The Challengers of the Unknown are very similar to their Marvel counterpart, the Fantastic Four. Much of the foundation of the FF seems to come directly from the Challenges. While the FF are four astronauts that gain super powers as a result of a space exploration mishap, the Challengers mysteriously survive a plane crash in which they all should have died. As a result they dedicate their lives to fighting supernatural menaces since they view themselves living on borrowed time. They become a team of high tech adventurers, but unlike the FF, they never gain super powers.
The Challengers of the Unknown were the same and the opposite of the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four were super heroes trying to be regular people. The Challengers of the Unknown were regular people trying to be super heroes.
There have been many variations of the team over the years. The original team was Ace Morgan, Prof Haley, Red Ryan, and Rocky Davis. The comic enjoyed an on and off run of 87 issues, from 1958 to 1978.
The next title were never as long lasting as the original. In 1991 - 8 issues, called The Challengers of the Unknown Must Die!
The other two version of the Challengers were from alternate continuities:
- in 1996 an 18 issue series was set in something called DC's Weirdoverse.
- in 2004 a 6 issue limited series by Howard Chaykin ran a futuristic/conspiratorial series that had little to do with anything Challengers related. Name only. This series was pretty good, actually.
Visit the fan site - ChallengersoftheUnknown.com
The Challengers are back in the New 52 continuity. They've made an appearance in DC Universe Presents issue #6. The title is theirs for two more issues before DC Universe Presents moves on to some other characters.