"The most famous family of explorers and adventurers in the world"

by Brad Mengel


Recently, the world became aware of Professor George Edward Challenger’s granddaughter, Doc Titania Challenger. In her first recorded adventure SECTION ZERO #1 she meets Thom Talesi where he makes the quote you see above. At first glance the statement certainly relates to the various descendants of the Rutherford line. Looking at just TARZAN ALIVE by Philip Jose Farmer we find that not only is Professor George Edward Challenger and his nephew Andrew Blodgett "Monk’ Mayfair part of this family but also Tarzan, Ludwig Horace Holly (from SHE by H. Rider Haggard), Bulldog Drummond, Doc Savage, Lord Peter Wimsey, Sir Denis Nayland Smith, Nero Wolfe, and A. J. Raffles. Later scholars have added many more names to that list so it reasonable to suggest that the Rutherfords are indeed the most famous family of explorers and adventurers in the world. (1)

Yet I wondered if Thom was not referring to the Rutherfords in general but the Challengers specifically. So I began to look at the family of George Edward Challenger.

In Tarzan Alive, Philip Jose Farmer quite completely described the Rutherford side of the family and only told us that Challenger’s mother was Dorothy Swinton. Which would seem to suggest that Challenger came into his remarkable intellect and physical attributes from the Rutherfords only. But my research has shown that his mother’s ancestors strengthened these traits from the Rutherfords.

Challenger’s grandmother was one Claire Porthos, the great-great granddaughter of the famous musketeer of that name. One can speculate that something of Challenger’s strength and looks must come from here. (2)

Challenger’s great grandmother’s maiden name was Heidi Lidenbrock. Her brother Hans Lidenbrock was the father of Professor Otto Lidenbrock, and grandfather of Axel Lidenbrock. Both Otto and his nephew Axel claimed much fame from their Journey to the Centre of the Earth. (3) And examining Axel’s report of the journey and Edward Malone’s accounts of Professor Challenger, we see that both George Edward Challenger and Otto Lidenbrock shared both great intellect and temperament. 

But on to the immediate family of George Edward Challenger. Challenger was the middle of three children to John Rutherford and Dorothy Swinton. The children were Edwin, George Edward and Melissa Rutherford 

The first child was Edwin Challenger. Like his brother, he was possessed of a great intellect. Like his nephew "Monk" Mayfair he had red hair. Unlike his other male relatives he did not conform to the short simian Rutherford body type but rather was tall and thin like his German cousin Otto Lidenbrock. Indeed some commentators saw fit to compare Edwin Challenger to Odin.

With his brother George Edward, Edwin wrote several academic articles under the name Edward Challenger. In these articles, written early in the Rutherford brother’s careers, they speculate that the dinosaurs may not have died out as scientific thought decreed. These brilliant articles article were universally condemned. Edwin was content to wait and mount an expedition to prove that dinosaurs did not die, but his brother being of a less even temper began to become violent when their theories were ridiculed and George Edward Rutherford began to call himself George Edward Challenger.

Edwin also adopted the surname of Challenger, but due to his quieter temperament, he was soon forgotten in the hubris of his brother’s tantrum. Any work signed by him either as Edward Challenger, Edwin Challenger or Edwin Rutherford was assumed by many scholars to be the work of his more famous brother. Indeed, his exploits have sadly been recorded as exploits of his brother. (4)

Despite this, the brothers remained close and married sisters Enid and Jessica Delgardie. In The Lost World George Edward Challenger refers to his wife as Jessie and yet Farmer refers to her as Enid Delgardie. Despite Philip Jose Farmer’s meticulous research he appears to fallen into the same trap as many other scholars and mixed up the families of Edwin and George Edward Challenger for Enid Delgardie was the wife of Edwin Challenger.

Edwin and Enid had three children, George, Percival, and Jessica.

George Challenger, born 1891, joined the navy and eventually rose to the rank of Commander. He is described thusly "a red-faced man with a rolling Carriage who carried his hands half clenched by his side. There was something breezy and carefree about him - a typical sailor" (PERIL AT END HOUSE p14) from this quote we can infer that he had something of the simian Rutherford physique.

Commander Challenger supplemented his naval income by smuggling drugs with his "uncle", Dr MacAllister. (5) Hercule Poirot discovered this activity during his investigation into the PERIL AT END HOUSE in 1931. After Poirot exposed Challenger, he let Challenger go. Commander Challenger moved to America. He moved in with a former secretary, Rita Kessel and her son (more on him later). Later he and Rita had a son of their own.

