The Grandmaster is a cosmic being that features in Marvel Comics.
En Dwi Gast
As each Elder held monopoly over an obsession, En Dwi found himself sharing a passion for games alongside one of his kindred with the pair being close friend. The comrade went by the name of Grandmaster which was a title that En Dwi had sought over and decided to make a wager with his friend. This turned a game into a rivalry with the pair with this culminating in a final match whereby the victor claimed the title whilst the loser was exiled. In this match, the Grandmaster lost and was barred from reality as a result with him losing the title as he fell into exile whilst En Dwi Gast claimed the alias of Grandmaster for himself. (Avengers v1 #679)
He had a daughter who went by the name of Voyager where the two gambled on the fates of entire worlds throughout the cosmos. (Avengers v1 #684)
For countless eons, he had witnessed the Game of Life occur on an infinite number of worlds with him growing bored of these events and thus desiring a new game. (Avengers Annual v1 #16)
After usurping Death's power, he used his newfound might to create Life-Bombs that he sought to detonate in the corners of the universe in order to bring about a new Big Bang. He intended to survive into the new universe where he would bring about a new Game of Life according to his own design. (Avengers Annual v1 #16)
As part of a bet against the Collector, the Grandmaster decided to call forth champions to act for him. Thus, he abducted the Hulk and promised the resurrection of his love Jarella. Hulk agreed and was allowed to choose his fellow warriors where he chose his fellow Defenders team mates Silver Surfer, Namor and Doctor Strange though these came from other points in the timeline. They were gathered to fight the Collector’s champions that were the Red Hulk, Baron Mordo, Terrax and Tiger Shark who formed their team as the Offenders. (Hulk v2 #10) With Hulk slain, the Grandmaster lost his champion and thus the contest as the Collector claimed the Jade Giant as a prize. The Red Hulk then proceeded to the areas where the other contestants were where he not only killed the Defenders but even his fellow Offenders as well. This saw him ultimately kill Terrax and the Silver Surfer where he claimed the Power Cosmic to confront Galactus over Zenn-La. The Red Hulk was overpowered by the World Devourer who then turned his wrath to Earth as well as the two Elders after learning their part in these events. Upon seeing this, the Grandmaster and Collector decided to call off their game after seeing the extent of the damage. They restored everyone in their game to life and returned most to their native time period. The Red Hulk was infuriated at being denied his victory leading to him attacking and murdering the Grandmaster. The Collector could only mourn his fellow Elder before departing the scene. (Hulk v2 #12)
The Silver Surfer brought Dawn Greenwood to the Casino Cosmico where the Grandmaster arranged events that led to his board Toomie being bet as part of the stakes. This eventually led to Dawn being accidentally bet where she lost her ability to perceive the colour red and Norrin Radd even lost the Power Cosmic. Gast then made an all infinite bet whereupon he intended to claim Dawn Greenwood for himself though Radd bet that if the Grandmaster lost that he was banned from ever playing a game again. The Grandmaster could not dare risk losing and thus forfeit allowing the Silver Surfer his possessions back where he and Dawn left the casino. (Silver Surfer v8 #7)
After the Multiverse was restored following the Secret Wars, the Grandmaster waged a Contest of Champions against his fellow Elder the Collector. This saw both sides selecting champions that fought in the Multiversal site of the Battlerealm. The Grandmaster selected Punisher 2099 to serve as his Summoner that operated his team. (Contest of Champions v2 #2)
Despite his seeming death, he remained alive and sought the next contest to entertain him. This time he sought lower stakes entertainment which was why he decided to arrange a contest to target Shatterstar formerly of the Mojoverse. Thus, he crafted an arena on Horus IV and hired the Death Sponsors led by Shatterstars former love Gingrave to attack his home. Once on Earth, they kidnapped his tenants who were brought to Horus IV in order to bring Shatterstar to the contest where he was forced to participate. During this time, one of his tenants named Christina Cook was killed in the arena with Shatterstar challenging the Grandmaster himself. Gast effortlessly killed Shatterstar causing him to experience what his life could have been had he remained with Mojo before resurrecting him. Gaveedra then attacked him by trying to cut off his head but it simply reformed as the Grandmaster was immortal. The Grandmaster forced Shatterstar's compliance to serve him by killing his tenants whereupon Gaveedra begged for them to be resurrected and in exchange he would serve. This would delight Gast who intended for Shatterstar to participate in another 'season' of entertainment for him. However, whilst distracted, Shatterstar opened a portal forcing both of them to Earth-1218 where that universe's strict rules meant that the Grandmasters powers did not work. Gast was then stabbed by Gaveedra's sword and thrown off a bridge seemingly killing him whereupon Shatterstar returned to his world and his friends. (Shatterstar v1 #5)
