Membership: Trapster (Peter Petruski), Travers, Travis, Vasquez, others

Purpose: To mine the Negative Zone of its riches on behalf of the Gideon Trust

AffiliationsGideon Trust (Colonel, Janus, others)

Enemies: Alpha Primitives, Annihilus, "dragons", the Fantastic Four (Invisible Woman/Sue Richards, Mr. Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Ben Grimm), Hellscout (Kenneth Tennyson), Maximus the Mad, Negative Zone inhabitants (Gornka, numerous others)

Base of Operations: The Gideon Trust's headquarters in New York City, New York, USA

First Appearance: Fantastic Four III#39 (March, 2001)



(Fantastic Four III#39) - The Gideon Trust observed the testing of Trapster, commenting that Trapster had completed the necessary tests to join their N-Explorers. The Trust also mentioned that, with Trapster, Travers and others, their plans to mine the Negative Zone could proceed.

(Fantastic Four III#40) - Travis led the N-Explorers in a Holo-Lab simulation of actual Negative Zone conditions, where Travis battled the Blastaar simulation as Trapster and the others battled Annihilus. Following the exercise, the Gideon Trust's Colonel informed the N-Explorers that the Gideon Trust had approved their first venture into the Negative Zone. Shortly thereafter, the Colonel monitored their entry into the Negative Zone, telling the N-Explorers to do their job, get back alive and go home rich, to which rapster exclaimed that it sounded good to him. Once inside the Negative Zone, the N-Explorers watched the also-exploring Fantastic Four enter a Negative Zone distortion, unaware that the Fantastic Four had noticed their presence. Once the Fantastic Four entered, the N-Explorers' Travis reported the Fantastic Four's status to the Gideon Trust before the N-Explorers left to return home.

(Fantastic Four III#41) - The N-Explorers were sent back into the Negative Zone to explore and continue the Gideon Trust's efforts to mine the Negative Zone. Battling hordes of Negative Zone inhabitants protecting a nearby temple, the N-Explorers fought their way through them to the temple, where they located an energy generator that the N-Explorer scientists theorized could power all of New York City. Travis reported their findings to the Colonel, who congratulated him and reminded him that the N-Explorers knew what to do next. As the N-Explorers transported the generator back to Earth, Travis asked Trapster if something was on his mind, to which Trapster replied that he felt like they were witnessing either the "end of the beginning" or the "beginning of the end."

(Fantastic Four III#42 (fb) - BTS) - The N-Explorers landed a small planetoid in the Negative Zone and drained the planet of its energy resources, leaving only sand and ash in their wake. Unbeknownst to the N-Explorers, they were also leaving behind a positive ion trail in a world of negative space.

(Fantastic Four III#43) - Unaware they had touched down on the same planetoid that the marooned Fantastic Four were on, the N-Explorers began sensing off-the-chart energy readings. Investigating further, they found themselves face-to-face with the Negative Zone's ruler, Annihilus. Annihilus quickly killed the N-Explorer Vasquez and despite that, Travis ordered Trapster to report that their energy readings had turned up Annihilus, refusing to leave the Negative Zone without Annihilus in tow. Trapster contacted the Colonel at the Gideon Trust. The Colonel then sent the other N-Explorers to rendezvous with Trapster and Travis, where they attempted to trap Annihilus. With the reinforcements, the N-Explorers were successfully able to capture Annihilus in the Negative Zone but the Fantastic Four soon arrived, having been led to the N-Explorers' location by the tracking abilities of their ally Hellscout. The Fantastic Four jumped into battle against the N-Explorers, easily defeating the soldiers, who led them to the captive Annihilus.

(Fantastic Four III#44) - While the Fantastic Four watched from afar, Travis and another squad of N-Explorers removed the Cosmic Control Rod from the captive Annihilus. Soon after, the Fantastic Four, Hellscout, and their allies Maximus the Mad and a squad of Alpha Primitives, stormed the N-Explorers' camp. A fierce battle ensued, in which Mr. Fantastic took out Trapster, the Thing downed Travis and Hellscout stabbed Annihilus. In the aftermath of the battle, Mr. Fantastic learned that the Cosmic Control Rod was releasing negative energy into the positive universe and while he investigated, the N-Explorers announced that Mr. Fantastic could either save the universe or hold them. The N-Explorers then made a run for it through a portal back to Earth but Mr. Fantastic commented to the Thing that, having failed the Gideon Trust, the N-Explorers had nowhere to go once they made it back to Earth.

