standard Modern Age US
Paper Stock:
newsprint
Binding:
saddle-stitched
Publishing Format:
was ongoing series

Issue Notes

Second appearance of the Challengers of the Unknown. Introduces June Robbins, who later becomes a member.


[ULTIVAC Is Loose!] (Table of Contents)

Challengers of the Unknown / cover / 1 page (report information)

Pencils:
Jack Kirby
Inks:
Jack Kirby
Colors:
?
Letters:
Ira Schnapp ?

Genre:
adventure
Characters:
Challengers of the Unknown [Ace Morgan; Professor Haley; Red Ryan; Rocky Davis]; June Robbins; ULTIVAC
Reprints:

ULTIVAC Is Loose! (Table of Contents)

Challengers of the Unknown / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
Dave Wood ?; Jack Kirby ? (see notes)
Pencils:
Jack Kirby
Inks:
Jack Kirby ?; Roz Kirby ? (blacks); Marvin Stein ? (see notes)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Stan Starkman ?

Genre:
adventure
Characters:
Challengers of the Unknown [Ace Morgan; Professor Haley; Red Ryan; Rocky Davis]; June Robbins (first appearance); Felix Hesse (first appearance); ULTIVAC (first appearance)
Synopsis:
Felix Hesse, a German scientist, comes pleading to the Challengers to save him from Ultivac, "a creature of my own making... but now out of control!" He explains. Interned as a war criminal, he met Floyd Barker, a bank robber. Released, they team to build a giant machine - Suddenly a giant robot hand crashes through the window and seizes Hesse. Spouting propellers, it flies off with Hesse. The Challengers have their next job, "Track down ULTIVAC!"
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Possible Stein inks per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo. Although Stein had conversations with Greg Theakston denying he inked any Challengers stories it's possible Stein forgot he worked on them. It also looks like Kirby inked a few pages on his own. Possible Wood script and Kirby revisions per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo.

The name ULTIVAC is derived from UNIVAC, considered the first computer.

Chapter Two: A Challenger Must Die! (Table of Contents)

Challengers of the Unknown / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
Dave Wood ?; Jack Kirby ? (see notes)
Pencils:
Jack Kirby
Inks:
Jack Kirby ?; Roz Kirby ? (blacks); Marvin Stein ? (see notes)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Stan Starkman ?

Genre:
adventure
Characters:
Director June Robbins, a computer expert
Synopsis:
The Challengers consult Director June Robbins, computer expert. She deduces radioactive materials have given ULTIVAC super-intelligence. She runs a computation to find their odds, and the card reads, "ULTIVAC WILL FALL WHEN A CHALLENGER DIES!" Meanwhile, Hesse watches ULTIVAC build robot-duplicates of Hesse to fetch supplies. Red and June respond to a lead, sneak onto Hesse's copter, and enter ULTIVAC's lab. But the robot can "DETECT YOUR THOUGHTS!" ULTIVAC senses June is not afraid, and they talk. Until Red smashes a power unit and they flee in the confusion.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Possible Stein inks per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo. Although Stein had conversations with Greg Theakston denying he inked any Challengers stories it's possible Stein forgot he worked on them. It also looks like Kirby inked a few pages on his own. Possible Wood script and Kirby revisions per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo.

The robot-duplicates are similar to Life Model Decoys (LMDs) used by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel comics also drawn by Jack Kirby.

Dead or Alive? (Table of Contents)

comic story / 1 page (report information)

Script:
?
Pencils:
?
Inks:
?
Colors:
?
Letters:
?

Genre:
non-fiction
Characters:
Robert Louis Stevenson
Synopsis:
In 1892, in Samoa, Robert Louis Stevenson dreamed he died, became a ghost, and was revived by a doctor fetched by his wife.
Keywords:
Ghost

Chapter Three: The Fearful Millions (Table of Contents)

Challengers of the Unknown / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
Dave Wood ?; Jack Kirby ? (see notes)
Pencils:
Jack Kirby
Inks:
Jack Kirby ?; Roz Kirby ? (blacks); Marvin Stein ? (see notes)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Stan Starkman ?

