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Quote1 When mortals meet me, they call me... the Grandmaster! When we part, they call me... sorrow! Quote2
-- Grandmaster src
 

Early Life

The true origins of En Dwi Gast, like all Elders of the Universe, have been lost in time due to being one of the oldest living beings in the universe. What is known is that he was the last survivor of a race which evolved just after the Big Bang. Because the Elders are each the last surviving members of their respective species, they consider each other to be siblings; often referring to each other as brother or sister. The Elders all have extended lifespans that were gained through a single-minded obsession with various hobbies. In En Dwi Gast's case, that obsession is playing games.[2]

Whereas most Elders held monopoly over their respective obsession, En Dwi shared his hobby with one of his brothers, with whom he grew close. When the other Elders started going by aliases that reflected their passion, En Dwi's friend decided to call himself "the Grandmaster." Since there could only be one Grandmaster, the Grandmaster and En Dwi's relationship escalated into a rivalry. They eventually decided to play one last game, despite the Grandmaster's reluctance, after which the loser would be barred from reality until its end. The Grandmaster lost and was exiled, and En Dwi Gast took on his alias for himself.[3]

The new Grandmaster spent his long life searching out new forms of amusement through the playing of games. He studied millions of worlds and the many forms of games they play, while mastering them every time. He used his great power to arrange contests and tournaments with willing and unwilling volunteers. He challenged these opponents to some of the highest stakes in the universe and if they won, he would always keep his word.[4] En Dwi Gast eventually had a daughter, who grew up by his side, observing and learning while exploring the cosmos and playing games with his father.[5]

Visit to Earth-712

The Grandmaster once traveled through the Multiverse and found Earth-712, home of the Squadron Supreme, where he planned a contest against the Scarlet Centurion. They each chose a team of champions to do combat. The Grandmaster used the Squadron Supreme and the Scarlet Centurion formed the Institute of Evil. The Grandmaster won the contest and decided to create his own version of the Squadron to be his pawns in future games.[6]

En Dwi Gast (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 69 001

Appearing before Kang

Challenging Kang

Upon returning to Earth-616 the Grandmaster transformed three men, Kinji Obatu, Kyle Richmond, and James Sanders, into Doctor Spectrum, Nighthawk, and the Whizzer, respectively. He also created his own Hyperion out of nothing but matter. He dubbed his new team the Squadron Sinister.[7]

He then traveled to the 31st Century, the home of Kang the Conqueror. Kang was lamenting the loss of his beloved Ravonna, wishing he had the power over life and death. The Grandmaster suddenly appeared and offered Kang such power. All Kang had to do was beat the Grandmaster in a game. If Kang lost, however, the Grandmaster would destroy Kang and his Earth. The Grandmaster gave Kang one year to prepare. In that time Kang kidnapped the Avengers to serve as his pawns.[7]

The Grandmaster set his Squadron Sinister against four Avengers, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and Goliath, in four simultaneous 1v1 matches, each occurring at a different landmark across the globe: the Statue of Liberty, the Taj Mahal, Big Ben, and the Sphinx. The first three matches were won by the Avengers, but the fourth, between Goliath and the Whizzer at Big Ben, was interrupted by the Black Knight. The Grandmaster considered this to be a breach of the rules and teleported the Avengers and the Squadron back to Kang's time. Black Knight, confused by the events that just transpired, vowed to rescue his fellow heroes from the Grandmaster's clutches.[8]

In the second round, Kang sent the remaining Avengers, Black Panther, Vision, and Yellowjacket, back in time to 1941 to do battle with the Grandmaster's replacement champions, the Invaders; Captain America, Namor, and the Human Torch. The Invaders and Avengers clashed until the Vision took down all three Invaders, earning the Avengers a victory in their sponsors' game. Meanwhile, Black Knight managed to make his way to the 31st Century from the present and free the other Avengers.

With the game concluded, the Grandmaster agreed to give Kang his prize. However, because the first round ended in a stalemate, the Grandmaster could only give Kang half of it, asking Kang if he would rather have the power to either give life or to take it. Kang was about to chose the power of life before the Avengers burst in the room demanding to be sent back to their home time. Enraged, Kang asked the Grandmaster for the power of death to the Avengers, which the Grandmaster granted. Kang then effortlessly took out the Avengers. As he stood gloating over their almost lifeless bodies, Black Knight attacked and downed Kang with a single blow. Perplexed, Black Knight asked the Grandmaster why Kang went down so easily if he had been given such ultimate power. The Grandmaster stated that he had given Kang the power to kill the Avengers, and that Black Knight was not yet an Avenger. The Grandmaster returned Black Knight and the Avengers to their home time, and departed to seek out new games to play as well as new galaxies to conquer.[9]

