Real Name: En Dwi Gast
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The Grandmaster posses a cosmic life force which grants him a variety of superhuman traits, including a virtually immortal body, immunity to aging and disease, and imperviousness to conventional injury through regeneration of any injury. Also, the Grandmaster can utilize his cosmic life force for a variety of effects, including levitation, the projection of energy blasts, and travel through time and space and into alternate dimensions. He is also capable of transforming and rearranging matter on a planetary scale, he can cause death to others just by wishing it, and he can resurrect beings who are dead for less then 29.5 hours. Currently due to his machinations against Death, he cannot die. He is also capable of mentally computing diverse low information probabilities to the tenth decimal place with ease, and to retain vast amounts of data. He also possesses certain abilities of mental perception beyond those currently known, which enable him to receive information about his environment through extrasensory means. He also maintains a psychic link with the highly advanced computers of his base world, which extend and enhance his mental abilities.
Like those of all the Elders of the Universe, the Grandmaster’s origin is lost in early history of the universe. It is known that he is one of the oldest living beings in the universe. Like other Elders, he is the survivor of one of the intelligent races that evolved in one of the first galaxies to form after the “Big Bang”, the cataclysmic event in which the universe was created. Although his race became extinct and even his native galaxy died as the ages passed, the Grandmaster, like the other Elders, lived on, having become virtually immortal. As the relatively few survivors of the earliest period of the universe, the Elders regarded themselves as figuratively being brothers.
The Grandmaster has spent his extraordinary long life in pursuit of amusement through the playing of games. He has traveled throughout the known universe studying many civilizations’ forms of games and play to the point of mastering them. He then began to devise his own types of tournaments and contests, challenging various opponents to games of skill and chance for high stakes.
Capable of traversing space, time and the dimensions, the Grandmaster once journeyed to the alternate Earth inhabited by the Squadron Supreme to stage a contest with the time-traveling Scarlet Centurion. The Grandmaster’s standard method of playing games was to choose a team of champions to do combat with another team selected by his opponent. The Grandmaster used the Squadron Supreme as pawns for his games, while the Scarlet Centurion assembled various of the Squadron’s enemies as the Institute of Evil. Winning the contest, the Grandmaster determined to create is own Squadron since the original Squadron was unwilling to participate in further games.
Returning to his own universe he traveled to Earth and transformed three men (Doctor Spectrum, Nighthawk, and the Whizzer) into counterparts of the Squadron members. He also created a counterpart to the Squadron’s Hyperion out of non-living extra dimensional matter and invested it with consciousness and artificial memories. These four counterparts became the criminal team known as the Squadron Sinister.
The Grandmaster then journeyed to the time period of Kang the Conqueror (a temporal counterpart to the Scarlet Centurion) to engage in a contest against him. After Kang’s champions, the Avengers, defeated the Squadron Sinister, the Grandmaster drafted the World War II heroes, the Invaders. If Kang won, the Grandmaster would briefly grant him the power of either life or death. If Kang lost, the Grandmaster would destroy the Earth. Fortunately, Kang’s champions triumphed.
Later, having returned to the 20th Century, the Grandmaster used Daredevil and the Defenders as his pawns against Doctor Doom‘s artificial creation the Prime Mover. Winning this match he decided to take control of the Earth as a breeding ground for superhuman-powered pawns for his games, but gave up the Earth after losing a bet with Daredevil.
Although the Grandmaster can resurrect most living beings after their deaths, he cannot do so with virtually immortal beings like himself who are killed. Therefore the Grandmaster was unable to resurrect his “brother” the Collector, after he had been murdered. The Grandmaster challenged Death itself to a game. If Grandmaster won, then the Collector would live, but if he lost, then he too would also die. The Grandmaster and Death each selected teams from among Earth’s superhumans to do battle in a contest of champions. The Grandmaster’s team won, but Death revealed in order to bring the Collector to life, the Grandmaster would have to forfeit his own life. Compelled by his sense of gamesmanship to see the game through to its end, the Grandmaster died and the Collector returned to life.
However, Death then challenged the Collector to a game, apparently with the resurrection of the Grandmaster as the stakes. The outcome of the game is unknown, but the Collector is known to have survived and the Grandmaster has been seen since. The Grandmaster then used the Avengers and an incarnation of the Legion of the Unliving in another contest against Death, in which he won immortality for himself and all of the Elders.
Later the Elders of the Universe plotted to kill Galactus by using the Infinity Gems against him. This plan failed and the Elders were then confronted by a power seeking Thanos. The Grandmaster lost one of the gems in the process, and Thanos gained ultimate power shortly thereafter.
Recently, the Grandmaster has been seen reuniting the Squadron Sinister, and only he knows what games are yet to come.
First Appearance: The Avengers (1963) #69
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2006)
Annihilation: Ronan (2006)
Avengers Forever (1998)
#9 Avengers/JLA (2003)
- 'Break: Reflections Of The Conqueror'
#2 Avengers/UltraForce (1995)
- 'A Contest of Champions'#4
- 'The Brave...and the Bold'
Bring Back the Bad Guys (1998)
Captain Marvel (1995)
#5 Captain Marvel (1999)
- 'In the Name of God?'#6
- 'True believers / In our daily lives... / Interludes / Passing the torch / In God we trust...'
Contest of Champions (2015)
#2 Daredevil (1964)
- 'What is it Good For?'
#62 Deadpool Corps (2010)
- 'Quoth The Nighthawk, "Nevermore!"'
#1 Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars (2015)
- 'Part 1: Disrespect Your Elders'#12
#1 Exiles (2001)
- 'Deadpool's Secret Wars'
Giant-Size Avengers (1974)
#2 Giant-Size Avengers/Invaders (2008)
- 'A Blast From the Past!'
Giant-Size Defenders (1974)
#3 Hulk (2008)
- 'Games Godlings Play!'
#10 JLA/Avengers (2003)
- 'Love & Death'#11
- 'Trapped In A World They Never Made'#12
- 'Winner Takes All'
#1 Last Planet Standing (2006)
- 'A Journey Into Mystery'#3
- 'Strange Adventures'
Marvel Super Action (1977)
#31 Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions (1982)
- 'When Strikes the Squadron Sinister!'
#1 New Thunderbolts (2005)
- 'A Gathering of Heroes! Chapter 1'#3
- 'Chapter 4: Third Contest: Siege in the City of the Dead!'
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
HC vol. 04 Prelude to Deadpool Corps (2010)
- 'Earthmover to Guardians of the Galaxy'TPB vol. 04
- 'Earthmover to Guardians of the Galaxy'
Silver Surfer (1987)
#4 The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
- 'Space Is Eternity'#17
- 'Playing With Matches'
#222 The Avengers (1963)
- 'Faster Than The Eye!'#503
- 'Chasing a Dark Shadow'
Annual 16 The Defenders (1972)
- 'The Day Death Died!'Annual 21
- 'Kang's World Part 4'#69
- 'Let The Game Begin'#70
- 'When Strikes The Squadron Sinister!'#71
#14 The Invaders (1975)
- 'And Who Shall Inherit the Earth?'
The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
HC The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
#4 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'D-G: From Dragon Man to Gypsy Moth'
#5 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
- 'Gardener to the Hulk'
The Thanos Quest (1990)
#102 West Coast Avengers (1985)
- 'Taking Civil Liberties'#105
- 'Swimming With Sharks'#106
- 'Power Hungry'#107
- 'Power Full'#108
- 'Power Full'
What If? (1977)
#32 X-Men: To Serve And Protect (2011)
- 'What If... The Avengers Had Become the Pawns of Korvac?'
Elders of the Universe (Marvel)
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