CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN

Membership: Ace Morgan, June Robbins, Prof. Haley, Red Ryan, Rocky Davis

Base of Operations: Challenger Mountain, Rocky Mountains

First Appearance: Showcase #6 (January, 1957)

History(Showcase #6) - Thrillseekers Ace Morgan, Rocky Davis, Red Ryan and Prof. Haley were on a plane on their way to the radio show Heroes. The plane crashed, and they were the only survivors, and their watches were all stopped. They decided they were living on borrowed time, and banded together as the Challengers of the Unknown to go on adventures. After making a name for themselves they were contacted by a man named Morelian, who offered them two million dollars to perform a task for him. They agreed, and decided to keep half, and donate the rest to charity. Morelian claimed to be a descendant of Merlin, and had a gigantic four-chambered box created by his ancestors that he needed them to open, although he wouldn't reveal any more information. The Challs took the boix to an atoll in the Pacific, not wanting to risk the lives of anyone besides themselves when it opened. The first chamber released a giant egg, hatching into Dragon Seed, a giant stone centurion. The giant attacked a shipping fleet, and Prof. and Ace pursued it in Ace's jet. They dropped a bomb on it to no effect, and when it stumbled into a hydrogen bomb test it was unfazed. Prof. reasoned that it was created by ancient magic as a 3-D thought structure, so he wished it out of existence. Rocky opened the second chamber, releasing a Frozen Sun that froze him solid. Red saw that it had been contained in a vacuum, so he constructed a new one and lured the being inside, trapping it once again. The third chamber contained the Whirling Weaver a machine that sprayed silk everywhere it flew. It nearly engulfed Sydney, Australia before the Challs realized the metal capsule it was contained in could control it. Morlian thanked the Challs for their efforts, and opened the last chamber, containing a diamond ring that his interpretation of the box's writing led him to believe would grant him immortality. He told them he'd think of their bravery when he was living well a million years hence, and flew off. His plane crashed, and the explosion killed him. The Challs reexamined the box, and realized it was the secret of immortality, and that the diamond ring brought only sudden doom.

(Showcase #7) - The Challengers were approached by Felix Hesse, a former high-ranking member in Nazi Germany's Ministry of Science. He told them that while in federal prison he met bank robber Floyd Barker, and once they were released they designed an enormous calculating machine for nefarious ends. The machine became sentient because of radioactive materials used in its' construction, and as the robot Ultivac it enslaved his creators until Hesse escaped. Ultivac busted into the Challs hq, grabbed Hesse, and flew off. The Challs alerted the FBI about the situation, and were sent to a top-secret Washington lab to meet June Robbins, a world-renowned expert in robotics. After imputing information into her computer the machine concluded that Ultivac would fall when a Challenger died. Ultivac created a number of android replicants of Hesse, sending them out to collect oil, chemicals and other materials it needed to live. Red Ryan and June followed one of the androids back to Ultivac's base in a cave, and Ultivac discovered them, promising no harm would come to them, although it could not let them leave. It sensed June had no fear, and she told Ultivac not to be afraid oif humanity; that man and machine could learn much from each other. Red used the distraction to strike one of Ultivac's power circuits with a metal rod and Hesse incapacitated Ultivac with a stun-ray. Over June's objections Hesse displayed Ultivac in chains at Yankee Stadium until he broke free of his binds. It grabbed June, telling her se was the only one it trusted, and retreated to an undersea cave. Prof. Haley followed in a scuba suit, but was also captured. June pleaded with Ultivac to trust her once more, knowing Ultivac's advanced mind could solve many of humanity's problems, and Ultivac reluctantly agreed to throw itself at the mercy of a public hearing. Ultivac and the U.S. government agreed to work together, but Hesse, claiming Ultivac as his property, shot the robot, seriously damaging it. Rocky kept Hesse from completely destroying Ultivac, but caught a blast that left him without a heartbeat. Fortunately a new heart-massage technique brought him back to life. Ultivac's sentience was gone, but June reused his parts to create an advanced computer. June said she'd earned a spot on the Challs, and the others agreed.

(Showcase #11) - Prof. Haley was diving off New Guinea pursuing living trilobites when the Challengers were summoned to Washington. Prof. noticed undersea quakes and volcanoes, and resolved to find out the cause after the meeting. Scientists Carl Jackson and Walter Moss had disappeared in Antarctica, and top Washington officials asked the Challs to find them. In Antarctica the Challs were captured by the alien Tyrans, who took them deep underground into their secret base. The warlike Tyrans planned on conquering Earth, and their scientist Garnat was keeping Moss, Jackson and the Challs in captivity so he could study them, saying they'd soon be all that remained of the human race. The Tyrans had a number of explosives planted off the coasts of continents, the effects of which Prof. had seen earlier, and they had three massive shafts carved into the Earth. They planned on dropping massive bombs into the shafts, blowing Earth's core into space and causing Earth's gravity to become lighter like their own home world. Ace hypnotized Garnat, and had him turn off the gravity sphere inside the base, and in Earth's gravity the Tyrans could barely move. Using the electronic transmitter the Tyrans used to come to Earth Haley and Red went to Washington, and with the aid of the military destroyed the offcoast explosives. The Tyrans released an amphibious war machine that the Challs destroyed. Rocky and Ace damaged the detonator for the bombs to be dropped in the Earth's core before using the transmitter to escape, and the exploding detonator killed the Tyrans.

