Challengers of the Fantastic
Challengers of the Fantastic were an Amalgam Comics team of superhero wannabes who just wanted to prance around in spandex like the weirdos they were. They weren't really the worst team, just the most embarrasing.
Attempting to get a bit of a profit from the 60's, Amalgam Comics tried to rip off spy stories, and so mixed James Bond with The Un-Fantastic Four with a smattering of Challengers of the Unknown. The result? One really crappy team of losers.
The Challengers of the Fantastic appeared in 1965 in their own series that lasted one issue. The story itself wasn't that bad, but the cover itself proved that it wasn't going to work well.
Amalgam Comics, still eager to make a bit of money from the falling sales of the '50s, retooled the Challengers so they'd look less cheesy and more buff, giving the men muscles the size of the state of Montana and the women jahooies bigger than beach-balls.
After the first issue of the second attempt the YWCA, along with the Feminist Movement of America, sued Amalgam Comics for sexual stereotyping. The company, as a result, paid out $8,000,000 for damages.
OK, so they got hammered by powerful, independent women, but the publicity gave Amalgam Comics the recognition they needed, and after yet another retooling, Challengers of the Fantastic was underway.
A space expedition involving Reed "Poof" Richards, Sue "Ace in Bed" Storm, Johnny "Red Ass" Storm and Ben "Rocky Horror" Grimm, goes awry and they crash land in Ohio, the land of the Dead. After fighting off hundreds of lifeless creatures bearing a strong resemblance to Ohio residents, they decide to become daredevils and challenge the fantastic, using an out-of-date egg-timer as their logo.
Reed went on to wear mechanical tentacles and Ben fought crime as a U.S. Senator.
Issues? What notable issues? It would help if there were any.
- Challengers of the Fantastic #1 - Pilot
- JLX #6 - Meet Aqua Mariner
- Adventures to Astonish #1 - Did they astonish? No.
- Radiotower Comics - Produced by RKO Pictures
The Challengers Today
Thankfully for readers, the Challengers are rare today as not many people are interested in spy stories anymore. Plus the fact that Amalgam Comics are too busy with Dark Claw to give a damn about some crummy series from the 60's anymore.