Genre:
adventure
Synopsis:
Hesse shoots ULTIVAC with a ray gun. The robot falls. Now Hesse and Barker can "make millions". ULTIVAC is clamped and displayed in Yankee Stadium in New York before thousands. But ULTIVAC sends a mental signal to June. The robot breaks free and carries June off. Ace, flying a jet, takes command to "talk terms", but ULTIVAC's vibration beam shatters the plane. The robot dives under the sea with June inside his dome. Prof, master diver, dives, but is slammed by a vibro-beam and captured.
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Possible Stein inks per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo. Although Stein had conversations with Greg Theakston denying he inked any Challengers stories it's possible Stein forgot he worked on them. It also looks like Kirby inked a few pages on his own. Possible Wood script and Kirby revisions per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo.

ULTIVAC's chains, display, and escape with a girl echo King Kong.

["Here comes the new tattooed man!"] (Table of Contents)

Moolah the Mystic / comic story / 1 page (report information)

Script:
Henry Boltinoff
Pencils:
Henry Boltinoff
Inks:
Henry Boltinoff
Colors:
?
Letters:
Henry Boltinoff

Characters:
Moolah the Mystic; The Tattooed Man
Synopsis:
Moolah the Mystic meets the new Tattooed Man, who's "sponsored".

Supernatural Sleuths (Table of Contents)

text article / 1.75 pages (report information)

Script:
George Kashdan
Letters:
typeset

Synopsis:
"Ju-Ju" detectives & the Man with the "Radar Brain" are among those who exploit superstition to make men confess."

Indexer Notes

Includes a small banner "Fight Infantile Paralysis (polio)" from the March of Dimes.

[no title indexed] (Table of Contents)

statement of ownership / 0.25 page (report information)

Script:
?
Letters:
typeset

Indexer Notes

Owner is "National Comics Publications". Does not include circulation numbers.

Chapter Four: The Fatal Prediction! (Table of Contents)

Challengers of the Unknown / comic story / 6 pages (report information)

Script:
Dave Wood ?; Jack Kirby ? (see notes)
Pencils:
Jack Kirby
Inks:
Jack Kirby ?; Roz Kirby ? (blacks); Marvin Stein ? (see notes)
Colors:
?
Letters:
Stan Starkman ?

Genre:
adventure
Synopsis:
June argues "ULTIVAC is a scientific marvel". The robot swims out. Ashore, Red shoots while Rocky attaches a magnetic bomb that destroys ULTIVAC. Not. ULTIVAC sent out a decoy. June convinces him "Wars never solve anything!" and ULTIVAC agrees to a televised public hearing, and pledges to help humanity. Hesse blasts ULTIVAC and Rocky - who dies on the operating table, as foretold. June offers to take Rocky's place, and the Challs agree, until Rocky miraculously revives. ULTIVAC ends up a stationary calculating machine, his spark gone, yet "still contributing to man's knowledge".
Reprints:

Indexer Notes

Possible Stein inks per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo. Although Stein had conversations with Greg Theakston denying he inked any Challengers stories it's possible Stein forgot he worked on them. It also looks like Kirby inked a few pages on his own. Possible Wood script and Kirby revisions per Mark Evanier and Nick Caputo.

Editing

Table of Contents

  1. 0. [ULTIVAC Is Loose!]
    Challengers of the Unknown
  2. 1. ULTIVAC Is Loose!
    Challengers of the Unknown
  3. 2. Chapter Two: A Challenger Must Die!
    Challengers of the Unknown
  4. 3. Dead or Alive?
  5. 4. Chapter Three: The Fearful Millions
    Challengers of the Unknown
  6. 5. ["Here comes the new tattooed man!"]
    Moolah the Mystic
  7. 6. Supernatural Sleuths
  8. 7. [no title indexed]
  9. 8. Chapter Four: The Fatal Prediction!
    Challengers of the Unknown
This issue was most recently modified by:
  • Nick Caputo
  • Clayton Emery
  • Donald Dale Milne
  • Jim Van Dore
  • Daniel Thingvold
  • Clayton Emery
Issues in this series have been indexed by:
  • Gene Reed
  • Donald Dale Milne
  • Clayton Emery
  • Mike Nielsen
  • Ed Boner