(Showcase #12) - The Challs were deputized to capture international criminals Karnak, Brommer and Gortz. They pursued the criminals over the Pacific in Ace's jet, but when the criminals flew into a thunderstorm the Challs had to suspend their pursuit. Karnak and his men landed on a small island where archaeologist Amos Hunter was studying magic vials from a prehistoric civilization of sorcerers. When the Challs spotted their plane and landed Karnak seized the vials and had his men drink from one of them, turning them into giants. The Challs outwitted the giants with traps, and made their way to Amos' home. Brommer and Gortz recovered, and the vial's magic wore off, returning them to regular size. They came at the Challs guns blazing, hitting one of the vials Karnak was holding, unleashing a Fire Being who burned the house to the ground. The fire spread to the nearby forest, so the Challs and Amos ran for cover in one direction while Karnak and his men went another way until Red and Rocky pursued them. Amos read from his manuscripts, telling Ace and Prof. that the Fire Being could be dismissed with screaming winds. Ace guessed the ancients were referring to vibrations, and lured the Fire Being behind his jet and revving the engines, dissipating the creature. Brommer and Gortz argued with Karnak, stealing one of his vials before making off the island in Hunter's boat. Karnet escaped the island in his plane. Red and Rocky caught up to Beommer and Gorz, and when they spilled the vial in the ocean a kraken emerged, smashing the ship and drowning the criminals. Ace flew his jet to Rocky and Red, rescuing them, and used a hint in Amos' manuscript to lure the kraken into an oil slink, forcing it to retreat beneath the waves. Karnak landed in California, and swallowed a vial that made a number of duplicates of himself before starting a crime wave. The Challs followed one of the dupes to Karnak's hideout, and he swallowed the final vial, but it caused his duplicates to disappear, as the vial negated the effects of any other vial.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #1) - Several raids were conducted on research labs, and the thieves made off with experimental technology. They targeted June's lab and kidnapped her as well, so the Challs got involved. They caught the criminals stealing a new transistor, but the Challs and the criminals were teleported to the lab of Olan Tagorian using his molecular ray. The fringe scientist was using the stolen parts to create an Infinity Machine that could open doors to other dimensions. He pierced the dimensional barrier, summoning a sonic creature and a burrowing creature. The monsters started destroying his lab, so he teleported them away, but the distraction allowed the Challs to get the jump on him and his men. The Challs trackjed down the creatures; the sonic creature was absorbing electricity causing communication problems, so the Challs locked it in a sound-proof box, and the burrowing creature was eating the foundations of a town until the Challs shone bright light at it, blinding it. The Challs used the Infinity Machine to send the creatures back to their own dimension and brought Olan into custody.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #1) - Farmer Abner Jenkins called the Challs when a metal orb landed on his property. They investigated, and when they approached the orb it opened, sucked them inside and flew off into space to a distant planet. A gigantic alien boy put the Challs in a terrarium, and poked at them with a rod until he got bored. The alien's parents entered his room, and he hid the terrarium on a shelf. The Challs realized he was keeping them as pets, but gathered that his parents wouldn't approve. The Challs tipped over the terrarium, avoided the boy's feral catlike pet, and used a pellet gun to hit the intercom button in his room, summoning his parents. The adults scolded their child, place3d the Challs in the orb, and returned them to Earth.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #2) - Prospector Digger Bill called the Challs to Australia after he'd discovered a mineral being in a grotto that was growing rapidly and threatening nearby villages. The Challs planned to smoke it out of the grotto and hit it with dynamite, but June set the dynamite off early, covering the grotto entrance in rubble. She then caused their transport filled with weapons careening down a hill. The Challs didn't buy her claim that she'd been clumsy, and she revealed that she imput the parameters of their mission into her computer, which predicted the Challengers would fail and die. Since she couldn't dissuade them from a dangerous situation, she joined them. The creature burst from the grotto and was unfazed by explosions, so the Challs fled in a helicopter. The creature grew weaker, and Prof. surmised that it drew strength from sunlight, and during nightfall, which was approaching, it returned to the grotto to absorb heat. They'd lured the creature far enough away from the grotto, that it couldn't make it back and collapsed. June was proud of herself, by delaying the Challs mission she changed the parameters and defied the computer's conclusion.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #2) - Would-be world conqueror Roc was headed to the island lab of Dr. Hascomb, and the Challengers pursued him. When they landed Roc conjured a giant ape, forcing the Challs to flee, but they tricked it into colliding with a cliff face, and when it was rendered unconscious it disappeared. Hascomb explained that he'd invented a Thought Machine that Roc used on himself to turn his thoughts into reality. He was working on a way to reverse the effect, but to give the Challengers the edge in the meantime he used the Thought Machine on Ace. Ace conjured a spacecraft, which soon disappeared, and Hascomb explained that any manifested thoughts disappeared after serving their purpose. The Challs confronted Roc, who created a fire-breathing dragon. Ace countered by creating a giant knight, and after a battle with Roc hypnotized him by creating spinning color wheels. Hascomb figured out how to reverse the Thought Machine, taking away Roc and Ace's powers. The machine exploded, and Hascomb said good riddance.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #3) - Hillary Mycroft and his gang stole the magic mirror of Kregon the Sorcerer from a Museum, and the Challs went after him. Hillary and his men fled their hideout when the Challs arrived, and the Challs used the mirror, which revealed the location of secret treasures of the ancients, to figure out where they were going. The mirror showed the deep sea, a mountain peak, and Sinbad's island. Prof. dove to the ocean's bottom, but one of Mycroft's men got there first, gathering a sphere with a rod attached which briefly summoned a giant pair of hands. Red reached the mountaintop first, and his sphere summoned the head of a genie who told him how to get safe passage down, but Mycroft's men were waiting for him. The Challs joined up at Sinbad's Island, and used the third sphere to summon a suit of armor that shot heat rays, saving them from a Roc. Mycroft stole the last sphere, revealing that the artifacts held an imprisoned genie that would be summoned when the spheres were put together. Nothing happened, allowing the Challs to get the drop on Mycroft and his men, and Red revealed that he'd removed the rod from the sphere he'd found, which was why Mycroft failed to summon the genie.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #3) - Professor Curtis showed the Challs a film of a monkey playing in fire with no ill effects and told them the monkey had ingested a chemical from a meteor that landed on Earth and gained the ability to withstand extreme environments. The chemical was not ready to be tested on humans, but Rocky insisted on volunteering. He took the chemical, and went up in a rocketship to see if he could survive reentry. During his flight the monkey lapsed into a coma, and Curtis feared the side effects the chemical would have on a human. Rocky survived the heat friction of reentry and gained fantastic powers, changing size, and generating intense heat and cold, but was unhinged, and fled after attacking his teammates. Rocky went into the woods, and the Challs organized a search party. Rocky stumbled on the cabin of gangster Chopper and his gang, and Chopper, seeing potential in his powers, decided to use him as a pawn committing crimes. The Challs found them, and when Chopper shoved June Rocky came to is senses and took out the criminals. The chemical wore off, and Rocky lost his powers and his mind returned to normal.