Well in the 1960's Archie spoof the 60's tv show the Man from U.N.C.L.E. Now in the 1990's they reached back again to the 60's to spoof a comic book from that decade. Explorers of the Unknown was a spoof or Challengers of the Unknown that was created by Jack Kirby. These types of books from the Archie company never did last long. This series only lasted 6 issues. At least this company tried to do something a little different to shake things up. They were pretty fun to read too. In the 90's, as well as today, you can't say that about most of the other mainstream comic companies. In the Challengers you had the blond haired Ace the pilot and leader of the group. Red was the mountain climbing daredevil with, of course, red hair. Rocky was the boxing champion. Last but not least was the Professor who was the science expert.
In the Explorers of the Unknown book the team had a red haired leader. The line up was Red Andrews, Soldier of Fortune (Archie)Wheels Cooper, Mechanic and Pilot (Betty)Nitro Mantle, Explosives and Demolition Expert (Reggie)Angel Lodge, Martial Arts Expert (Veronica)Squint Jones, Daredevil and Escape Artist (Jughead)Crash Mason, Muscleman (Moose)Gizmo Doiley, Inventor (Dilton)F/X Clayton, Illusionist (Chuck)
They were disptached to fight mad scientist and explore unknown regions of the world. Their arch enemy was Dr. Gloom. Perhaps it was a spoof of Dr. Doom. A tip of the hat to another group of four explorers that Kirby helped create.
In some ways this book could be an updated version of the Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. series that they did in the 60's. The Archie series today seems content to depend on the digest series that you can get at places like Wal-Mart. I hope that changes soon and they start beefing up their apperances at comic book shops real soon. Another fun series like these alternate universes that I have been talking about might help. The above photo I got from Amazing Comic and Collectables. You can look at the post below to see more on the Challengers of the Unknown.