The Defenders

At some point after the Grandmaster returned to the present, the Prime Mover, a robot designed to manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D. agents for Doctor Doom's amusement, launched itself into space to seek out new games to play. The Prime Mover randomly sent out signals to find others to play with. One of these signals was answered by the Grandmaster. The two devised a game similar to the one the Grandmaster played with Kang. If the Prime Mover won, he would be granted the power to enslave the Earth. If the Grandmaster won, he would allow the planet to go free as he had no interest in it. The Grandmaster wished to use the Squadron Sinister again but could only find Nighthawk. Probing his mind, the Grandmaster learned of the Defenders and decided to use them instead. Lacking the agreed upon six pieces per side, Nighthawk was sent to recruit Daredevil.

En Dwi Gast (Earth-616) from Giant-Size Defenders Vol 1 3 001

The Grandmaster and the Defenders

The six heroes were divided into teams of two and sent to one of three planets to fight the Prime Mover's champions. The first round was won by Nighthawk and Valkyrie, Daredevil and Namor were killed on a volcanic planet in the second, and Doctor Strange and the Hulk won the third. After claiming victory and restoring Namor and Daredevil to life, the Grandmaster reneged on his deal, declaring that he would turn the Earth into a breeding ground for his future pawns. The Defenders rushed to attack but they were easily repelled by the Grandmaster's power. Daredevil proposed that he and the Grandmaster play another game, a simple coin toss, for double or nothing. If the Grandmaster won, he would get the Earth plus the moon, but if he lost, he had to keep his original promise and leave the Earth alone. Tossing an improvised coin, Daredevil called heads and the Grandmaster called tails. Using his heightened senses, Daredevil correctly guessed the coin would land on heads. The Grandmaster accepted defeat, sent Daredevil and the Defenders back to Earth, and left for the stars once more.[10]

En Dwi Gast (Earth-616) 0007

Contest of Champions

Although he can resurrect living beings after their deaths, the Grandmaster could not revive the Collector when he was killed. As a result, he soon challenged the entity Death to a contest. If he won, his "brother" would be brought back, but if he lost he would die as well.[11] They selected teams from Earth for that which would become known as the Contest of Champions. Some of the heroes chosen included Alpha Flight, Avengers, Defenders, Eternals, Fantastic Four, Inhumans, X-Men, Soviet Super Soldiers, Heroes for Hire and the Rangers.[12] His team was triumphant, but Death revealed the true terms of the game; that he would have to give his own life in order to save his brother's. Due to his strict code of honor and gamesmanship, he agreed and the Collector returned to life. Death then challenged the Collector to a contest with the Grandmaster's return to life as the stakes.[13]

The Collector sent the West Coast Avengers and Silver Surfer to stop the Grandmaster from handing over the lives of the east coast Avengers to Death. Even though the West Coasters prevailed, the contest proved to be intended as a distraction, allowing the Grandmaster to ensnare Death.[14] The Grandmaster then used the Avengers and an incarnation of the Legion of the Unliving in another contest for the fate of the universe, in which he lost due to trickery on the part of Hawkeye. As a result, Death brought back the Avengers to earth alive and well.[15]

Killing Galactus

In later years, the Elders of the Universe planned to destroy Galactus with the Infinity Gems, thus causing the existing universe to collapse.[16] The Elders would then survive both the big crunch and the subsequent big bang of a new universe, which would then result in the Elders becoming Galactus-like beings in the new universe.[17] However, this plan failed and the Elders were soon confronted by an Infinity Gem seeking Thanos. The Grandmaster lost one of the gems in the process, and Thanos gained ultimate power shortly thereafter.[18][19]

Thanos Quest

Following this the Grandmaster took possession of the Mind Gem. He held it for a time until the Mad Titan, Thanos, came to bargain for it. The Mad Titan planned to challenge the Grandmaster to a game, of which Thanos easily won. The Grandmaster, however, broke his main rule and cheated, but so did Thanos. It was revealed that it was not the real Thanos but a recreation created from the Infinity Gems. The recreation then took the stone and left him trapped in the game.[20]

Galactic Marathon

The Grandmaster made a wager during the "Galactic Marathon" held by the Runner. He soon recruited the fastest beings in the galaxy to compete; Makkari, Fastforward, Fooferah, Figillulli, Startanious, Duntumbla, Huyenneyuh, Gzoom, and Miximixim, with Makkari winning, much to the annoyance of the Grandmaster, who lost money betting on Runner. Makkari was however stuck at superspeed and the Grandmaster offered to help, in exchange for him becoming his champion at the "Pangalactic Marathon", and finally the race for the championship of all known space. Makkari, however, refused.[21]