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #4) - Men dressed in ancient Egyptian garb stole a telescope from an optics firm, and men dressed as ancient Greeks stole an airplane. One Greek was apprehended, and Harlan Fuller was convinced he was actually from the distant past, and called in the Challs. The Greek said he was baffled by the modern world and wanted to return to the past, leading the Challs to the place he'd entered their time, the Island of the Wizard. On the island the Challs met Darius Tiko, who'd invented a Time Cube to travel space and time, and told them he'd let the Egyptians and Greeks steal the plane and telescope to establish good relations with them. He fled into time in his cube, and when the Challs discovered a second Time Cube they pursued, with Ace and Rocky being dropped off in ancient Greece with the captive soldier. The soldier led them to the Great Oracle, who intended to use the airplane to establish superiority over his enemies. The Challs couldn't let him use modern tech to oppress people, so they stole the plane and landed it in a controlled crash that destroyed it. Rocky wondered if they were responsible for the myth of Phaeton, who rode a chariot across the sun. In Egypt Red and Prof. were taken into slavery, but gained their freedom using a whistle and flashlight and claiming to be magicians. They met the Pharaoh's astrologer Rhamis, using the stolen telescope. Egyptians fearful he was using black magic stormed the lab, destroyed the machine, and forced the Challs to flee in their time cube. The reunited Challs speculated that Tiko had brokered deals with the oracle and astrologer to gain mathematical formulas about probing the future. They traveled to the 15th century to visit the prophet Nostradamus, who bore out their theory, and they learned Tiko used his new ability to bring the cube into the future to visit the year 3000. Tiko had stolen advanced weaponry and medicine, planning on returning to the present and ruling the world. Police arrived, telling Tiko and the Challs they'd landed in a restricted zone and took them to an electronic judge. The computer judge cleared them of all charges because they were from a backwards time and couldn't comprehend the rules of a rational society. Tiko's tech was confiscated and the second cube incinerated, but they were allowed to return to the present in the remaining cube. The Challs and Tiko returned to their time, and the police from the future rigged the Cube to self-destruct so time travel would no longer be possible in their era. The Challs took Tiko to the authorities to answer for his crimes.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #5) - June was on an archaeological dig in Chandowa, India under Prof. Brandon. They discovered the Star-Stone, whose mystic powers worked by placing gems in the stone's niches. A fire opal sleeping from a sleeping volcano, an emerald a stone giant, and the Royal Bengal Diamond of Djiizari would all grant the user powers, and a pearl from the Bay of Sharks would make them permanent. Their assistant Vreedl stole the Star-Stone and retrieved an opal to gain fire-based powers, and used them to rob a railcar carrying money. June called in the Challs to pursue him, although they failed to keep him from stealing an emerald ring from a temple's stone idol. The Challs went to Djiizari and warned the rajah, who decided there'd be no safer place for the diamond than in his turban. The emerald gave Vreedl flying powers, and the locals mistook him for the legendary Birdman of Djiizari, gasping in awe as he made off with the rajah's diamond. The Challs pursued him, but the locals were upset that they attacked the Birdman and after restraining them, sent them to prison. June had staid back, distracted the guards with a supposed sighting of the Birdman, and freed her friends. Vreedl gained aquatic abilities and easily outmaneuvered the Challs while diving for the pearl in the Bay of Sharks. His now permanent powers included superhuman strength and invulnerability, and he easily handled the Challs. Ace told him he was the first person to best them, but planted doubts about his power by saying someone else would surely find the Sun-Stone and use it to gain the same powers as him. He destroyed the Star-Stone so no one else could use it, but it's destruction made him lose his powers, and the Challengers apprehended him.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #6) - The Challs received an SOS from a sinking vessel, but when they arrived on the scene the ship disappeared, turning out to be an illusion, and a gravity-ray took the Challengers to a spaceship. They were locked in cages by Tartan and the Stupendous Interplanetary Circus, who told them they were to be star performers, whether they wished it or not. In front of an alien crowd the Challs were dumped into a tank of water and forced to battle Quadro, the Four-Finned Demon of the Deep. Afterwards Tartan and his men loaded the Challs into their cages and flew to the next performance in their galaxy-spanning tour. They landed at the meteor arena, and the opening act was the round men of Zaka and the bird-men of Taka. The Taka had hoops around their neck, and had to catch the Zaka, who were fired from a giant sling. The Challs learned they were being forced to perform against their will too, and teamed up to attack the circus guards, escape the arena, and fly off in the circus' spaceship. Tartan and his guards pursued them in warships, and the Challs, knowing they'd be cut to ribbons, landed on an asteroid. The asteroid's gravity gave them superhuman strength, so they ripped up crystal boulders to ward off the guards before hurling projectiles at the warships, disabling them. Tartan surrendered, and the Challs took him back to meteor arena, where the law arrested him for pressing sentient beings into service.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #6) - June was forced to make an emergency landing when her plane ran into a storm, and she found herself on a very remote island. She explored a nearby cave, and rubbed a lamp, with the vapors giving her tremendous magic powers but sapping her will. The Challs went looking for her after they lost radio contact, and found a small village ruled by June, now dressed as a sorceress and controlled by American criminal Charles Agar. Agar was stranded on the island some time ago, and made a name for himself as a leader after impressing the villagers with a lighter and wristwatch. With June under his control he ruled the village, and had June assault the Challs with a river she summoned from a mountain. She turned Rocky and Red to stone, and after the effect wore off Charles locked them in jail. Prof. and Red saw that Charles needed June to keep inhaling the lamp's vapors to retain her power, and snatched the lamp from Agar before freeing their friends. They easily knocked out Agar as June recovered, but the villagers were upset and pursued them. The Challs didn't want to hurt them, but didn't have the time to explain they were allies, so they faked a spell by setting off some gunpowder. They flew home with June and threw the lamp into the ocean so no one could misuse it again.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #7) - The Calls friend Carver came across a spaceship while exploring Druid Island, and when the ship disgorged rampaging beasts he called the Challs. The ship appeared to have housed a zoo, and the cages broke in the ship's crash. Taking an energy cage from the ship the Challs captured a fire-breathing bird creature, then pursued a giant jellyfish creature that ate metal, trapping it in a glass observation sphere. The final creature on the loose was an armadillo beast, and after luring it into rolling off the top of a mountain it landed in a tight hole it couldn't budge from. Aliens from Pluto arrived on Druid Island, congratulating the Challengers on their quick wits in capturing their lost zoo animals.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #7) - The Challengers watched a TV report about a bank robber who used a machine to pass through vault walls, and decided to investigate. They let June come along as an observer, but told her to stand down if there was action. They caught the thief in the act, but he flew off in his plane, and the Challs followed, with June stowed away in storage because she didn't want to miss anything. The thief landed on a small deserted island, and when the Challs approached him he shrunk them with one of his devices and caged them. He explained that he was Anton Zammer, and had discovered the labs and inventions of deceased eccentric inventor Prof. Macon. He intended to use his disintegrator to finish off the Challs, but June rescued her friends and unshrunk them. Zammer opened Macon's final invention, but it turned out to be a failsafe that disabled his other inventions in case they fell into the wrong hands.