This son, Joachim Kessel, inherited the Challenger physique and intelligence so much so that by 1993, he was one of the foremost researchers into cybernetics outside of the OSI . (6) However, he had his father’s morals, not only were his experiments on human subjects illegal but he also smuggled drugs to finance his experiments. These experiments ended when Kessel turned D.E.A. agent Philip Ryan into a cyborg. Ryan’s brother and former D.E.A. Agent, Jack Ryan, (7) investigating his brother’s disappearance discovered Kessel’s scheme and brought it to a stop before his brother could assassinate the ruler of a Caribbean island. In this showdown, Kessel was killed. 

Edwin Challenger’s second son, Percival Challenger, was named after his great great grandfather Sir Percy Blakeney. When his Uncle George Edward Challenger saw him for the first time he is reported to have said "By God! A finer specimen of pongo pygmaeus I have not seen! Fine work sister! Fine work indeed!!" (8) And as time progressed Percy more and more looked like the orang-utan and so he adopted the nickname of "Pongo" As he grew older he developed a friendship with Lord John Roxton Jnr or Lord "Jack" as he preferred to be called (9) and the pair began working with Ulysses "Red" Kelso (10)

Pongo Challenger had one son, Parwin Challenger. By all accounts Parwin was able to enter a lost valley in New Mexico where he encountered an Indian known as Turok, Dinosaur Hunter. (11)

Edwin’s next child was a daughter Jessie, who was named after her aunt. Jessie married the reporter who accompanied her father on his exploration of the African Lost World, Philip Archer. The couple moved to California where Phil’s brother, Miles was living and working as a private detective in partnership with Sam Spade (12) The couple had one son Lewis. (13) 

At this point I should explain. In TARZAN ALIVE, Philip Jose Farmer speculates that 

Lew Archer is the grandson of Professor George Edward Challenger and the son of Enid Challenger and Edward Malone. But Farmer is less than definite on the topic. "The only slot I can find for him is the son of Enid Challenger Malone. .... She bore Lew in 1914 or 1918" (Farmer TARZAN ALIVE p290)

However my associate Rick Lai, who has shed much light on the true parentage of Professor Moriarty in THE SECRET HISTORY OF CAPTAIN NEMO, has pointed out that Enid and Ed fell in love during the events of THE LAND OF MIST which can be dated as taking place in 1926, some ten years after the birth of Lew Archer.

After much investigation I must conclude that Lew is the grandson of Professor Edwin Challenger and the son of Jessie Challenger and Phil Archer. The children of Enid Challenger and Ed Malone will be investigated later in the article.

Far less problematic is the fact that Lew Archer is the father of Santa Teresa Private Eye Kinsey Milhone. (14)

The second child of John and Dorothy Rutherford was the famous Professor George Edward Challenger. As mentioned earlier, he married Jessica "Jessie" Delgardie and the couple had two children, George Edward Junior and Enid. Some commentators have pointed out that during the 1906 event of THE POISON BELT neither of the children where mentioned by G. E Challenger and his wife. The facts are simple, both children were sent to boarding schools to be educated and both children were called home but as THE POISON BELT attests the effects of the gas struck faster than Professor Challenger had anticipated and neither made it home in time.

George Edward Jnr was born in 1890 and was in many ways like his father, sharing black hair and a keen intellect. Unlike his father he chose not to wear a beard. In 1934, he discovered the Mongolian Lost World (15)

George Edward Junior fathered at least three children two girls and a boy. His first child, George Edward Challenger III was born in 1910. In 1920, he fathered Georgina Challenger, and in 1963 fathered Titania Challenger.

In many ways, George Edward III closely resembled his cousin Monk Mayfair, short and ape-like with red hair. Like his grandfather and great uncle he wore a beard. Like his grandfather he had a distinct dislike for reporters. In 1960, he led an expedition to Maple White land to prove his theory that the dinosaurs that had been returned in 1947 (see DINOSAUR SUMMER by Greg Bear) had survived and flourished. (16)

However, in 1930 George Edward III had a daughter, Felicity Challenger. She married Clayton Atticus and the couple had one son Jeffery Atticus. Jeffery Atticus, inherited much from the Rutherford line, he had the vast intellect and simian physique. He eventually became a Professor as did many others of his family, but unlike them he was a professor of Archaeology. Professor Atticus became obsessed with the discovery of Atlantis, or at least one of them. It was not until 1994 that Atticus did discover Atlantis with the assistance of his best student and distant relative, Angus MacGyver (17)