Justice League vs. The Avengers

Grandmaster encountered a being from the another universe known as Krona. He came to Earth-616 trying to learn more about the origin of creation. The Grandmaster decided there was only one way to beat him by challenging him to a contest. If Krona won, he would reveal to him the name of the being born before the Big Bang.[22] They pitted their best heroes against each other, forcing the Justice League to battle the Avengers.[23] They took part in a galactic "scavenger hunt'" for 12 powerful items. Krona however turned against the Grandmaster when he lost, allowing to learn of Galactus in the process. He then took down both Galactus and the Grandmaster.[24] But the Grandmaster used the items collected by the heroes to merge the two universes trapping Krona in between. After he was defeated, the Universes returned to normal.[25]

Squadron Sinister vs. Thunderbolts

Thunderbolts Vol 1 102 Textless

Vs. The Thunderbolts

The Grandmaster reunited the Squadron Sinister, sending the new female Doctor Spectrum to recruit Speed Demon. Speed Demon accepted and quit the Thunderbolts. Former Defender (and former original member of the Squadron Sinister) Nighthawk was offered membership into the Thunderbolts by Songbird.[26] Baron Zemo then reassumed control of the consolidated team, while Joystick revealed she was working for the Grandmaster, attacking Speed Demon.[27]

Taneleer Tivan (Earth-616) from Hulk Vol 2 12

Defenders vs. Offenders

The Collector made a bet with the Grandmaster wherein they would both create a team to battle each other. The Grandmaster had the Defenders and the Collector had the Offenders. The Defenders won and the Collector complied with the terms of the bet and gave them Jarella's body. The Red Hulk apparently killed the Grandmaster, but as Death itself has barred all Elders from her realm, it is yet to be revealed what the true status of the Grandmaster truly is.[28]

Dazzler

The Grandmaster developed a crush on the Mutant singer Dazzler. To get her attention, he arranged a roller derby against a group of villains. Misty Knight and Colleen Wing were also forced to compete as well. Dazzler refused the Grandmaster's advances as well as his warped sense of a relationship and sent the cosmic being packing. The Grandmaster then left Earth rejected.[1]

Deadpool Corps

The Grandmaster and the Champion came into conflict with the Deadpool Corps, a team of Deadpools from alternate universes.[29] The Corps was founded by Earth-616's Deadpool after he was chosen by the Contemplator in stopping a cosmic entity known as the Awareness that devours the Multiverse's consciousness.[30] The Grandmaster did not see them as worthy heroes and decided to test them. Fortunately, the Corps proved their worth by tricking the Champion two times in a row into becoming stranded on a planet. With help from the Broken Blade, the Corps annihilated the entity who turns out to be a little alien that was the lone survivor of his species after the Big Bang.[31]

The New Contest of Champions

Following the temporary death of the Multiverse,[32] the Elders of the Universe discovered the reality where the Multiversal renewal began; a broken dimension where the remains of a planet named Battleworld floated as the broken shell of what once was everything that remained of the Multiverse, formerly controlled by Doctor Doom. Due to it being the epicenter of a newly created Multiverse, this dimension became rich in a powerful substance known as Iso-8. The Elders of the Universe resolved to fight for its concentrated and most powerful form, the Iso-Sphere, and decided to use the remains of this universe as an arena for the new Contest of Champions, the Battlerealm. Each Elder abducted a contestant from across the Multiverse to fight to death on their behalf.

En Dwi Gast (Earth-616) from Contest of Champions Vol 1 6 001

With a portion of the Iso-Sphere

When the Contest of Champions drew to a close, only the Collector's and the Grandmaster's competitors remained, Maestro and the Punisher, respectively, and the other Elders had returned back to Earth-616 with their hands empty. Before the final battle, Maestro suggested the two Elders a new game mode to keep them both entertained. Maestro and Punisher were to become their master's summoners, and would choose teams of new players from across the Multiverse to fight in their and the Elder's behalf. This plan hadn't been devised only for survival, as Maestro and the Punisher began working together to take down the Collector and the Grandmaster, and the new contest was part of their plan.[33] With each battle waged between the two teams, the winner Elder would acquire a percentage of the other's portion of the Iso-Sphere.[33]