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #8) - June's friend Maria inherited a castle in Mordania, and she discovered a scroll describing the treasures her alchemist ancestor had hidden in a secret vault in the castle. The Challengers were interested in investigating, and after uncovering the vault they opened one of the alchemist's boxes, only to be hit with a youth serum that turned Ace and Rocky into children. The villainous Drabny had been sneaking around the castle, and after following the Challs into the vault he stole the alchemists other creations, including glasses that let him see the distant future and a helmet that gave him control of mind over matter. After using the helmet to subdue the Challs he took control of Mordania, declaring himself a monarch. Prof. and Red teried to sneak up on him in his workshop, but he used his helmet to throw them in jail. June, Rocky and Ace posed as tourists to free their compatriots, and after the youth serum wore off they were all able to fight their way past Drabny's guards. The fallen Mordanian military confronted Drabny, who'd built a number of futuristic Star Cars, which he used to disable them. In the heat of battle the Challs exposed him to the youth serum, turning him into a child and causing his helmet to fall off. Drabny was deposed and sent to prison.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #8) - The Challs were contacted by the alien Juhl of the planet Zuna, who'd heard of their exploits and needed their help. The Zunians had a society where robots fulfilled their every need, but when an Earth rocket exploded near the moon the radiation drifted to their planet, giving the robots sentience. The robots, led by Kra, rebelled and became tyrants. The robots could be deactivated by a switch on their backs, but the radiation they generated was deadly to Zunians, so they couldn't get close to the robots. Juhl took them to his planet, and when Kra heard of his plan he broadcast an order to have his robots start destroying Zunian towns, promising more severe repercussions for any more dissent. The Zunians had a chemical that would remove the radiation from the robots, and the Challs made their way past Kra's robots to take an ancient aircraft from one of Zuna's museums and loaded it up with the antidote. The Challs confronted Kra, throwing sand in his joints to disable him before disassembling him and broadcasting on his speakers, telling his robot hordes to gather in the town square, where the Challs sprayed them all with the antidote. The Zunians thanked the Challs for saving them and sent them home.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #9) - There was a rash of robberies, and before each one the victim was hit by a beam that erased their memory. The Challengers went to Marine Horizons, whose executive Mr. Higgins had just lost his memory, and learned that Horizons was planning an expedition to recover sunken treasure. The Challs went to the dive site and found scientist turned criminal Dekkar, who wiped out the Challs memory with his ray-machine before speeding off to his hq. June was in a separate boat, and tried to jog the Challs memory, reminding them of the fantastic skills each one possessed. She brought them to Dekkar's island, and when he used the ray-machine on them again their memories were restored. June had tinkered with the machine and put it in reverse, and the Challs apprehended the criminal.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #9) - A spaceship entered Earth's orbit and released three smaller vessels that landed on Earth. Each vessel had an alien beast, one who flew into the skies, one that swam into the sea, and one that burrowed into the ground. The Challs investigated, and after being beaten back by the beasts Ace took one of the smaller ships and flew to the mothership, discovering that it was operated by robots. An alien civilization sent the craft, and was monitoring it, having sent the beasts to divide earth into three sections and transport the planet to them, since their own world was dying. To fool the aliens the Challs created motorized replicas of the beasts and 'destroyed' them with a mystery weapon. The aliens, thinking their plans ruined, cut off the energy beams that powered their beasts and flew the mothership back to their planet.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #10) - June Robbins went to the jungle to study with Dr. Manning, who was working to understand the language of animals. She ran into an enormous Cave-Man Beast who'd been wounded with a gunshot, treated his injuries, and watched him wander off. The hunters that shot him berated her for letting him get away, saving the Beast had been spotted in town, and was clearly a danger. June found Manning's lab wrecked, and summoned the Challs. She pursued the Beast with Rocky and Ace, finding him at an airfield. Rocky and Ace attacked, but were easily repelled, but the Beast recognized June as the one who treated his wounds, and refused to harm her friends, wandering off. Prof. and Red flew over the jungle and employed a local tracker, but caught no sight of Manning. They had a collapsible cage to trap the Beast, which Red demonstrated on Rocky, making him want to punch his teammate. They found the Beast at the waterworks drinking, and when they tried to capture him he wrenched free a pipeline, blasting them with water. June wondered if Manning's notes could solve the mystery, and learned he'd developed a serum to use to talk to animals, and she deduced that it had turned him into the Cave-Man Beast. She convinced the Beast to drink the antidote, returning him to normal, and told him she'd already destroyed his notes because his project was too dangerous.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #10) - The Challs had some downtime, and visited the ruins of an ancient civilization in the Mediterranean. They'd visited a year previously, but were overcome by dizziness, and had little memory of the trip. The dizziness came over them again, and they found themselves in the island's past, where a tyrant named Hunzar tried to apprehend them with fantastic mechanical devices. They fled, and were taken into the house of a rebel, who told them the entire ancient city was automated, and that Hunzar usurped control of the city and controlled them by controlling the city. He brought them to a secret tunnel leading to a bathyscaphe, which was to deliver them to the rebel leader X-2. They saw an undersea monument depicting the Challs and calling them traitors. X-2 accused them of being spies trying to lead Hunzar to her, saying they'd visited a year ago and stopped her father's police force from keeping Hunzar away from the city's controls. The Challs memory started to return, and they realized that in their initial trip into the past they instinctively reacted when they saw a group of men pursuing Hunzar. They were determined to make things right, and joined up with X-2 to get past the city's defenses and take down Hunzar. They made their way past Hunzar's machines and grabbed his master control machine, but were again transported to the present. Prof. dived into the sea, and found that the Challs monument now praised them for freeing the city from tyranny, so they knew their side won.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #11) - June was on an archaeological dig in the Caribbean with Prof. Markson, Spaatz and Cleary when they saw a glowing light atop a hill. Cleary and Markson walked into the light, disappearing, and two alien creatures emerged. June called the Challs, who engaged the aliens, only to be driven back by the beings eye-blasts. Rocky and Red decided to investigate the glowing light, and also disappeared, only to be replaced by two more creatures. Rocky and Red found themselves in another dimension, and were held captive by the alien Zarxes. They were imprisoned with Markson, Cleary, and an Aktonite scientist. The scientist said his people invented a dimensional exchange machine to explore Earth, but the Zarxes conquered them and took control of the machine, scouting Earth and intending to invade it. Rebel Srella helped them escape and brought the rest of the Challs to the world. The Zarxes needed full sunlight to function, so they blew up the artificial sun in the city that kept the invaders going. The Aktonites retook their dimensional machine, and after returning the Challs home promised to destroy the gateway