Personality and attributes
He had a daughter by the name of Va Nee who also went by the name of Voyager who he used to help him win his matches as a trump card. Though his offspring, he seemingly showed little care for her and was even willing to discard her when she did not benefit him. (Avengers v1 #689)
Powers and abilities
He observed the events of his games from within his Cosmic Game Room that could manifest screens and images of the contestants. From there, he could activate other elements of his contest in order to bring about further challenges in the game. (Avengers v1 #677) He also ruled a dimension known as the Casino Cosmico which was dedicated entirely to gambling. It could be accessed by a door that opened for specific individuals allowing them entry. Inside, there were numerous games of chance whereby people could bet on anything. The Grandmaster at times arranged events to ensure people win so that they bet on higher stakes whereupon he ensured that they lost so that he won their winnings along with remaining possessions. (Silver Surfer v8 #7)
- The Grandmaster was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema where he made his first appearance in Avengers v1 #69 (October 1969).
In other media
- In Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, the character made an appearance in the episode "Contest of Champions". He was shown to be a powerful cosmic being known to the likes of the Kree and oversaw the Contest of Champions. Ronan the Accuser petitions the Grandmaster for entry into the Contest to battle his hated foes in the Fantastic Four. The Grandmaster granted him this request despite it being done so without the permission of the Supreme Intelligence due to the fact that failure could lead to the destruction of their empire as the winner was awarded their hearts desire. He would place Annihilus, the Impossible Man and the Super-Skrull who showed respect to the Grandmaster as team mates for Ronan in the fight against the Fantastic Four. Ultimately, Ben Grimm won the battle and was allowed any request to which the Thing wanted the Grandmaster gone with all his friends returned to which the powerful cosmic being granted albeit reluctantly.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy, the Grandmaster appeared in the episode "Take the Milano and Run" where he was voiced by actor Jason Spisak. He was shown as being the owner of a large space station called Conjuction that hosted a large number of arenas, races and other such games. The Grandmaster was shown to enjoy games and sought only to win wit him not caring for the lIves of the audience as he reasoned that more would always come. When the Guardians of the Galaxy came to Conjuction, he grew interested in seeing an arena fight between Drax and Gamora. Thus, he arranged events to bring about such a match such as covering any damage the Guardians made to Conjuction, preventing the Nova Corps from arresting them and tricking them into bargaining their ship for a large sum of credits. Ultimately, the Grandmaster threatened the lives of every one in the stadium until he was knocked off onto the arenas floor. He would have been attacked by a mob but the Nova Corps arrested him as the Guardians fled the scene in their new upgraded ship.
- In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Grandmaster made multiple appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the Grandmaster made a cameo appearance in the live-action film where he was portrayed by actor Jeff Goldblum with him only dancing in the credit sequence.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, the Grandmaster appeared in the live-action film where he was portrayed by actor Jeff Goldblum. He was an ancient being that came to Sakaar where time operated differently allowing him to live for thousands of years. Once there, he ruled the world with him establishing the Contest of Champions that were a series of gladiatorial games. The portals to Sakaar brought numerous beings to the planet that took part in the games with his minions killing those that failed the Grandmaster. The Hulk accidently landed on Sakaar through a portal where he came to become the champion in the Contest and the Grandmaster's prized fighter.
- Avengers v1:
- Thunderbolts v1:
- Hulk v2:
- Guardians of the Galaxy:
- Avengers v1:
- Shatterstar v1: