Contest of Champions (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
July 1982
Story Title: 
Frenzy in the Frozen North

Mark Grunwald, Steven Grant & Bill Mantlo (writers/script), John Romita, Jr & Pablo Marcos (pencils/inks), Joe Rosen (letters), Michele Wolfram & Christine Scheele (colors), Mark Greunwald & Tom DeFalco (editors), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The chosen heroes get split up and send to the first two corners of the Earth. The first team arrives at the North Pole. The Grandmaster’s team (Daredevil, Darkstar and Talisman) want to work together, but when they notice their competitors (the Invisible Girl, Iron Fist and Sunfire) taking off by themselves to cover more ground, they all decide it’s best to stop their foes before they succeed. After a fight, Daredevil locates the first prize and gets it. On another part of the Earth, the other players arrive in a ghost town. With these heroes, the situation quickly moves over into various fights. Iron Man and the Arabian Knight are the only ones left standing. Iron Man is too dazzled after his fight with the She-Hulk and doesn’t even notice the Knight approaching him. The Knight wants to attack the armored Avenger, but then notices something next to him shining. The Knight checks it out, and finds the prize!

Full Summary: 

Chapter 2 - First Contest: Frenzy in the Frozen North!
Talisman, Daredevil, Darkstar, Sunfire, the Invisible Girl and Iron Fist arrive in a snowy area, where a blizzard is taking place. The heroes (with the exception of Sunfire) can hardly withstand the cold. Iron Fist realizes that the unknown send them to the four corners of the planet to look for the prizes, so this place must be the North Pole. Sunfire agrees and wants to find the prize as soon as possible so that they can get out of here. Iron Fist agrees. Sue suggests that the two teams work together to find the prizes. Sunfire disagrees, remembering that the Grandmaster told them that they must compete with each other, fearing that if they do otherwise Earth will remain in suspended animation. Sunfire flies away. Iron Fist introduces himself to Sue Storm, whom he recognizes as the Invisible Girl from the Fantastic Four.

Sue says that Fist is right and shakes hands with Danny Rand, and they decide to work together to find the prize first.
On the other team, Darkstar recognizes the hero besides her and asks if he is the American super hero Daredevil, whom she heard about during her short stay in the United States. Daredevil says that she’s right, and claims that he has also heard about her from the Black Widow. Darkstar is surprised that Daredevil knows Natasha Romanova, because though she is a deserter, her name is still honored in the U.S.S.R They shake hands. Darkstar notices their other silent teammate and asks for his name. Talisman hesitates into introducing himself, believing that this could endanger him one day, but does so anyway.

Talisman explains that he is from Australia, and a shaman, who communes with the Altjeringa, which is better known as the Dreamtime.
Suddenly the heroes feel something hot and notice Sunfire flying above them. Darkstar offers that she best follows in case Sunfire knows where one of the prizes are. She asks if either Daredevil or Talisman can fly, but they can’t.
As Darkstar is out of sight, Daredevil tries to figure out how to tell Talisman that with him being blind, he works best alone because allies only disturb his radar sense. Talisman cuts in, apologizing for having to say this, but explains that he posesses certain “senses” that work best when he is alone. Daredevil of course doesn’t mind and let’s his new friend be and takes off.

High above, Darkstar has found Sunfire and they begin to fight. Sunfire unleashes his flames, but Darkstar transforms her Darkforce into a giant hand and traps Sunfire inside it. Below, Sue and Iron Fist notice Daredevil walking by. Sue wants to keep him covered in case he finds the prize first. Iron Fist notices the fight above them and rejects Sue’s words, saying that the first move has already been made, and if they are to be the Grandmaster’s players, they best join the fray, and fast! Iron Fist takes off, leaving a confused Sue behind, who finds this so unlike working with the Fantastic Four. There, she is used to work in a team and here she’s on her own.

Sue tries walking on the thick snow, but that’s difficult. Sue turns invisible. The snow sticks on her boots so Sue can use them as skies and move easily. Sue notices Talisman and walks over to him. Talisman himself is in his astral form looking for the prize. He senses Sue approaching his body and skips the search, fearing that Sue might attack him and he can’t leave his body unprotected. Talisman gets back to normal and stands up, surprising Sue who tries to attack him. Talisman doesn’t understand, because he hears someone talking but doesn’t see anyone. Talisman takes out his Bull-roared and whirls it around, trapping Sue inside the Dreamtime! Sue can’t stand it there as everything is distorted and it seems like her body falls apart.