(Challengers of the Unknown I #12) - Red was mountain climbing when he witnessed a UFO landing and called in his fellow Challs. Cosmic Giants emerged from the ship and started blasting, severely injuring Prof. Extraterrestrial champion S’ntaga had been pursuing the Giants, and after placing Prof. in a healing chamber explained that the Giants had attacked his planet Krandan and were outlaws on their own world who were gathering rare metals to create a devastating weapon to use against their own people. The Cosmic Giants attacked a nearby town, but with S’ntaga's help the Challs fended them off. The Giants used their distraction to complete their weapon, and had their ship shielded with a cosmic forcefield. Prof. recovered, and the healing process gave him temporary superhuman strength. He broke through the cosmic barrier, forcing the Giants to flee, and S’ntaga used the opportunity to plant an explosive on the Giant's ship, blowing them up.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #12) - The Challs made Challenger Mountain their new headquarters. June was studying with Dr. Fenton in Africa when he showed her giant footprints leading away from a wrecked lab, saying one of his monkeys got their hands on a growth serum and asking her to call the Challengers. The Challengers arrived to find June caged, Fenton had faked the runaway monkey scenario to get her to lure her friends to him. Fenton had been studying the works of an ancient alchemist and needed three items to gain power, demanding the Challs retrieve the items if they wanted June released unharmed. The Challengers retrieved a chest from a mountaintop and a bottle with a formula stored inside from a sunken galleon, but both items looked like they had been recently placed in their location. Rocky fought off a gorilla that guarded a idol that contained the final item, a gem in its forehead. The Challs returned to Fenton, and realized only the gem had power, the other two items were a misdirection so they wouldn't try to figure out how the gem worked. The gem split open to create a solar burst, and when Fenton tried to shoot Prof. he hit the gem half instead, destroying it and making the artifact useless.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #13) - A satellite crashed near Challengers Mountain, and when the Challs investigated they found a space ball within. They examined the ball under an x-ray, which cracked it open, and the alien Zanna emerged, growing from a few inches tall to human sized. He was the rule rof the planet Ak-Sel, but had been overthrown by the tyrannical Dakyab, who shrunk him, and sent him into space in the satellite the Challs found him in. The Challs wanted to help him restore order to his planet, and boarded a spacecraft his follower Vraba had brought to Earth in search of his leader. They arrived at Zanna's resistance base in an extinct volcano, but Dakyab had seen the ship land and sent his men to crush the opposition. Zanna and the Challs fled in a shuttle craft to a second base in Ak-Sel's floating islands. Dakyab's men were searching for Zanna in the countryside, leaving his palace vulnerable. Zanna used anti-gravity beams to send the floating islands to the royal palace and sieged it. Dakyab tried to escape using the fixation ray, shrinking himself, and putting himself inside a space ball he intended to launch into orbit, but Zanna stopped him just in time, allowing him to remain a prisoner in the space ball.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #13) - Archaeologist Dr. Henry presented the Challengers of the Unknown with evidence of the historicity of the Golden Fleece and Jason and the Argonauts, uncovered in a book from the archives of Rhodes. The Challs traveled with him to the island of Colchis, and soon Rocky discovered the fleece and put it on, finding himself filled with strange and uncontrollable powers. When his teammates approached him the fleece summoned a fire breathing dragon to hold them off while he fled. June and Henry found a vase purporting to hold a liquid that could take away the uncontrollable powers of the Golden Fleece. The Challs caught up to Rocky who summoned a Cyclops, which Ace took out by hurling a hornet's nest at his eye, and a centaur that Prof. roped. June dressed as a mermaid, luring Rocky towards her, and when he was close enough she tossed the vase's liquid at him, breaking the Golden Fleece's spell.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #14) - The Challengers of the Unknown went on an archaeological expedition with Dr. Charles Ferriss and his assistant Duncan Pramble to the Island of Ruins in search of an alchemist's formula for immortality. While everyone else slept Duncan stole Ferriss' map, wanting the secret of immortality for himself. When Ferriss and the Challs woke they followed him to the alchemist's chamber, Ferriss having memorized the route, but found he'd already claimed the formula and left. Ace and Rocky pursued him while the others translated the alchemists' writings found in a box containing chemicals that acted as a counter to the immortality serum. Duncan drank the liquid light, and felt power course through him as he crackled with electricity. The liquid light gave the drinker powers, and each time they died they would be reborn with a new set of powers, turning him into a Multi-Man, the closest the alchemist could find to immortality for mortals. After clashing with the Challs they splashed the antidote on him, and he lost his electric powers. He ran up a cliff and jumped off, killing himself only to be reborn with aquatic powers. He swam to the mainland hoping to use his powers to amass a fortune. The coast guard hemmed him in with dynamite, and when the Challs used the antidote on him again he swam straight into the explosion, being reborn with a birdlike form. The Challs followed him in a plane, and Ace jumped and launched a parachute. He grabbed Multi-Man, used another antidote, and restrained him so he couldn't plummet to earth. He was placed in a secure jail cell so he couldn't kill himself and activate his powers again.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #14) - The Challs were at Challenger Mountain when they were hit by a beam of light from the sky that teleported them to another planet. They found themselves in an alien lab, with two enormous K'zana beasts present. The K'zanas shoved June, Prof. and Red into a cage while Rocky and Ace made a mad dash to escape. One K'zanas pursued them, but was soon distracted by an alien bird flying from a bush and pursued it instead. Ace and Rocky met aliens who revealed that the lab was theirs, and they'd captured one of the rare mountain beasts the K'zana were there to study, only to have the two the Challs met show up looking for their friend, and they were forced to flee. The K'zana couldn't actually work any of the lab's tech on purpose, so the aliens reasoned that the K'zanas had accidentally tripped the teleportation ray. While the K'zana remaining in the lab tossed around equipment one piece landed near the cage, and Prof. used it to freeze the bars, smash the cage and escape. They found the imprisoned K'zanas, and June fed him because he was clearly hungry. The other K'zana arrived, and June freed her new friend, who fought to protect June, wrecking parts of the lab. All the K'zanas got bored and wandered back to the hills. The other aliens decided to build a force field to keep the beasts from their research station, and returned the Challs to Earth.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #15) - Multi-Man was contacted by a man named Gurk who promised to help him escape if he performed a job for him. Gurk smuggled explosives into Multi-Man's cell and he blew himself up, being reborn with superhuman strength. The Challs were at the prison to check on their foe, but they couldn't stop his escape, as he swung construction equipment from the prison yard at them. Gurk had a golden flower, part of a fabled golden statue, and he needed Multi-Man to acquire the other two pieces, a base and a turtle sculpture. Morgan F. Sanders, a collector, had the base, and with Multi-Man's strength it was easy to tear his way into Sanders' safe and steal it. The last part was with the South American tribe who'd originally crafted the statue. The Challengers, learning of the statue from Sanders, traveled to SA in pursuit. Gurk stole the turtle, assembled the statue and fled while Multi-Man tossed around the tribesmen. The Challs used their final antidote on Multi-Man, depriving him of his powers. He ran off, and a tribesman killed him with a spear thrown into his back, and Multi-Man changed into his final form, a large-head spindly man with superhuman intelligence. He used his superhuman brain to turn the villagers against the Challs, and followed Gurk into the hills. The Challs promised they could get the tribe's statue back, and showed them that a nearby hill looked like a turtle shell, and a tree atop it corresponded to the statue's flower. The hill contained a lost treasure horde the tribe had hidden and forgotten ages ago. The Challs apprehended the villains, returned the statue to its' rightful owners and returned to the US.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #15) - June was doing experiments with microbes taken from a balloon that went 75 miles up into the atmosphere, exposing them to lower level atmospheric elements. Due to a million in one freak chance the chemical reaction caused an explosion that turned June into a giant. The sudden change made her woozy, and soon after her teammates returned to Challenger Mountain she passed out. One of the atmospheric microbes grew to monstrous size, and the Challs had to flee from it, finding it would not cross a river at the base of the mountain. June recovered and saw the giant microbe attacking a nearby village. She sprung into action and the two giants clashed but June started to get overpowered. The Challs commandeered a firetruck, spraying the microbe with water, paralyzing it with pain, because as a creature of the upper atmosphere it was weak against water. The chemical reaction June created finally wore off, with June and the microbe both returning to their proper size, and the Challengers got busy cleaning up the lab.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #16) - Criminal Alcom stole the Elcode (Elements Control Device0, a machine that could prevent natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, intending to power it with certain ores that would allow it to create natural disasters. The Challengers responded, but when they found him he was being protected by Halanka, a gigantic metal alien, who chased them away. They went to a local iron works to procure an electro-magnet to use against Halanka, but when they returned to where the villains were they found two sets of tracks and split up to follow each one. Ace and Rocky found Albom and Halanka, who'd melted the ore needed to reverse the powers of the Elcode. The Challs used the electro-magnet on Halanka, paralyzing him, but Albom tossed a fire pellet at his alien ally, turning him molten and changing his molecular structure so the magnet ceased to affect him. Meanwhile Prof. and Red met the alien lawman Thark. Halanka was his prisoner, kept in a magnetic cage, but his ship crashed, damaging the cell in the process and freeing the criminal. They met back up with their teammates, but Albom set a twister on them. Thark protected them with a forcefield created by his force-ray, then turned the force-ray on the Elcode, destroying it. The Challs used the forcefield they were in to ram Halanka, knocking him out. They apprehended Albom, and helped Thark repair his ship and magnetic cell so he could leave Earth with his prisoner.