Family Comic Friday: Archie’s Explorer’s of the Unknown
The world of Archie and the unexplained meet in this classic collection of stories. Learn more about Archie’s Explorer’s of the Unknown in this week’s Family Comic Friday.
After a brief week off to welcome a new kitten into the Madman household, Family Comic Friday has returned! This week we take a look at Archie’s Explorers of the Unknown. This action fantasy storyline originally debuted in the pages of Archie Giant Comics #587, all the way back in 1987! After another popular story a year later in the same title, Archie Comics produced a 6-issue miniseries that ran from 1990-1991. While that was all Archie fans saw of this band of fearless adventurers, Archie’s Explorers of the Unknown has remained a cult classic title that has seen chapters reprinted often in the pages of Archie’s Double Digest and other similar publications. But now for the very first time ever, all 8 chapters have finally been collected in one volume!
Archie’s Explorers of the Unknown was a parody of Jack Kirby’s Challengers of the Unknown title. The premise of the series was that Riverdale’s original Archie Andrews was reading from his favorite book series, ‘The Explorers of the Unknown’. As he read the book, Archie imagined his friends starring as the characters.
Reggie was a demolitions expert. Jughead was a fearless racecar driver with Betty as his brilliant mechanic. Moose was a stunt man. Veronica knew martial arts and Dalton was the team’s genius inventor. When the book became a standalone mini, Chuck Clayton was added to the team as a jack of all trades adventurer who could scuba dive, mountain climb and cliff dive with the best of them. Archie himself rounded out the gang as the team leader ‘Red’, a soldier of fortune who specialized in cryptozoology.
The Explorers of the Unknown tackled the mysteries of the pyramids, the Bermuda Triangle and other elements of the unexplained while battling a group of buffonish villains such as the master of monster blue crabs, Dr. Crustacean. There were some thrilling aspects of Explorers. But this was early 90s Archie. So there was a heavy dose of silliness. A 13 year old me enjoyed this books. But I was also starting to grow out of Archie. Now in my 40s, I love this nostalgic trip back to Riverdale and beyond.
All of the stories were written by Rich Margopoulos. Margopoulos wasn’t known for being an Archie scribe. His expertise was in writing horror stories for comics such as The Haunt of Horror and Eerie. But he managed to capture the Archie Comics spirit very well. Featuring artwork by a number of Archie superstars including Apt Kennedy and Bill Yoshida, Archie’s Explorer’s of the Unknown is illustrated in the classic 80s Archie style that is so timeless.
This is a collection for the whole family. Parents, guardians and even some grandparents will reminisce at a classic series from their youth. Kids will love seeing their favorite Archie characters interacting in new and thrilling ways. For a 176-page book with a cover price of only $8.99, this is a treasury that will bring together generations of Archie Comics fans!
Archie Comics Presents: Archie’s Explorer’s of the Unknown TP will debut in print and various digital formats on July 21, 2020.
For more Family Comic Friday and other reviews, check out my blog: Madman with a Book!