Elsewhere, the blind Daredevil senses that he is not alone. He is correct, as Iron Fist approaches him and introduces himself. Iron Fist bows to Daredevil, wanting to begin to fight. Daredevil doesn’t understand and attacks at full speed, jumping at Fist. Iron Fist dodges the attack using a hard punch and slams Daredevil away. Daredevil makes a snowball and throws it at Fist’s face. Fist can’t see now and punches in the wild, hoping to hit Daredevil.
In the sky, Sunfire tries to escape from Darkstar’s transformed hand. Sunfire uses the maximum of his heat powers and frees himself! Sunfire says that he is a warrior, a Samurai even, and won’t be beaten by a woman. His flames crack the snow below them. Sunfire keeps attacking, forcing Darkstar to hide behind a transformed shield of her Darkforce.

On the ground, Talisman keeps attacking Sue, who despite being unable to concentrate, notices the snow below her cracking. Sue believes that the Dreamtime must be some sort of illusion. She creates an invisible force field and flies up until she is free. Talisman has to stop his attack. He notices the ice next to him cracking up and knows he has to run away because he couldn’t survive if he fell into the ice cold water.

Daredevil is still fighting Iron Fist, but finds the battle useless. Suddenly, his radar senses something: it’s the prize! Daredevil runs away and tries to pinpoint its exact location. Sue notices Daredevil running away and wonders what he’s doing. Sue realizes that Daredevil has found the prize in the water, but so have the other heroes. They use their various powers on each other, but Daredevil still manages to dodge all the attacks and claim the prize, a golden quarter of a globe, first.

Chapter 3 - Second Contest: Ghost Town Showdown!
Elswhere, Iron Man, the Arabian Knight, Sabra, the She-Hulk, Defensor and Captain Britain land in a mysterious ghost town. They all realize that this must be where the prize is hidden. Iron Man introduces himself to Sabra, who does the same. Sabra explains that like the spiny pear that is the symbol of the Israeli people from whom she derives her name, she is harsh to her enemies, yet sweet to her friends. The Arabian Knight doesn’t care about all of that and says that he won’t fight side by side with a Jewess. Iron Man finds that ridiciolous, but Sabra is understandably insulted and flies away. The Arabian Knight uses his magic and reveals his flying carpet and takes off as well, wanting the prize to be his.
On the other side, Denfensor charms the She-Hulk, introducing himself as Gabriel Carlos Dantes Sepulveda of Brazil.

In case his costume doesn’t speak for itself, Captain Britain also introduces himself. Defensor wants them to work together as a team to find the prizes, but the She-Hulk and Cap rather work alone.

The She-Hulk bounces high up in the sky and notices the Arabian Knight on his carpet. She attacks him and easily defeats him as well. She-Hulk continues her bouncing and finds Sabra. Sabra hopes that her spines will be enough to defeat the She-Hulk, and the attack appears to be a match for Jennifer. Sabra notices and decides to test her strength against her foe.
Below, Iron Man enters a saloon, using his build-in flashlight to find the prize. He gets disturbed by Defensor. They attack each other.

Iron Man’s armor is stronger than Defensor’s shield, and the armored Avenger knocks Defensor down.
Above in the skies, the Arabian Knight has already recovered from his previous fight, but this time has to face Captain Britain. Cap takes out his star sceptre and the Knight his sword, and they begin to duel.
The She-Hulk is able to withdraw from Sabra’s hard punches and in return slams her down. The Knight notices and lands his carpet and orders it to catch Sabra. Sabra, surprised, asks why, because she thought he hated her. The Knight says it’s because they are teammates. Sabra exclaims that she would rather be dead than to be allied with him. Captain Britain uses their discussing in his advantage and defeats the Arabian Knight and flies towards Sabra.

Sabra dodges Cap’s attack and punches him down. Below them, Defensor gets smashed through the saloon’s wall by Iron Man and bounces into Cap, knocking him down. Defensor tries to figure out what happened. Iron Man notices this and takes off in the hope to be able to take down the She-Hulk. The She-Hulk grabs his throat, but Iron Man unleashes a powerful repulsor blast from his gloves and knocks her down. Iron Man can’t believe he did this, and doesn’t notice that the Arabian Knight is standing behind him. The Knight moves over to attack him, but then next to him, he notices something shining in the saloon’s oven. He opens the oven, and finds the prize!

Characters Involved: 

Captain Britain I, Daredevil, Darkstar, Defensor, She-Hulk, Talisman (the Grandmaster’s Champions)

Arabian Knight, Invisible Girl, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Sabra, Sunfire (the Unknown/Death’s Champions)

Story Notes: 

Darkstar was once a member of the short lived super-hero group known as the Champions. When the group disbanded she returned to Russia to become a member of the Soviet Super Soldiers. The Black Widow was also a member of the Champions.

At the end of the story, there is a quick overview of all current existing super-heroes of the time. This issue goes from hero names beginning with the letter K-S.

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