Story Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant and Bill Mantlo
Script Bill Mantlo
Pencils John Romita Jr.
Inks Pablo Marcos
Letters Joe Rosen
Colors Don Warfield and Carl Gafford
Cover Dated August 1982
We are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day here at S&FwM! This is Shamrock’s second appearance as she isn’t in the second issue.
Apparently, in the second issue only two fights happened. We’ll review it one of these days. Daredevil won a bout as did Arabian Knight. Daredevil won for Grandmaster and Arabian Knight for the unknown party but we know that party is Death. The ultimate party.
The Grandmaster’s Team – Wolverine, Thing and Le Peregine appear in a grassy area. Wolverine is the resident hot head and possible racist, but I’ll get to that second one. Wolverine is prepared to fight Thing, but he has to tell them that they are on the same side. Funny now, in retrospect, where they have established that Ben and Logan are long time friends prior to them being superheroes. Thing also doesn’t recognize Wolverine either. There couldn’t be that many short Canadians with claws on the back of their hands, could there be? Wolverine asks who Le Peregine is, he tells them that he is France’s premiere superhero. Wolverine decides to seek out the golden portion of the sphere that Grandmaster and Death have made the games about.
Death’s Team – Angel, Black Panther and Vanguard appeared at the same time as the other team. Angel and Black Panther attempt to catch up with each other, a detail I really like. Unfortunately, Angel hasn’t been with the X-Men in a while and Black Panther has also not been with the Avengers. Vanguard doesn’t like that he’s only the Soviet Union’s main hero and not really connected with the American teams. I believe he’s just a little embarrassed.
Vanguard wants to be team leader. Angel offers that Black Panther should be the leader, as he’s the King of Wakanda. Black Panther states that Angel also has leadership experience and that this group doesn’t really need a leader. They are on, essentially, a seeking an item mission. Angel takes to the air. Black Panther recommends they try stealth. Vanguard laughs at the stealth technique as it is high noon and they are in the wide open in a meadow. By the time he turns around, Black Panther is gone. Black Panther discovers a archeological dig. There are hundreds of clay soldiers. Out of nowhere, Wolverine attacks Black Panther. Black Panther’s heighten senses alerted him, just in time, to duck. Wolverine wastes no time in popping his claws. Meanwhile. in the air, Angel gets shown why he was never the most popular member of the Original Five. le Penegine proves that flying, isn’t enough. Which Angel should know as he had to bring constant items with him in those original issues, to be of some use to the team. le Penegine knows marital arts, and starts giving a beating to the X-Man. Thing and Vanguard get into a fight. We get to the racist portion of the chapter. Wolverine keeps calling Black Panther, Blackey. Which is pretty insulting and he should be ashamed of himself. To make matters worst, Wolverine is trying to kill Black Panther. Thing shows up from his fight, he won it naturally, and tries to get Wolverine to stop fighting like this is a death match. Its a mere game with not very high stakes. Either the Grandmaster gets his dead brother back to the world of the living or the Grandmaster dies. Wolverine doesn’t care. Both Wolverine and Black Panther smell something and it is their portion of the orb. Thing punches the ground and lifts it up. The score is now 2 – 1 in Grandmaster’s favor.
Grandmaster’s Team – Sasquatch, Captain America and Blitzkrieg. Death’s Team – Storm, Shamrock and Collective Man. The two teams are in the jungle. Grandmaster’s team splits off as Captain America would rather they stuck together. We learn that Collective Man explains to his team how his powers work. He is really five dudes who combine to one person, who then can harness the power of all dudes in China. Which is pretty impressive. They also split off. Captain America meets Shamrock, she has the luck of the Irish. She avoids a snake but the snake attacks Cap. Take that Cap! Shamrock locates the shard of the orb and scores a point. For some reason, the caption box states it is a score for the Grandmaster, even though Shamrock is on Death’s team. The score should be even.
See Kitty to the Hulk’s left, our right? That’s pretty cool! I almost had to take this issue out of my collection but I started really looking at the crowd scenes.
Death reveals that Grandmaster won, 3 – 1.
Invisible Woman gets behind Death and lowers her hood, revealing what we already know, she is Death. This freaks out the gathered heroes.
Death doesn’t really care about who won, she had a plan. To bring back the Collector, Grandmaster’s brother – the entire point of this event – Death requires a being’s death of who has the same amount of life force that the Collector has. Of course, the only one around with that type of energy is . . . Grandmaster. He accepts and dies, and now the Collector lives. He sees his brother’s dead body and wants to correct that wrong. Death proposes they play a game. He accepts.
The miniseries ends with all of the heroes being returned to where they were before this event started. Life continues on Earth again.
Back of the comic has a pre-Handbook entires circa 1982.