George Edward Jnr’s second child, Georgina inherited her father’s dark swarthy looks. In 1942, she was on hand to stop the mad plans of Hugo Danner to use Indians from Maple White Land, whom he had given the same formula as he had been given as an infant, to take over the world (18)

After the Second World War, Georgina married Quinton Arturo and had one son Maximilian Arturo. Arturo had the caveman physique and dark hair of his great grandfather. Like many of his family he became a professor, Arturo was a brilliant physicist. Unfortunately, in September 1994 whilst visiting the home of a student, Quinn Mallory, Professor Arturo, Mallory and Wade Wells all disappeared. A study of Mallory’s notes taken from the scene, by some of Professor Arturo’s fellow physicists suggest that all three may have been sucked into an alternate dimension, the police have scoffed at this notion and consider the case unsolved. (19)

George Edward Jnr’s second daughter, Titania, took more after her mother with blonde hair and fair skin. She began to investigate strange phenomenon, including the disappearance of her nephew, Maximilian Arturo in 1994. Through these investigations she was recruited by Section Zero and eventually became team leader. 

One of her teammates was Sam Wildman, whom she married and later divorced, with no issue. 

The first Professor George Edward Challenger’s daughter Enid Challenger was born in 1900. During her involvement with Edward Malone, in the 1926 adventure THE LAND OF MIST, the couple fell in love and later married. In 1929, the couple moved to America and had two sons, _______Malone (1930) and Richard Malone(1935).

I have been unable to find much information about ________ Malone except that he had three sons, Bailey (1949), Stephen (1955) and Louis (1966).

Bailey Malone went into the field of law enforcement joining the FBI and eventually became the head of the Violent Crime Task Force. This unit uses the latest scientific advances in the detection of crime, appropriate for the department headed by the great grandson of Professor Challenger. Bailey has the dark hair of the Challenger line though he physically seems to take more after his grandfather, Edward Malone. Bailey is divorced and has two daughters Frances, who was born in 1977, and Ariana, age unknown. (20)

Stephen, the second son of __________ Malone, physically appears to have resembled his mother with fair hair and lighter skin than his brothers, bother of whom have olive complexions. Also unlike his brothers, Stephen studied science and was heavily influenced by an experiment that his great grandfather performed that proved the earth was a living entity (21) and he joined the EPA. Little is known of his first marriage except that it produced his daughter Marti in 1976 and that his wife died six years later of cancer. He remarried a few years after that to Carol and had a son Michael in 1987. Unfortunately, all of the family, except for Marti, perished in the third attempted invasion from outer space by the pod people or body snatchers. The invasion took place in 1993 just after the family moved onto a military base so Stephen could test the effects of the chemical weapons stored on the base. Marti and a chopper pilot Tim Young were the only human survivors on the base and they successfully destroyed the entire existing body snatchers using Tim’s helicopter. (22) It is appropriate that a descendant of Professor Challenger, who foresaw and helped stop the Martian Invasion of Earth, was able to stop another alien invasion. The current whereabouts of Marti Malone and Tim Young is unknown.

The third son of _________ Malone, Louis, followed in his eldest brother’s footsteps and entered the field of law enforcement. Like his brother Bailey, he has an olive complexion, and dark hair. Louis joined the Los Angeles Police Department and eventually became a member of the elite Major Crimes Unit. (23)

The second son of Edward Malone and Enid Challenger went on to join the CIA. Richard Malone became one of their top operatives but in 1980 he tried to retire. The Agency tried to kill him but was unsuccessful, at the same time Malone was also battling a right wing conspiracy to take over America. Malone survived and is a contact for his nephew Bailey Malone in matters pertaining to the CIA and black ops. (24) Like many of the men in his family he has black hair but more closely resembles his father physically.

The last child of John Rutherford and Dorothy Swinton was Melissa Rutherford. She travelled to America where she met and married and American, Blodgett Mayfair. 

A few points should be made about Blodgett Mayfair’s family. (25) Thanks to Dennis Power I can reveal that Monk’s simian build did not derive solely from the Rutherford side. Dr Power has built on the researches of Dr Hermes. In his Article "Monk: Son of Opar" (26) Dr Hermes speculates that the parents of the very simian Monk are a Mayfair woman and a male Oparian. This is an interesting theory but Dr Power offers a more plausible interpretation. It appears that it was Monk’s Grandfather, Anthony Mayfair, who discovered the lost city of Opar and ran off with one of the beautiful Oparian females (as well as much gold as they could carry). The couple had two children Blodgett Mayfair and ____________ Mayfair, a daughter.

