The Challenger is a fictional superhero in comic books published by Marvel Comics, beginning with the company's 1940s iteration as Timely Comics during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books.
The Challenger first appeared in Daring Mystery Comics #7 (April 1941) from Marvel Comics predecessor Timely Comics, debuting in both a two-page text story, "The Valley of Time", by writer Ray Gill, and in the 12-page comics story "Meet the Challenger", by an unknown writer and artist George Klein, under the pseudonym "Nick Karlton". . The character went on to appear in Mystic Comics #6-10 (Oct. 1941 - Aug. 1942), in eight- to nine-page stories by artists including Al Bare and Mike Sekowsky, and in at least one instance written by Stan Lee ("Horror Mansion", Mystic Comics #9, May 1942).
The Challenger did not reappear for decades before making a brief appearance in Marvel Premiere #29 (April 1976), in a World War II period story featuring the homefront superhero team the Liberty Legion. The Challenger first appears in a modern-day story in She-Hulk #11 (March 2005), having "bounced forward" in time.
Former law student William "Bill" Waring, having traveled around the world to learn skills needed to avenge his father's murder for turning state's evidence over to the district attorney, dons a green costume with a full face mask to became the World War II superhero the Challenger.
Through unexplained circumstances, the Challenger "bounced forward" forward in time to the present day, finding himself without assets, having been presumed dead, and inquiring of the law firm Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway about reversing his will. The firm puts him in contact with the superhero Captain America, who had found himself in a future era due to suspended animation for advice and assistance. He later becomes part of the federal government's Fifty State Initiative of superhero teams, joining the Montana group, Freedom Force.