Dedicated to the definitive superhero non-team.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who's the Strongest of Them All?

When an extraterrestrial boxing champ wanted to go one-on-one against the super-strongmen of Earth, the competition that ensued told as much about the heroes' personalities as it did about their powers (Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7).

During the training period before the first match, Doc Samson was eliminated for lacking the stamina of the rest. Immediately afterward, the Prince of Atlantis announced that he would not participate in the competition. A coincidence? I think not.

Since the early days of Marvel Comics, Sub-Mariner was heralded as the strongest man of the sea. In this case, Namor's uncooperativeness may have spared him the embarrassment of being deemed too weak to compete on dry land, without a nearby water supply to replenish his strength against the alien Champion.

Usually described as the strongest man on Earth, with his strength increasing with rage, the Hulk was expelled for precarious reasons.

Hulk: Hulk hates puny alien! Hulk smash.
Champion: No! I shall not waste my time on a mindless brute!

In other words, the Champion wouldn't fight the Hulk because the Hulk could have won. Thor, meanwhile, was disqualified for using his hammer during his boxing match.

Sasquatch, Colossus, and Wonder Man each fared reasonably well, but Thing ultimately held out the longest against the Champion.

The Avengers, Fantastic Four, and X-Men made guest appearances this issue. Even with Hulk and Sub-Mariner summoned into the competition, the rest of the Defenders did not guest star. As a non-team, they sometimes were overlooked.
Marvel Two-In-One Annual 7. 1982. "And They Shall Call Him … Champion!" Tom DeFalco (script), Ron Wilson (pencils), Camp, Esposito, Giacoia, Green, Gil, and Stone (inkers), Jim Novak (letters), George Roussos (colors), Jim Salicrup (editor), Jim Shooter (referee).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This has long been one of my favorite issues. It really was a good exhibit of Ben Grimm's character.

Nice line about the Hulk. Surely, he would have thrashed the so-called Champion.


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