Challengers From Beyond

    Team » Challengers From Beyond appears in 52 issues.

    During the Countdown to Final Crisis, this odd grouping of individuals took it as their mission to find the Missing Ray Palmer and attempt to save the universe.

    Short summary describing this team.

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    When The Monitor travels to the Source Wall seeking the answers he needs. He mentions the tension in the multiverse they have detected recently and asks why it is happening. The response is "Great Disaster." The Monitor figures this means the end of time that was foretold is approaching. He asks for more information, how can the end be prevented, what is the solution? Their response to this is Ray Palmer. This seems to surprise the Monitor.

    After Jason Todd witnesses the death of Duela Dent Jason seeks out Donna Troy after Duela's funeral to ask more questions about her. She tells him it's not a good time but Jason says they seem to be out of time. He tells her that he saw who killed Duela. Jason says the killer wanted him to get a good look at him in order to put some fear into him. He tells her it looked a lot like a Monitor. Donna says that doesn't make sense and maybe it's the Anti-Monitor. She says the Monitor is a force of good. They don't kill. Donna tells Jason that she recently saw the Monitor and all he did was tell her she was supposed to have died during the recent crisis. Jason says that proves his theory. Duela wasn't supposed to be there either.

    The Monitors are observing this conversation. They admit they underestimated Jason Todd. One says that they have sent out an agent to deal with them. Donna suggest they try to make a list to warn people that may be in danger. Jason says they should just worry about themselves since they're up against such a powerful force.

    They are soon attacked by an agent of the Monitors, Forerunner. When Forerunner is about to deal the crushing blow to Jason Todd, Donna Troy leaps in and knocks her back. Donna Troy is beginning to learn what she is dealing with when she looks down at the blood now rushing out of her fist. Rebounding almost instantly from the blow, Forerunner warns Donna to run. When Donna refuses, the fight is truly on. It begins to look like Donna may lose the battle when one of the Monitors appears before them. When she does not abide his commands to stop he forces her, explaining that her race was bred specifically to be tools of the Monitors and that she could never hurt him. Between universes the other Monitors continue to discuss the problems related to the ever increasing breeches of the source wall.

    Formation of a team?

    The Monitor teams up with Donna and Jason. He tells them that they must go to the Nanoverse to find Ray Palmer. They hesitantly agree to join him. Jason takes it upon himself to start calling the Monitor "Bob" because he said he did not have a name. He was simply the Monitor.

    The trio get into some rough patches and at one point are helped by Kyle Rayner. Kyle then joins them on their mission jumping from Multiverse to Multiverse in search of Ray Palmer.

    Finally on Earth-12, the "Challengers" still in search of Ray Palmer watch a futuristic sci-fi version of Batman fighting some street thugs. "Bob" feels that they are close to ending their search. They are then found by another Monitor. He tells "Bob" that the newly named Monitor of Earth-8, Solomon, has united them in saving the integrity of the multiverse. He says that Palmer is insignificant. Jason speaks up to him about how they are the ones trying to save the mulitverse only to be knocked out. He orders "Bob" to surrender and stand trial for Crimes against the Multiverse. They are at a standoff as the two Monitors begin fighting each other. Kyle and Donna try to help "Bob" even though he says it is not their fight. The other Monitor easily zaps Kyle through his power construct. "Bob" uses this distraction to take out the other Monitor. They make their escape as "Nix Uotan" vows that they will be found and stopped. They have escaped to The Bleed. "Bob" says he now knows where Ray Palmer is after hearing Nix Uotan's words.

    On Earth-51, the "Challengers" are trying to get closer to finding Ray Palmer. It seems this is an idealistic world. Liberty Belle is the President and Superman's identity is public knowledge. "Bob" is worried about the fact that they haven't been discovered yet by the other Monitors. There is a Christmas party at Ray's house. The other couples there are Ralph and Sue Dibny and Barry and Iris Allen. When Ralph goes out to get more wood for the fire, he is saddened to see a Monitor standing just on the other side of the fence to his yard.

    Back inside, the others are surprised when Ray returns with Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, Jason Todd, and the Monitor. Ray apologizes to Jean, saying he was foolish to think he could avoid this forever. He decides to tell them his story.

    Ray tells them how he's not the Ray Palmer of their world. He tells them that his Jean murdered Sue. After shrinking away from his world, he came across a being that informed him of the multiverse. He eventually found a way to travel between worlds on a quantum level. He looked for himself on each world hoping to see a Ray that hadn't suffered as he had. On this world he found himself working on opening a gateway to alternate realities. He then saw himself die in an explosion when the experiment went wrong.

    Ray was scientifically curious what "he" was working on. He now had a reason to stay on this world when he discovered that the research his other self was doing had catastrophic consequences if they weren't completed. He also discovered that this Ray had a blind date set up with Jean. He jumped into this world and tried to figure out what event caused this one to be so different than his own.

    Ray's friends have trouble grasping what he is telling them. The Monitor then steps up telling them all that everything he has said was true. Ray, not knowing who he was asked. The Monitor tells everyone that it is his job to become aware of and eliminate multiversal anomalies. Since Ray is not of this world, he tells him he must be eliminated.


    As "Bob" is about to terminate Ray, Barry Allen rushes to protect his friend, only to get fried by the Monitor. Kyle tries to stop him but the Monitor points out that his ring isn't enough to stand against him. Donna has no choice but to attack also. During all of this, Ray leads the Jean of this world downstairs away from the fight. She is confused over what is happening and what has happened to Barry. Ray tells her they need to leave this reality. Still confused, Ray tries to comfort her by promising that he won't allow things to fall apart again. He has a portal open but "Bob" smashes through the ceiling. Ray tries getting Jean to go with him but she is still too confused and pulls away. As the Monitor attempts to wipe Ray Palmer out, he shrinks. Jean is too far away and seems to have been hit by the blast. Ray looks up to see the burnt remains of his wife fall to the floor. He falls to his knees in tears.

    As the Monitor tries to reassure Ray that he will soon be joining his wife, Ralph Dibny jumps on his back to stop him. He too is destroyed. Kyle grabs Ray and flies away. Donna stands before the Monitor as Jason throws a dagger in the back of his head. Donna uses the momentary distraction to fly them both away.

    The Monitor isn't quick to follow knowing that they do not have the technology to leave the world. Before he can do anything, he is surrounded by the other Monitors. He is told that they should not have been able to escape. Bob points out that it was their plan to use the anomalies to find the "key" Ray Palmer. Solomon tells Bob it is time to go home as they should be one. The other Monitors are shocked that Solomon drained him. They were also unaware of their plana. Solomon is surprised that Bob wasn't absorbed into him. He says everything that he was should now be inside him. He tells the others that they have waited too long. The Source has eluded them. Their conversation is soon interrupted by the Monarch and his army.

    The quest continues...


    Fighting in the battle, the heroes are changed. Donna becomes a queen and Jason becomes Red Robin. They make their escape, taking Ray with them. They end up on Apokolips. They ask Ray why are they there. He says he doesn't know. His work to save the multiverse is destroyed. Kyle figures the Source wants them there for a reason.

    Trying to keep a low profile, the Challengers are getting restless. Jason says he's tired of hearing Ray's whining. When Donna tries defending him, Ray says he's right to be hard on him. He has no idea why they are there. They know the Source wants them there and Ray's the only one that can stop the "Great Disaster." They decide it may be best to find a way back home rather than argue there. As they prepare to leave, they notice that Jason is gone. He needs to get away from the others and hit something. He heads to where all the action is going down. Brother Eye and Omacs are attacking Apokolips.


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