Chit-Chattin' About Challengers of the Unknown

One of Jack “The King” Kirby’s most prominent pre-Fourth World DC enterprises was Challengers of the Unknown, a team of adventurers based out of Challengers Mountain, who experienced all manner of nutty and kooky adventures.

The original Challengers team consisted of Kyle “Ace” Morgan, Matthew “Red” Ryan, Leslie “Rocky” Davis, and Walter Mark “Prof” Haley, with June Robbins joining the team later on.

There have been subsequent teams of Challengers since their 1957 debut, with their most recent adventures being chronicled in the six issue New Challengers mini-series, part of the New Age of Heroes lineup of titles that debuted in the aftermath of Dark Nights: Metal.

Outside of comic books, the Challengers have been seen on television on Batman: The Brave and The Bold in the episodes “Revenge of the Reach!” and part one of “The Siege of Starro!”.

It can also be said that the worker uniforms of Watchtower personnel on Justice League Unlimited bear more than a passing resemblance to the classic Challengers uniforms.

Are you familiar with this fun and entertaining team of lesser known heroes from the DC pantheon?

Are the Challengers new to you? If they are, then (to quote a line from the movie Starship Troopers): “Would you like to know more?”

SN: Watch out for Ultivac. Those who know him know why.


Hey, just stumbled into reading Challengers for the first time the other day. Scrolling through Silver Age stuff and I saw that Wally Wood was inking Kirby for a chunk of those early Challengers. Definitely on the rapidly expanding reading list. Can’t pass up the two greatest artists in the medium collaborating!


I keep meaning to read the late '70’s issues on here. And it would be nice if the three issue lead in from Super Team Family to be digitized.

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Part of what inspired me to start this thread is my own fondness for the property as well as a growing fondness for the 90’s Challengers series.

I know the 90’s book isn’t their highest regarded series, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of it so far. In addition to their original series, I also enjoyed New Challengers quite a bit.

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Strange but true. From a strict business standpoint, the Fantastic Four were created as a cross between the Challengers and the Justice League.


'Tis indeed true Misfit.


I’m surprised that the “Challengers of the Unknown Must Die” mini by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (their first work together) isn’t on here.


Wally Wood inking The King might be the best art team the medium has ever seen. And of course, this is with all due respect to Kirby and Sinnott, Adams and Giordano, and Swan and Anderson.


Anyone else find it weird that The Challengers, of all heroes, maintamed a private prison for their enemies? I told my girlfriend about that after seeing the team in the TTGo movie. She didn’t believe me! :nerd_face:

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@Jay_Kay The Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Challengers mini is here. It’s under the regular Challengers of the Unknown moniker and is from 1991.

@talyn242 With a battle cry of “Dare anything!” the Challengers seemed to dare the conventional methods of imprisonment and, like Sinatra, did it their way.

The addition of the Challengers to TTGTTM just gives that movie even more credence in the DC cinematic oeuvre. Especially the end credits :slight_smile:


Their outfit color palette is like a wonderful dessert. Always up for some Challengers.


I keep findin series like the challengers, the war time forgot, etc in showcase books at half price books. Wild, story driven funnynooks perfect for sittin outside and lazing sundays away. Just came in, actually, switchin from silver age suicide squad print to who knows what here in the digital world.


I loved Cooke’s interpretation of The Challengers of The Unknown in his book series “DC’s New Frontier”. He made me really love the characters and I plan on reading them from the beginning onward once I find the time.

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@boodikhan That’s the wonderful thing about DC being a smorgasbord of franchises and characters. There’s truly something to read at anytime (and The War That Time Forgot is good stuff!).

@Yazme I agree. Generally speaking, Cooke was one of The Masters, plain and simple. I’ve never read something he drew that I didn’t like.

I loved the old school Challengers of the Unknown. Great stuff by Kirby.