Welcome to the five hundred and twenty-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, did Marvel accidentally end a crossover the wrong way? See how Ms. Marvel was replaced by She-Hulk in a comic! Finally, does Don Rosa really hate DuckTales?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Marvel’s Contest of Champions ended with a 3-1 win for one side when it actually depicted a tie instead!
Today’s the tenth anniversary of Comic Book Legends Revealed! Wow, that’s old.
Anyhow, back in the very first year’s worth of Comic Book Legends Revealed, I did a story about how Marvel was set to do a special one-shot involving the 1980 Summer Olympics. Once Jimmy Carter decided to boycott those games, however, the comic fell by the wayside, only to be dug back out once it was revealed that the inker on the storyline, Pablo Marcos, had continued working on the penciled pages sent to him by John Romita Jr. So Marvel had all of these finished pages in 1982 and no story. So Mark Gruenwald and Bill Mantlo (two-thirds of the original writing staff on the special, the third being Steven Grant) decided to re-work it as a three-issue mini-series called the Contest of Champions, with Mantlo re-scripting it and Bob Layton making a good chunk of art edits on the series for characters who had changed between 1980 and 1982.
This is why the Contest of Champions involved so many international heroes in it (heck, most of them were invented FOR the original Olympic story).
Anyhow, in Contest of Champions #1, the Grandmaster and his unknown opponent chose their teams…
So here were the results of the fights…
So the Grandmaster won, although he soon found out that it would have been better had he not won…
However, if you go back and check, he DIDN’T win! If you look at the sets of teams, Shamrock was on DEATH’S side! Thus, the fight was a tie!
Naturally, Marvel got a bunch of letters and Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter was not pleased.
Tom DeFalco and Steve Englehart eventually wrote the 1987 Avengers Annuals as sequels specifically to bring Grandmaster back to life, as he never should have died to begin with.
Thanks to reader Le Messor for the suggestion of this one!
Check out some entertainment and sports legends from this week at Legends Revealed:
On the next page, another legend involving Contest of Champions!
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