Comic Legends: Was Night Force a Challengers of the Unknown Reboot at First?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and nineteenth week of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Here's Part 1 of this week's Comic Book Legends Revealed! And here's Part 2. Let's continue!


"Night Force" was originally a "Challengers of the Unknown reboot.



My buddy Fraser S. wrote in to ask:

I was reading the letter column of Marv Wolfman's last "Green Lantern" issue in 1982, #153, and in it he says that one of the projects taking him away from GL was The Challengers, a new book he was doing with Gene Colan. Now given this was 1982, I assume this was an early name for Night Force, so I was wondering--did they conceive the book originally as some version of the Challengers of the Unknown?

"Night Force" was a neat book by Wolfman and Colan (their first work together since their famed "Tomb of Dracula" run) which featured a mysterious man named Baron Winters who would recruit specific people for specific missions.

So was it originally intended as a sort of new spin on the Jack Kirby creations, the adventurers living on "borrowed time" (since they all survived the same horrible plane crash), the Challengers of the Unknown?

I asked the great Marv Wolfman and he explained that no, they were just going to use the name because it had name recognition and that no one was using it at the time. There was not going to be any connection between Night Force and any previous Challengers.

Then Wolfman "decided to go for something more macabre to better reflect the content" plus he figured it was better to just go totally original period, so he changed the name of the series from "Challengers" to "Night Force."

But it was always going to be the name only.

Thanks to Fraser for the question and thanks to Marv for the answer!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed at CBR: Was there nearly a time-traveling season of "Mork and Mindy"?

OK, that's it for this week!

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