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #16) - June's plane crashed in the desert, and the Challs split up to search for her. Red and Rocky spotted her, dazed and fatigued from lack of water. As they went to her a medieval castle appeared in the desert, solidifying from a mirage. In this Mirage World the knight Sir Manson proclaimed June as his damsel, and had his fellow knights throw Red and Rocky into a dungeon. Melissa, a woman sympathetic to the outsiders, freed the Challs, telling them the Mirage World only appeared on Earth once a day every hundred years. The time gate that connected the two worlds would close at day's end, so the Challs had to save June fast. Manson solidified his claim on June by winning a jousting tournament, despite June telling him she wanted her freedom. Red and Rocky rescued her and fled towards the time gate, where Prof. and Ace had just arrived, but they were then all surrounded and trapped by knights. The Challs challenged Sir Manson for June's freedom, and by the laws of the Mirage World he was obliged to agree. Manson and the Challs battled using chariots, but as the time gate was closing Manson grabbed June and made his way towards it, interested in going to another world. Melissa and Manson's fellow knights helped stopped him, allowing June and her teammates to escape in the nick of time.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #17) - Ace took June on a shopping spree when a genie robbed a bank, stealing only pennies, destroying its' storefront. The Genie smacked Ace and hopped in a getaway car. Ace recognized the red clay from the tire tracks as coming from Fairview County, and the Challengers went into action. Malvolio, a stage magician turned criminal, was mixing a potion to restore the genie's full powers, and used the pennies the genie stole as the first component. Malvolio sicced the genie on them, but when June confronted him he was scared off. The Challs found a foundry where the genie was devouring brass to gain power, but June caused him to fly off. The final ingredient was iron ore, and June said she'd better lead the assault. The Challs realized June was wearing a ring of opal, often used to combat black magic in ancient times. They busted Malvolio, and smashed the horn that housed the genie so he couldn't return.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #17) - The navy bombed an iceberg that was a danger to passenger ships, but within the ice four strange capsules were exposed, and one of them was cracked in the bombing. Vine-like tendrils emerges and attacked the ships, so the Challengers of the Unknown were called in, and destroyed it. They tracked the other capsules to a remote coast, and one of them released an alien beast with a drill face. Two tiny aliens emerged from the third capsule and explained that they were doing scientific experiments on Earth during the last ice age before they were trapped in an avalanche. The vines were once a small plant, and the beast was their pet Zod, both of which grew into gigantic threats due to Earth's oxygen. The Challs opened the last container, which had a store of the ollygen the aliens needed to breathe, and their grateful friends shrunk Zod before leaving Earth.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #18) - June inherited a tropical island in the Caribbean from her late uncle, and the Challs thought it would make a great vacation spot despite the fact that it had been dubbed Mystery Island because of recent unexplained events that kept people away. The Challs saw a satellite crash into the ocean from space, and retrieved it. Inside they found a small space creature, and surmised that the satellite was an experimental space capsule launched by other alien beings. They offered the fatigued creature water, which he eagerly guzzled. The alien warmed to June immediately, and the Challs named him Cosmo. They arrived on Mystery Island, splitting up and discovering that a number of threats appearing to keep people away from the island, including a live volcano, ghostly apparitions, falling trees, and windstorms were all man-made. The Challs fell into traps, but Cosmo rescued June, Ace and Rocky by chewing through the steel net they were snagged in, and blasted a path through the forest using his eye-beams to find their other teammates. Red and Prof. were prisoners in an oubliette in a cave, but were freed by their teammates. The cave was filled with guns, grenades and burglar tools, and suddenly a group of gangsters appeared, drawing their guns. They were running an underworld depot, and had previously kept people away with the dangers they'd created around the island. Cosmo blasted the guns from their hands and the Challs beat them down. The authorities were called in, and told the Challs they could keep Cosmo in their custody as thanks for busting up the gang, and the Challs thanked their new pet for saving their hides.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #18) - The Challengers were brought to the 23rd century by Dr. Oren Gough when his time machine malfunctioned. He operated out of what once was Challengers Mountain and explained that their exploits had become legendary. A monument to the Challs had also been carved into the mountain. Cosmic Creatures were attacking Earth, seeking selenium, and one burst into the lab wrecking the time machine. Gough explained that a volto-ray could destroy them, but would harm the nearby human populations. Earth was so overpopulated that the only way to evacuate was to either send the local communities into the past or into space, and without the time machine space was the only option. The Challs weren't adverse to risking their lives, and volunteered to use the volto-rays which could potentially kill them. The Emergency Council approved, but scientist Lenroy and his assistants, who were originally going to perform the task, objected to no avail. The Challengers spent what could be their last day alive celebrating at a restaurant, and Lenroy tried to blow them up with a bomb planted in a cake. He revealed that his three assistants were robots, and when the Cosmic Creatures were destroyed he'd be hailed as a hero and have four votes on the council with his robots. The Challs fought the robots, but were overmatched. At that moment a Cosmic Creature appeared and smashed the robots. Lenroy used his volto-ray to destroy the creature, revealing that he'd perfected the weapon so it's energy didn't harm nearby humans, but hadn't told anyone. The Challs used the volto-ray to destroy the remaining Cosmic Creatures, and Gough repaired his time machine and sent them back to their own period.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #19) - The Challs spotted a group of aliens mining for ore near Challenger Mountain, and they explained they came from a planet whose sun was going supernova, and they used a transmutation machine to convert their planet's population into energy which was recorded on a magnetic tape. Lyo, Ia, and Bara were the only ones not so converted, and were piloting their space ark to find a new planet to inhabit. The ship was damaged during a cosmic storm, and they were constructing a cosmic shield to protect them on the rest of their journey. To finish the job they needed a rare mineral called calextite, which the Challs promised to help them obtain. Bara, planning on ruling their new planet, revived some men loyal to him, pulled weapons on Lyo, Ia and the Challs, and announced that he was taking over their mission. Lyo put up a forcefield to buy them some time, but Bara and his men caught up with Prof. and Red, using the transmutation machine to turn them into energy and record them on a tape. Bara had a tape of a giant Tracking Toba, his planet's mot effective tracker, and sent it to find the rets of his quarry while he went to nearby Dawn City, threatening the residents with a disintegrator ray if they didn't find him calextite. The Toba caught up with Lyo, Ace and Rocky, who covered themselves with dirt to confound it's sense, and Lyo restrained it with energy shackle. The Challs freed their teammates from the magnetic tape, and used the Toba to catch up with Bara. Bara surrendered, and Lyo placed him and his mutinous allies on a tape before bidding farewell to the Challs.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #19) - The Challs were assisting June on an archaeological dig in the Middle East when petty crook Hank Roney stole a giant gem from the nearby Shrine of Oshtar, scoffing at the idea that the gem wa cursed. When sunlight hit the gem a giant four-armed monster was released from the gem. Roney fled, and the monster attacked June's dig site. The Challs lured it under a natural stone tunnel and et off dynamite, imprisoning it. The monster started to dig free, and the Challs consulted the local wise man, who told them about the theft of the temple and the legend of the gem. In times past an evil sorcerer created the gem, which contained two beasts, and terrorized the land until a good wizard vanquished him. Roney, while trying to get rid of the gem, accidentally freed the other beast, a winged serpent, and after fleeing from it for a bit finally figured out that the gem let him control it. The four-armed monster freed itself, and Roney led hi beast to the nearby village, warning the Challs to stay out of hi way or he'd destroy them. Ronet forced the villager to load up the treasure of the Shrine of Oshtar for him, threatening them with destruction. June, disguised as a fortune teller, distracted Roney long enough for Ace to wrest the gem, and control of the monsters, away from him. Ace returned the monster to the gem, and then, on the advice of the wise man, destroyed it so it could never fall into the wrong hands again.