Comments: Created by Jeph "Rockhead" Loeb, Rafael "Emerald" Marin, Carlos "Diamond" Pacheco and Jesus "Ruby" Merino.

In the N-Explorers' first appearance, the Colonel mentioned a member named Travers. In their next appearance, the N-Explorers had a field leader named Travis. It's possible that Travers was a misprint and it was meant to be Travis in Fantastic Four III#39. It's also possible that the character's name is "Travis Travers." I personally choose to believe that Travers and Travis were two different characters, given the number of N-Explorers left unidentified in their appearances. If they are two different characters, then that would at least identify one of the unidentified members and that was how I chose to listen them in this profile. Certainly, if more information is ever given, I will update the profile to reflect it.

Profile by Proto-Man.

The N-Explorers have no known connections to



Travis was the field leader of the N-Explorers, reporting directly to the Gideon Trust. He led the group's Holo-Lab exercise at the Gideon Trust headquarters and shortly thereafter led the N-Explorers' first foray into the Negative Zone, where they watched the Fantastic Four spiral into a Negative Zone distortion, which Travis reported to the Gideon Trust before the group headed home. He later led an expedition into the Negative Zone where the N-Explorers found an energy generator capable of powering all of New York City inside a heavily guarded temple. Travis continued to lead the N-Explorers as they gathered energy from the Negative Zone, eventually tracking a large source to Annihilus himself, where Travis' fellow N-Explorer, Vasquez, was killed. Despite Vasquez's death, Travis announced that the N-Explorers would not leave the Negative Zone without Annihilus and ordered Trapster to report their findings to Colonel at the Gideon Trust. After asking for reinforcements to trap Annihilus, Travis and Trapster were met by the reinforcements and the N-Explorers successfully captured Annihilus. When the Fantastic Four, who were on the same Negative Zone planet, found the N-Explorers and the captive Annihilus, they battled the N-Explorers and captured Travis and the others.

--Fantastic Four III#40 (41, 43-44


Vasquez was one of the N-Explorer soldiers who accompanied the team on several missions. When the N-Explorers tracked a large energy source to Annihilus, Vasquez was killed by Annihilus.

--(unidentified): Fantastic Four III#40 (41; (identified): Fantastic Four III#43d

images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four III#43, p12, pan2 (main image, charging)
Fantastic Four III#40, p10, pan1 (standing)
Fantastic Four III#43, p5, pan1 (Travis)
Fantastic Four III#43, p5, pan1 (Vasquez)

Fantastic Four III#39 (March, 2001) - Jeph "Rockhead" Loeb (script), Rafael "Emerald" Marin (co-plotter), Carlos "Diamond" Pacheco (co-plotter, art), Jesus "Ruby" Merino (inks), Bobbie "Opal" Chase (editor)
Fantastic Four III#40 (April, 2001) - Jeph "Potty Mouth" Loeb (script), Rafael "el Mulo" Marin (co-plotter), Carlos "el Burro" Pacheco (co-plotter, art), Jesus "el Cabo" Merino (inks), "Cheeky" Bobbie Chase (editor)
Fantastic Four III#41 (May, 2001) - Jeph Loeb (script), Rafael Marin (co-plotter), Carlos Pacheco (co-plotter, art), Jesus Merino (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Fantastic Four III#42 (June, 2001) - Jeph Loeb (script), Rafael Marin, Carlos Pacheco (co-plotters), Stuart Immonen (pencils), Jesus Merino (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Fantastic Four III#43 (July, 2001) - Jeph Loeb (script), Rafael Marin, Carlos Pacheco (co-plotters), Joe Bennett (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Fantastic Four III#44 (August, 2001) - Jeph Loeb (script), Rafael Marin (co-plotter), Carlos Pacheco (co-plotter, art), Jesus Merino (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)

First Posted: 03/09/2014
Last updated: 03/07/2014

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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