The daughter married Jonas Cord and the couple had twin boys Jonas Jnr and Joseph.

Whilst Jonas jnr looked like a normal boy (27), Joseph appears to have inherited the Oparian male physique. Dr Power informs me that Joseph not realising his own strength, killed his mother and was institutionalised. Joseph however escaped from the institute and adopted a new identity, Benedict Stark. Stark, like his brother, became a millionaire industrialist, but his methods brought him to the attention of the Shadow. But we will return to Stark and his methods in a moment.

Anthony Mayfair’s son, Blodgett, married Melissa Rutherford, the sister of Professors George Edward and Edwin Challenger and had one child, Andrew Blodgett Mayfair better known as Monk. Monk went on to assist Dr Clark Savage Jnr.

Monk openly acknowledged his two children from his marriage (28). His son William Greir Mayfair(b 1925) and daughter Anastasia Mayfair (b1930). After the separation of their parents and the subsequent remarriage of their mother both children adopted their stepfather’s surname of Van Veelar.

Anastasia Van Veelar married a secret agent only known as "Armstrong". My research shows that this was the son of Jack Armstrong and Betty Fairfield. The Couple had one son. In all known reports of his activities the sone was known by his codename of "Monk" This "Monk’s" true name is Derek Lloyd Armstrong and he went to work for the same agency as his father. Like his father, Monk rose to become that unnamed agency’s best agent. (29) By a curious quirk of genetics, Monk very closely resembles his cousin, Louis Malone. On several occasions, under the name Derek Lloyd, he would work with the Granddaughter of one of his Grandfather’s comrades, Sydney Fox. 

The original Monk is reported to have had a third child. This child was named Andrew Blodgett Mayfair Jnr. and was also called Monk. The only report of his existence is THE GREAT GOLD STEAL by Ted White. White reveals that Monk Jnr had turned a life of crime but died attempting to report a major crime to Captain America.

But his story is a bit more complicated. I have discovered that his mother was Rita Kessel and Commander George Challenger raised him with his half brother, Joaquin Kessel. Rita Kessel was a secretary and records indicate that she worked for both Monk Mayfair and Benedict Stark. It is clear that Rita was copying and selling some of Monk’s notes and theories and was fired for that, but the reports are unclear as to when Rita started work for Stark, whether she was planted there to steal Monk’s secrets and monitor if Doc Savage was going to tackle Stark or if Rita was working on her own and Stark hired her to find out what she knew. By all accounts Rita was able to seduce both men around the same time and whilst she acknowledged Monk as the father on the birth certificate it is unclear if he truly was Monk Jnr’s father since both Stark and Monk shared the same simian physical characteristics. 


1. For some of these see: Pretenders Among Us by B. Mengel, Watching the Detectives by B Mengel, The Porters by Chuck Loridans, Daughters of Tarzan by Chuck Loridans, The Rutherfords by Mark Brown, The Rutherfords by Isaac Turner and many more.

2. Jean Marc Lofficier in his Tangled Web: Genealogies of the Members of the French Wold Newton Families. has given us some other descendants of Porthos.

3. this was recorded by Jules Verne in VOYAGE AU CENTRE DE LA TERRE (JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH) (1864). Some translators have rendered Otto Lidenbrock as Professor Hardwigg and his nephew as Henry Lawson.

4. For the true story of Edwin’s exploration of the African lost World please read my forthcoming LOST WORLDS. Edwin’s explorations are heavily fictionalised as THE LOST WORLD (1992), RETURN TO THE LOST WORLD (1992) and the LOST WORLD TV Series (1998 - current) both of which refer to Edwin as George Edward.

5. In fact Dr MacAllister was not George Challenger’s uncle but rather a friend of the family.

6. see SUPERSOLDIERS by B Mengel for more on the cybernetic program of the OSI.

7. Although the name is the same this is not Jack Ryan whose adventures are recorded by Tom Clancy. 7a Jack Ryan would face another Cyborg in CYBORG COP II (CYBORG SOLDIER) in 1994. 