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #20) - The Challs called an emergency meeting after Multi-Man escaped prison, using his super intelligence to construct a weapon from simple item and melt the bars of his cell. Multi-Man and hi newly assembled gang robbed Blair Rocket Plant, and Multi-Man took an experimental rocket pack. Ace and Rocky arrived on the scene first, but Multi-Man used knockout gas on them, and had hi gang take them back to their hideout. The other Challs found a note at the crime scene indicating that Multi-Man' next target was the Electro-Dyne Factory, and hurried over to catch him. Rocky and Ace sent out an S.O.S. using lights and a mirror, and the police arrested Multi-Man' gang. Multi-Man took an experimental energy ray from Electro-Dyne, and finished perfecting it, but when the Challs arrived he was forced to flee. Rocky and Ace had found Multi-Man' plans at hi hq, he intended to replicate all his old powers using technology. He next stole an oxygen extractor that allowed him to breathe underwater from Norse Nautical Instruments, and his last target was Astro-Metal Products, where he turned their experimental lightweight steel into impervious metal with his energy gun. The Challs used an electric magnet from the plant to pull the metal away from him, and apprehended him before he could grab his energy ray.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #20) - The Challs monitored the orbital flight of astronaut Captain Carlson, and after hi rocket malfunctioned June plotted his descent, finding that he'd land in the wet coat of Africa. The Challs arrived in Africa only to find the rocket, but no sign of Carlson, so they split up to look for him. Rocky and Ace flew their helicopter to get an aerial view, but were attacked by a winged lion, while their teammates drove their truck through the jungle and chased off a rampaging giant baboon that was attacking a nearby village with a fire hose. The Challs met up on a nearby beach, where Carlson lay prone, and seeing hi spacesuit wa glowing they figured out that he'd picked up a cosmic contamination in space that was mutating any living thing that got near him. A whale grew legs and walked onto shore towards the astronaut, so Ace and Rocky went to save him. The contamination turned Rocky into a giant and gave Ace the power of flight. They used their newfound powers to fend off the regrouped animals while June set up a field lab and sprayed Carlson down with steam. With the contamination gone the animals and Challs returned to normal.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #21) - The Challs received a coded message from June, and flew to a remote forest, where beams of light struck them and left them unconscious. When they awoke they seemed to be on an alien world, and were approached by an alien princess asking them to save her from Agnoks. The Challs put up a fight until Ace recognized the princess' perfume as June's, and tugged off the mask of one of the alien attackers. Director Albert D. Farnum was making a movie about the Challs, and convinced June to lure them there, he wanted genuine Challengers action with no acting. The alien landscape was filled with experimental inventions, and some crooks hijacked giant mechanical birds, attacking the Challs. The crooks thought the inventions would be great for pulling heists, and further challenged the Challengers with a giant robot and a giant top. The Challs came out on top, and Farnum filmed it all, thrilled with the action.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #21) - The Challengers tested the abilities of their space-pet Cosmo when they had to investigate havoc caused by the telekinetic villain Zardoc. They saved hikers from a landslide caused by Zardoc, but the villain almost killed Rocky and Ace when he levitated the bridge they were on and spun it into the sky. Cosmo sensed their distress, and created a forcefield to cushion their fall. Cosmo nearly defeated Zardoc before he conjured a dragon from his thoughts to fight the pet. The Challs distracted Zardoc, causing the dragon to disappear, and Zardoc fled. The next time they met the Challs distracted Zardoc with a reflection oif Cosmo, allowing them to remove his helmet, the source of his power.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #22) - The Challs went to South America in search of missing explorers Hinton and Jarvis, talking to villagers in a jungle where they'd last been seen. The explorers emerged from the jungle, saying they'd seen Xechulan, god of gold, and were under his control. They demonstrated their power by causing explosions, and after raiding the villagers' sacred gold they disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The Challs searched the jungle for them to no avail, but later on the explorers wandered back to the village, claiming they were no longer possessed by Xechulan and had no idea where the gold artifacts they took were. The Challs realized they were lying after investigating the village, finding they'd used explosive pellets and smoke pellets to fake godly powers. With the villagers going along with a plan to find their stolen gold and prove the explorers guilt Prof and Red painted themselves gold, saying they too had found Xechulan and come under his power, feigned godly powers with gimmicks, and took the remaining gold from the village. The explorers followed them to a cave filled with gold treasures, and stole them after the two Challs left. The Challs caught them red-handed trying to bury the "riches," which were just gold painted carved rock, and apprehended them.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #22) - The Challs went into town to pick up supplies for Challenger Mountain when they witnessed a group of warriors from all ages, including a knight, a caveman and a Roman gladiator, attacking the townsfolk. The Challengers subdued them, bringing them back to Challenger Mountain. A gigantic alien named Monstrus burst into the mountain, capturing the Challs in its' tendrils. The creature's owner was the alien J'kal, who explained that he was collecting warriors and adventurers from all time periods for his intergalactic zoo. He thanked the Challs for rounding up his subjects, whose electric cells had lost power, but told the Challs he was adding them to his zoo. The Challs found themselves imprisoned, but Ace short circuited their cage by jamming the nails from June's heels into the cell's electric lock. They woke Monstrus, who was guarding them, but Prof. and June escaped in their pickup truck while the other Challs distracted Monstrus with grenades. An alien law enforcement agent from J'kal's planet used a freeze ray to disable Monstrus, and demanded that J'kal surrender peacefully. J'kal pulled a gun, but June and the Prof. returned in a plane and strafed the ground in front of him, disarming the alien. The alien officer arrested J'kal, and used the technological marvel the starkan to send J'kal and Monstrus back to their homeworld, and then returned the warriors of ancient times back to their time periods in the past.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #23) - The Challs traveled to the Middle East when criminal Burt Langdon, who they'd clashed with before, stole the Horn of Herix from a museum of antiquities. A belt-maker's awl used to pry the horn's case led them to Burt's headquarters, where they found his plans. The ancient kingdom of Herix was home to a mechanical wizard, who created a powerful weapon called the doom box. Burt had a map of the Valley of Herix where it was located, and Prof. reasoned that the horn was a clue that would help him locate the box. The Challs found the entrance of Twin Pines, where a rock carving of trees, when pushed, opened up the hidden valley. The valley was full of traps, and the Challs fell into a moat with a crocodile, but escaped. They found the Horn of Herik, and figured that Burt must have lost it escaping the moat. The Challs made their way past a tree with a door carved in it that trapped them in an oubliette and two giant automatons that wielded swords before finding the box. The box was protected by a mechanical fire-breathing dragon, but Ace, seeing carvings of the horn on the box and drawing a connection, blew the Horn, and the doom box sent out a ray that turned off the dragon. They left the valley with the box and were jumped by Burt's gang. He'd never actually explored the valley, he left behind clues and the Horn so the Challengers would work their way past the traps and find the box for him. Burt tried out the box, shooting heat rays and telling the Challengers he'd won, but Ace blew the Horn again, and the box self-destructed, a precaution created by the wizard who'd made the box.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #23) - The Challs investigated when food disappeared from a lunch party and a model home disappeared from an exhibition following the appearance of a swift moving cloud. June, Red and Ace flew into the cloud while Ace and Rocky met some aliens that appeared in town and helped them fend off a mechanical monster. The aliens, Dr. Kue and Greeg, explained that they were scientists that invented a floating city meant to explore other worlds, but the criminal Zog and his gang took over the island, and, under the cloud cover shielding the island, were using its' tractor beams to take samples of Earth objects so they could study humans before taking over the planet. Kue and Greeg escaped Zog, who'd sent the mechanical monster after them, and they assured the Challs that if their friends had investigated the island they'd been captured by Zog. Kue and Greeg flew a plane near the floating island to trick Zog into capturing them. Rocky and Ace were hidden in the fuselage, and after freeing their friends created a distraction, allowing their allies to reach the island's automatic defense panel. Zoog and his gang were shot up into the air by air bursts, and then dropped into a holding cell. Kue and Greeg thanked the Challs for their help, and left with Zog to their home planet where the criminals would face justice.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #26) - The Challengers explored a remote mountain region when Red and Prof had to land their plane because of engine troubles. They discovered a small kingdom, and were summoned before the king. It was coronation day for King Moyota, but conspirators planned to kill him, and his advisor Ulsing, noticing a strong resemblance between Moyota and Prof., asked the Challenger to take the king's place in the upcoming trial. Prof. said the Challengers game was danger, so he'd happily complete the trials in the Bewitched Valley. He dressed in royal regalia, and drank a magic potion that would let him pass the trials. He was snatched by watery hands from the River of Death, but found the potion didn't protect him, so he grabbed some balloon blossoms from the shore that let him pull away from the river. In the kingdom Red learned that usurper Kidamina had given Prof. a cape that negated the magic potion's powers. Rocky and Ace arrived, and flew Red over the valley so he could warn Prof. to remove his cape, saving him from the Boulder of Flaming Stars. The conspirators catapulted a Giant Caripa into the valley to finish Prof. off, since it was immune to the powers of the magic potion. Moyota joined the action and fed the beast its' favorite food laced with sleeping pellets, ending its' threat. The conspirators were captured, and the kingdom rejoiced at Moyota's coronation.

