Friday, 9 May 2014


Right, now that I've got your attention by means of a cunning subter-
fuge, what can I tell you about MARVEL SUPER HERO CONTEST OF
CHAMPIONS? Not much as it happens, 'cos I don't recall reading them
in the 30-plus years that I've owned them - which means that I probably
didn't. I plan to get around to doing so one of these days 'though.

All you really need to know is that it was an excuse to get all the Marvel
heroes together in order to part you from your cash. If you've got these
issues then it obviously worked. I think I bought them as back numbers in
the early 1980s, and there was a gap between me getting #1 and 2 & 3, if I
remember rightly. I understand that it was the relative success of this title
that lead to the later SECRET WARS comics, so if those two MATTEL
toy tie-in series didn't ring your bell, you have Contest to blame for it.

Looking at the three splash pages on offer here, the story looks pretty
underwhelming. At least, they hardly fire me up with enthusiasm to get
stuck into them, but let's hope I'm wrong in my first impressions and
that they're a cracking good read. Anybody know for sure?

I'll give you my verdict when I've read them.


John Pitt said...

I don't ever remember seeing these at all, but I was somewhat disappointed with Secret Wars.

Kid said...

I bought and read (and still have) both series of Secret Wars, JP, but I was never much impressed by them. I seem to recall them as being pretty dull.

Colin Jones said...

This is where all these huge crossovers that dominate modern comics began. I know there were crossovers before like the Avengers/Defenders war but not the kind that involved every character in the Marvel (or DC) universe. These days one finishes and another starts soon after but I suppose you could say that the big crossover events are more "realistic" as it was a bit strange that the world would be in dire peril in one comic but didn't affect the characters in another comic at all. For example when Galactus first showed up in Fantastic Four where were the Avengers? His arrival would indeed be an earth-shaking event which would affect the whole MU, not just the FF. I think there are too many of them nowadays but I suppose they sell and that's the important thing.

Kid said...

Oh, I dunno, CJ - entertaining the readers is pretty important too, I'd say. At least from the readers point of view. Of course, the publishers might not care so much as (like you suggest) they sell okay. Secret Wars was really just to push a bunch of toys.

Dougie said...

I bought all three of these because of the index of super-heroes in the back pages. Boys of course like that sort of thing and it was a year or two before the multi-part Handbook series,

At the time, I felt that Marvel's freshly-minted international heroes had none of the charm or invention of ENB's Global Guardians. I did find the Australian mystic Talisman interesting, however.

Kid said...

I just finished reading them this morning, Dougie. Not too bad, but nothing earth-shattering. I don't think I like too many superpowered characters in a comic at the one time. You need the interplay between heroes and ordinary folk for the balance to be right, I think. Romita Junior's art was okay, but the pages were just too tightly packed in some cases.

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