8.  From

9. Lord Jack is the son of Lord John Roxton who accompanied Professor George Edward Challenger to Maple White Land. For more on his family see THE RAMPAGING ROXTONS by B Mengel (forthcoming)

10.  Kelso, not unlike Jim Anthony , appears to have been inspired by Doc Savage in his career, and it is a curious co-incidence that his half sister is named Ann Sauvage. According to Kelso’s Chronicler, the son of von Kelso, a high ranking German, Kelso was abducted at age 9 by the mysterious child killer known as "M" (some sources have identified this killer as Peter Kurtin) and was found several years later severely traumatised by the incident. He was institutionalised and it was only the work of his fellow inmate "Black" George, a convicted wife killer that he was able to speak again and leave the institution with his family’s retainer. It was after this that he discovered his father died shortly after his abduction of a broken heart and his mother returned to Canada where she married an old suitor but died giving birth to his half-sister Ann Sauvage. For more information see (history) 

10a For two different takes on Jim Anthony see Jess Nevins’ Secret Wars for Anthony’s possible career as Doc Brass and Dennis Power’s THE INVISIBLES: FRANK RAYMOND ( for his possible career as Doc Caliban. 

11. For more information please sees Valiant Comics TUROK: DINOSAUR HUNTER 7 -9.

12. see THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett

13. some reports have suggested that Spade was in fact Lew Archer’s true father. If that is the case Lew Archer received a double dose of WN genes.

14. see D IS FOR DAUGHTER, F IS FOR FATHER by Mark Brown and Brad Mengel.

15 See THE LOST WORLD 1998 movie. 

16. See THE LOST WORLD 1960 movie 

17. See MACGYVER AND THE TREASURE OF ATLANTIS for the only recorded adventure of Professor Jeffery Atticus. For the relationship between MacGyver and Professor Atticus please see Watching the Detectives by Brad Mengel.

18. This was told in YOUNG ALL STARS 28-31 where many of the participants involved had their identity changed. This was done for several reasons including: several of the participants had their adventures chronicled by a rival comic book company; DC Comics had eliminated several characters form that time period in an event known as crisis and several totally fictional characters were added to create the illusion of a fictional event. For a full description of the true participants please see the forthcoming LOST WORLDS by Brad Mengel 

19.  The TV Series SLIDERS (1995-2000) which portrays the adventures of a group with the same names are unfortunately the exploits of duplicates from a nearby dimension. That dimension’s Earth was taken over by a group known as Kromags

20.  for more information on the career of Bailey Malone please see the TV series PROFILER (1996- 2000) for more information about Bailey Malone’s encounters with his distant cousin Jarod please read PRETENDERS AMONG US by Brad Mengel.

21. See "When the Earth Screamed" By Edward Malone and Edited by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It appears that Challenger and others were never able to repeat the feat

22.  For the full story of the three invasions please read INVASIONS OF THE BODY SNATCHERS by B. Mengel (forthcoming)

23.  please see MARTIAL LAW (1998-2000) for more on Louis’ career. For the connections to others in the WNU please see "Night of the TV Crossovers That Wouldn’t Die" by Win Eckert (

24. Please See MALONE (1987)

25. I am still researching the possibility that he may be related to the New Orleans Mayfairs whose story has been told by Anne rice in her Mayfair Witch trilogy.

26. for the full text of this article please see ""

27. For Jonas’ story please see THE CARPETBAGGERS and THE RAIDERS by Harold Robbins and the Film NEVADA SMITH.

28. Whilst I have searched I can find no reference to this marriage and that of Theodore Marley "Ham" Brooks. I must conclude that Doc convinced the authorities to hide all references to his aides’ families. I did discover that the marriages ended in 1931. Both William "Pauncho" Greer Van Veelar and Ham’s son, Barney Albany Banks, assisted Dr James Anthony Caliban in 1968 (see THE LORD OF TREES and KEEPER OF SECRETS (THE MAD GOBLIN) by Philip Jose Farmer) Barney by all accounts had a son who lamentably turned to crime. This son battled the most recent Angels of the Townsend Detective Agency, Natalie Cook, Dylan Sanders and Alex Munday. Though he was unnamed he physically resembled his father and grandfather and was highly capable with a sword cane. 

29.  Though some reports suggest the agency is known as POISE there is no reliable evidence of this. Only twelve cases of Monk are available under the title "SECRET AGENT MAN" (2000). Agent Monk works closely with two other agents, a female known only as Holiday and a male resource management operative, Davis. Whilst I have uncovered nothing about Holiday’s family, it appears that Davis’ mother was the sister of Barney Collier.

© 2002 Brad Mengel