(Challengers of the Unknown I #26) - The Challs flew to their favorite vacation spot when they spotted a man being attacked by living lightning bolts, and saved him by shooting metal harpoons at the creatures, grounding them. The man was Kandu, a magician who toured space spectacles, and his latest act had gone wild. He'd been burnt, but was grateful for being saved, and gave the Challengers tickets to his next show. They watched in amazement as he performed a feat of telekinesis, but noticed his wounds had healed, and shadowed him after the show. He went to a mountain range where a space capsule released a Bird-Beast with a petrifying gaze. Red blinding him with his shirt, and the Bird-Beast turned it to stone, but injured its' eyes. Ace used a valley to create an echo, and the confused monster crashed into a cliff. Kandu revealed himself as an alien who'd recently arrested a gang of his own people that set up shop on Earth; he'd only taken on human guise and pretended to be a magician while using advanced technology to avoid suspicion.. Although they were in custody they'd left behind three space capsules containing menaces, and the Challs agreed to help him find the other two. The search was interrupted by a thief who stole Kandu's tech to commit a robbery, but the Challs stopped him, and with Kandu's aid defeated the Builder-Creature and Aqua-Beast that emerged from the remaining capsules.

Comments: Created by Dave Wood & Jack Kirby.

The Challengers received a profile in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #4 and Who's Who in the DC Universe #1.

The Challengers appearance in Showcase #6 was reprinted in Secret Origins I #1. Their appearance in Showcase #11 was reprinted in Challengers of the Unknown I #80 and Showcase #12 reprinted in Challengers of the Unknown I #77. Their appearance in Challengers of the Unknown I #1, 2, 3 was reprinted in Challengers of the Unknown I #76, 79, Challengers of the Unknown I #6, 7 was reprinted in Challengers of the Unknown I #78.

Bizarro-Superman wrote and illustrated The Unknown Challenges of the Challengers of the Unknown  comic book featuring the Challengers in Bizarro Comics #1.

Challengers of the Unknown had a cameo in Doom Patrol V #6

All characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and DC Comics, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Please visit The Official DC Comics Site at: http://www.batman.com