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Contest of Champions #3 and others (1982, August)

August 22, 2013

Just a few comics I should mention from that month.

First, as I said, Contest of Champions #3, by a lot of people, mostly Mantlo and Romita, Jr. The third fight is between Wolverine, the Thing and Le Peregrine on the Grandmaster’s side, and Vanguard, Angel and Black Panther for the Unknown. The Thing doesn’t recognize Wolverine; interestingly, later retcons would have Logan and Ben working together in the military, long before they became superheroes. Anyway, both teams quickly split up. The Panther finds a City of the Dead – so they’re in China. The Panther’s attacked by Wolverine. Angel starts getting his ass kicked by Le Peregrine, who’s combined flying with savate. Wolverine attacks with his claws, much to Panther’s shock. Angel grabs a staff he uses to knock out Le Peregrine. Even though he won, though, he came close to losing. Le Peregrine is clearly the better superhero. So Angel isn’t even the best superhero whose sole power is having wings. He really is completely useless. The Thing, having beaten Vanguard, wanders over to where Wolverine is trying to kill the Panther. Wolverine’s distracted long enough for the Panther to kick him off. That ends the fight, with the three of them then just talking until they find the prize, which the Thing takes. Last fight, in a South American jungle, is Sasquatch, Captain America and Blitzkrieg (a name I really don’t think a German hero would take) on the Grandmaster’s side, and Storm, Shamrock and Collective Man on the Unknown’s side. Both teams split up, and Storm finds Blitzkrieg, who tries to capture her in an electric cage. Sasquatch comes up against Collective Man, which leads to a very funny panel of Collective Man trying a flying kick against him, then falling down with Sasquatch unhurt. Collective Man calls back the other four of him, but does no better against Sasquatch. Blitzkrieg boasts about Storm’s lightning being unable to hurt him, so she gets rid of him with a hurricane instead. That does the trick. Collective an summons the strength of 10 000 of his countrymen – that seems like a pretty ridiculous power – and knocks Sasquatch away. Then passes out. Shamrock ends up getting the prize – luck. That leaves Grandmaster with 3 pieces to the Unknown’s 1. The Unknown is revealed as Death. She tells the Grandmaster that she can bring back the Collector – if the Grandmaster sacrifices either himself, or Earth’s heroes, in exchange. The Grandmaster sacrifices himself, the Collector is restored, and Death offers to play a game with him to bring back the Grandmaster. And that’s that. This was an amusing three issues. Some entertaining fights, a couple interesting new characters (none of whom have ever really gotten to do anything since then – a shame, that). It wasn’t great, but it was mildly entertaining.

Sabretooth was in Power Man and Iron Fist #84, by Mary Jo Duffy and Denys Cowan. This was still before he became associated with the X-Men of course. Sabretooth wants revenge against Misty Knight for the last time he encountered her. He nearly kills Luke Cage’s girlfriend when he mistakes her for Misty, then Luke and Iron Fist hunt him down and beat the crap out of him. It’s a pretty good story.

Also worth mentioning: What If #34. The premise of this one was just a bunch of writers and artists having fun. Just a lot of single-issue or single-page “realities” for jokes. Fingeroth and Springer did one about Dazzler as a stand-up comedian, fighting crooks by making them laugh to fuel her power. There was also Spidey Intellectual Stories, a play on the old Spidey Super Stories – it’s actually kinda funny seeing Spider-Man defeating the Mad Thinker through logic. There’s also Howard the Duck putting together a team of animal Avengers (which the Watcher calls Downright Crazy, so I suspect it was meant to insult the Legion of Super-Pets). This team, in addition to Howard, consisted of Lockjaw, Zabu and Redwing – all from the Pet Avengers that Marvel actually did eventually put out. (It also included Devil Dinosaur, Dragon Man, Aragorn the flying horse, and Emma the flying ant.) Another story was “What If Cyclops’ energy beams came out of his ears?” Also, “What If Wonder Man were a Woman – and Power Man were a Girl?” Another good one was if Alpha Flight talked like TV Canadians – a great SCTV reference, as they all talk like Bob and Doug McKenzie (and if you don’t know about them, watch this – and then watch a bunch more, they’re great). Dazzler becoming a lawyer (singing in court), Luke Cage finding the hammer of Thor (“By the Gleamin’ Gates of Funky Asgard, you suckers are gonna eat hammer!”) It was a stupid comic. But really fun.

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From → 1980s, 1982

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