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Three issue limited series published by Marvel Comics from June to August 1982. The series was written by Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant, and Bill Mantlo and illustrated by John Romita, Jr., and Pablo Marcos.

A frequent topic amongst comic book fans is which hero could beat which other hero to a pulp. The debate often rages as to who is the strongest or fastest. To this end, comic book writers have often had their characters go toe-to-toe in their comics to see who is the best. This deep desire to see heroes fight is the basis for the mini-series Contest of Champions.

Captured by the Elder of the Universe , the Grandmaster and his mysterious opponent, the heroes of the Marvel Universe are swept off to an orbiting high school gym, mainly to allow for some character interaction and for the plot line to be laid out. These two cosmic level beings have frozen the Earth in time and are going to engage in a game of hide-n-seek with the world being the boundries and the heroes being the seekers. The things they are seeking are four sections of a sphere that when found will allow the Grandmaster to resurrect his "brother," the Collector, from the grave.

Representatives are chosen by each entity and then sent to far-flung areas of the world to search for a section of the orb. The team that brings back the most sections wins for their entity. The heroes chosen are a mix of well-known Marvel heroes (Captain America, The Thing, Angel, etc.), but also a group of international heroes created for this comic (The Shamrock from Ireland, Defensor from Argentina, Talisman from Australia). Most of these new heroes were never seen after this brief three issue series.

The battles between the heroes were not memorable, with the two teams eventually returning to the gym. The Grandmaster's opponent wsa revealed to be the incarnation of Death (not much of a surprise to most readers) and the Grandmaster sacrifices his own life energy to bring the Collector back. The Collector swears revenge, stating he will collect all the heroes in an effort to defeat Death and bring the Grandmaster back. Some people never learn.

The comic itself was uninspiring, but it did introduce a new concept. At the back of each of the three comics was a listing of the heroes, their real names and their abilities. This concept was the precursor to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe that was released the next year.

Never happy to use an idea only once, Marvel Comics came out with Contest of Champions II, a five issue limited sereies, a couple of years ago. The new Contest was more of a slugfest, run by the alien Badoon. The heroes were being manipulated by nanotechnology to heighten their desire to fight. The matches continued until only the finest remained.

Only at the end was the real villain, the alien Brood queen (an old X-men villain), revealed as the threat. Taking control of the X-man Rogue, the Brood queen absorbed all of the powers of the winners becoming incredibly powerful. She was handily defeated by a rag-tag group of heroes who had figured out the the queen's plans.

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