As contestants entered and left the game, the Collector remained with most of the Iso-Sphere, while the Grandmaster was left with a sliver that barely made him powerful. During a final all-or-nothing match for the Iso-Sphere, Maestro and Punisher betrayed the people they had summoned and took them down.[34] Maestro subsequently teleported to Grandmaster's HQ, and managed to defeat him due to the Grandmaster barely possessing any of the Iso-Sphere's power. The two portions of the Iso-Sphere desired to be with each other, but were prevented in doing so only by their owner's will. In a battle of minds, Maestro overtrumped the Collector's desire to possess the Iso-Sphere and acquired its entirety. With entire control over the Iso-Sphere, Maestro cast out the Collector and the Grandmaster from the Battlerealm.[33]

The Challenger's Return

The destruction and rebirth of the universe gave the exiled former Grandmaster an opening to return to reality. Yearning for a rematch after spending eons trapped in the void of nothingness, he approached the Grandmaster to duel, and adopted the alias of Challenger.[3] The rematch took the form of a contest between teams of warriors assembled by the Grandmaster and the Challenger to fight on their behalf; the Lethal Legion and the Black Order, respectively. The Earth was chosen as the battleground for this competition, so its heroes could act as unwitting obstacles for its duration.[35] Additionally, the entire planet was teleported from the Solar System to a distant galaxy that could serve as a neutral space.[36] As part of his strategy, the Grandmaster used his daughter as a secret agent in the game, making her pose as a member of the Avengers named Voyager. The Grandmaster granted her the power of teleportation to an extent that it allowed her to manipulate the memories of the heroes so that they believed her to be one of their own.[5]

Grandmaster's Cosmic Game Room from Avengers Vol 1 684 001

The Grandmaster and the Challenger during the rematch

On each round, the teams had to fight to secure a pair of Pyramoids deployed somewhere in the planet by the gamemasters.[37] Whoever touched a Pyramoid scored a point for their team, and was teleported to the Grandmaster's Cosmic Game Room, though in such a violent way it seemed like they were disintegrated. They were then placed in stasis inside crystals.[3] On the first round, the Pyramoids were claimed by the Black Order's Black Dwarf and, unexpectedly, the Avengers' Human Torch.[38] In the second round, one of the Pyramoids was seized by the Lethal Legion's Ferene,[39] and the other by the Avengers' Red Wolf.[40]

With the game at a draw, the Grandmaster placed the final Pyramoid in Lenox Hill Hospital, from where it was teleported to the Avengers Auxiliary Headquarters by Voyager.[41] However, in a sudden turn of events, Voyager rebelled against her father, while refusing to continue acting as a pawn for his games,[5] thus putting the Grandmaster's victory at risk.[42] The Challenger's own ace-in-the-hole, the Hulk, rampaged to the Avengers Auxiliary Headquarters, but destroyed the Pyramoid when it was within his grasp, committing a foul and costing the Challenger a point. However, the Challenger observed as Voyager confessed to the Avengers. Enraged by the Grandmaster's deception, the Challenger disintegrated him[43] and went on a rampage on Earth after sabotaging the World-Engine that sustained the planet's conditions.[44]

Due to his nature as an Elder, the Grandmaster recovered from his apparent demise just as a group of Avengers had entered the Cosmic Game Room to stabilize the World-Engine. The Avenger Lightning tried to stop the Grandmaster from abandoning the fate of the Earth and resorted to challenging him to a game of poker. Lightning kept rising the stakes from the freedom of his teammates trapped in crystals, to his own life and the safety of Earth. Eventually, he bet his own history, arguing that like Voyager, the Grandmaster could alter people's memories to make them forget his existence. The Grandmaster couldn't bear the thought of paying the same price if he lost, and decided to fold. After the Avengers had defeated the Challenger back on Earth, the Grandmaster returned the planet to its proper location.[45]

Power Grid [48]
Intelligence
Strength
Speed*
 2
Durability
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
 2
* Teleporter

Powers

Power Primordial: The Power Primordial is residual energy left over from the Big Bang that created the current Marvel Universe. The Grandmaster is the last member of his race and he, like all other Elders, maintains his powers and himself through monomaniacal obsessions, with his being games. Like all Elders, the Grandmaster has purposely channeled the energies of the Power Primordial through countless years of training. In the case of the Grandmaster, he has channeled the Power Primordial for an all around effect such as granting himself superhuman physical, mental, and energy manipulative capabilities.[46]

