Aug 21, 2008

[Comics] Contest of Champions

Contest of ChampionsIn the course of going through 14GB worth of Marvel comic book crossovers and epic events, you know you're bound to come across some major duds sooner or later. Let's face it - just because you get most of the Marvel comic book universe in one place doesn't mean you're going to be in for a great ride. Some stories are just...wrong.

Enter the three-issue 1982 class, Contest of Champions, a comic book that tried to bring all the heroes together for a battle on a cosmic level with some, well, pretty original characters. I had never even heard of this story before I started downloading the file and now regret even trying to get through it.

As with many of the major crossovers of the past, the premise behind this tale was rather simplistic. Two semi-cosmic beings - one being the Grandmaster and the other initially a mystery character (later revealed to be Death) decided to use Earth's heroes to settle a sort of challenge. If the Grandmaster wins, it will mean the return of his fellow Elder, the Collector, from the dead. If he loses, then things will remain as is.

12 heroes were chosen to represent each of the beings and were sent to various locations to search for magical tokens. Whichever side won the most tokens would win the challenge.

Despite the somewhat lame excuse for temporarily removing the world's population and isolating all superhumans in some floating arena in orbit around the planet, I felt the story could have accomplished a lot more than it did. However the nature of the challenge - this being the odd token hunt - was done in somewhat poor taste.

Collective ManImage via Wikipedia What complicated things even more were the highly ridiculous 6 international heroes that they introduced just for this story. I mean come on, Shamrock from Ireland whose only ability was her being very lucky? Collective Man from China who could split into five separate copies of himself (like the old story about the 5 Chinese brothers) and summon a the collective powers and abilities of the entire population of China? Oh man, the writers must have been pretty drunk when they came up with characters like them! Or perhaps they were taking in too much of Talisman's psychedelic mist stuff. Surprisingly enough though, the Collective Man managed to survive as a character even until now. Weird.

While the ending was somehow meant to be smart and sort of ironic, it just came out a bit flat and really didn't have much of an impact. Heck, I actually felt bad that I had even spent some time reading it at all. Drat and double drat.

I now have nothing else to say - it was that bad.

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