The Grandmaster is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe. who first appeared in The Avengers #69. He is one of the ageless Elders of the Universe and has mastered most civilization' game of skill and chance.
Although his exact origin is unknown, he is one of the oldest living beings in the universe, coming from one of the first intelligent races to evolve after the Big Bang. He once possessed the Mind Gem, one of the six Infinity Gems, but he lost it to Thanos. He is a cosmic game player whose preferred game is pitting two opposing teams against each other. He has used the Squadron Sinister, Daredevil, the Defenders, the East and West Coast Avengers, Malibu Comics's Ultraforce, and DC Comics' Justice League of America.
In his first appearance, the Grandmaster played a game against Kang the Conqueror for the power to ressurect Ravonna or destroy Kang's planet, using the Avengers and Squadron Sinister as pawns. He next used the Defenders as pawns in a game against the Prime Mover.
The Grandmaster later challenged Death to a game of strategy, with the power to resurrect his fellow Elder the Collector as prize. A large collection of Earth heroes were used as pawns by both sides of the game; the Grandmaster promised that, if he won, he would never again use Earth's heroes as his pawns. The Grandmaster won, only to learn the resurrection power could only be used if someone else died in the resurrectee's place. Nonetheless, the Grandmaster felt the game would incomplete unless the power was used, noting "Never, in a thousand games on a thousand worlds, have I quit the table ere the game was through!" Death suggested he use the heroes' lives instead, but, unwilling to break his promise to never again manipulate them, he instead sacrificed his own life to resurrect the Collector.
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