  • Superhuman Strength: The Grandmaster possesses some degree of superhuman strength, the limits of which aren't clearly defined. However, the upper limit of his strength does not exceed 25 tons.[46]
  • Superhuman Speed: The Grandmaster can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete.[46]
  • Superhuman Stamina: Due to the unique effects of the Power Primordial, and the extent in which the Grandmaster has focused this energy for the evolution of his physical form, his musculature produces no fatigue toxins. As a result, he has limitless physical stamina in all activities.[46]
  • Superhuman Durability: The Grandmaster's body is virtually invulnerable to physical injury. He can withstand powerful impact forces, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, exposure to the vacuum of space, and powerful blasts of energy without being injured.[46]
  • Immortality: Although there are a number of beings claiming to be immortal, the Grandmaster and the other Elders are true immortals. Death itself has banned the Elders from its realm. As a result, the Grandmaster cannot be killed by any means. Although he can sustain physical injury, no injury can threaten his continued existence. The Grandmaster is also completely immune to all diseases and the aging process. Prior to being banished by Death, the Grandmaster was still functionally immortal in the sense that he was immune to aging and disease and he could rapidly regenerate almost any damaged bodily tissue. He also doesn't require food, water, or even air to breathe and can survive indefinitely in a complete vacuum.[46]
  • Superhuman Agility: The Grandmaster's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.[46]
  • Superhuman Reflexes: The Grandmaster's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.[46]
  • Superhuman Intellect: The Grandmaster has devoted much of his time into channeling the Power Primordial to increase his intellect over the millenia. As a result, his intellect is vastly superior to those of an ordinary human. He is a genius in all scientific fields and has created technology far surpassing that of Earth's current level of technology.[46]
  • Psionics: The Grandmaster also possesses vast psionic powers including telepathy and telekinesis. He can use his telepathy to read the thoughts of most other beings, control their actions, erase memories, create false memories, or fire mental bolts to stun a being into unconsciousness. He can also move and manipulate objects with his mind, even if the object is extremely heavy, with little to no effort.[46]
  • Energy Manipulation: The Grandmaster has also devoted much of the Power Primordial into granting him the ability to manipulate vast amounts of energy for a variety of purposes. The most common of those purposes includes the projection of immensely powerful blasts of concussive energy, heat, and cold. He can use his powers to literally resurrect dead beings no matter how badly damaged or dispersed they might be. He can also use these powers to restore to full life beings that are on the verge of death. He can bestow this power over life and death to mortal beings, though only for a few minutes. The Grandmaster can also molecularly manipulate the matter of most objects, beings, and substance even over a global scale. The Grandmaster can also use his powers to teleport himself and others across galactic distances or to transverse space itself under his own power at faster than light speeds.[46]

Abilities

Super-Genius Intelligence: The Grandmaster's great intellect affords him extensive expertise in all areas of science. He devotes most of his time, however, to planning and playing games by using less powerful beings as pawns. He has no skills as a combatant but the sheer scope of his abilities make him formidable in battle, though he loathes physical confrontation in and of itself.[46]

Weaknesses

Since the Grandmaster is a true immortal, it isn't known if he does currently have any weaknesses. Prior to the Elder's being banished by Death, the Grandmaster's continued life and vitality was dependent upon his personal obsession of games. If he were to have willingly given up his obsession, it could have proven fatal.[46]


Equipment

Mind Gem: Near-limitless psionic/psychic abilities including empathy, telepathy and telekinesis.

Grandmasters Tri-Sphere: Can transport people in time and/or space.[7]

  • It is very likely that like his daughter Voyager, the Grandmaster possesses the ability to manipulate people's memories.[45]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 X-Men: To Serve and Protect #4
  2. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #5
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Avengers #679
  4. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #5
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Avengers #684
  6. Squadron Supreme #9
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Avengers #69
  8. Avengers #70
  9. Avengers #71
  10. Giant-Size Defenders #3
  11. Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #1
  12. Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #2
  13. Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions #3
  14. West Coast Avengers Annual #2
  15. Avengers Annual #16
  16. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #4-10
  17. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #17-19
  18. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #58-61
  19. Silver Surfer Vol 3 #64
  20. Thanos Quest #2
  21. Quasar #58
  22. JLA/Avengers #1
  23. JLA/Avengers #2
  24. JLA/Avengers #3
  25. JLA/Avengers #4
  26. New Thunderbolts #16
  27. Thunderbolts #102-107
  28. Hulk Vol 2 #10-12
  29. Deadpool Corps #1
  30. Prelude to Deadpool Corps #5
  31. Deadpool Corps #12
  32. Secret Wars #1-9
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Contest of Champions #6
  34. Contest of Champions #5
  35. Avengers #676
  36. Avengers #687
  37. Avengers #677
  38. Avengers #678
  39. Avengers #681
  40. Avengers #682
  41. Avengers #683
  42. Avengers #685
  43. Avengers #686
  44. Avengers #688
  45. 45.0 45.1 Avengers #689
  46. 46.00 46.01 46.02 46.03 46.04 46.05 46.06 46.07 46.08 46.09 46.10 46.11 46.12 Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide #1
  47. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4
  48. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #4



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