Giant-Size Defenders #3
Issue(s): Giant-Size Defenders #3
(Daredevil initially mistakes Nighthawk's jetpack for a jet engine. It must be extraordinarily loud, something that has never been mentioned before.).
This time the Grandmaster is playing a game with the Prime Mover.
We get an origin for the Mover, who was previously just a Steranko high-concept. He was built by Dr. Doom to play the game we saw in Steranko's SHIELD story. But eventually Doom got bored and abandoned the robot.
Since it was built to play games, it eventually sought out the Grandmaster. So basically we have an Elder of the Universe being challenged by one of Dr. Doom's throwaway toys. That's pretty impressive for Doom.
There's not much to the game. The Grandmaster's champions (the Defenders + Daredevil) have to fight a group of aliens picked out by the Prime Mover. The winner gets to keep the Earth.
Most of the aliens are pretty generic, but the little guy that fights the Hulk is pretty cool.
The Prime Mover's aliens are all super-powered. Of most interest is Korvac, a man-machine who is relatively easily defeated by Dr. Strange this time.
He'll be back.
The Defenders win, and Daredevil stops the Grandmaster from keeping the Earth by cheating in a coin flip. Except the Grandmaster actually won the coin toss, based on the art. I guess that makes up for the Grandmaster's win in Contest of Champions years later. (Alternate comment: that's what you get for trusting the blind guy in a coin flipping contest.)
This issue isn't really up to the levels one would expect if Jim Starlin were involved, but it's not bad.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place after Defenders #21. Giant-Size Defenders #4 occurs next before going back to Defenders #22. Hulk #184-193 take place before Giant-Size #4.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
A subsequent letters page contained an admission of the art mistake on the coin flip.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | July 10, 2011 5:39 PM
As I recall, the letters page in Giant-Size Defenders 4 then flippantly added re the coin flip error: "We were wrong. DD lost. And the Grandmaster will be back to devour the earth next Tuesday. Howzat?"
Probably not word-for-word, but it's been a few decades...
Posted by: haydn | April 13, 2012 9:56 PM
FOOM#6 misidentified the Grandmaster as "the Games-Master".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 10, 2013 5:44 PM
He was also called that in Iron Man #65, which was published a few months prior to FOOM #6.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 10, 2013 6:14 PM
Grott is the winning concepot here, and Korvac will go on to greater thins, but I kind of liked Thakkor, the warrior on horseback who turns out to be a mannequin manipoulated by a psi-powered horse. Perhaps he's a mutant from the planet Houyhnhnm?
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 23, 2015 6:27 AM
I was only 10 when I read this issue but it stayed with me for years because it was the only time I'd ever seen where a superhero actually gets killed. The death of Daredevil by immolation was horrifying beyond words. And proud Namor's futile rage only led to a beat-down that was literally lethal. The decision to up the stakes like this made the story riveting.
Posted by: Dave Burns | December 21, 2015 7:50 PM
Another inaccuracy was in the first prose page, where Daredevil is said to be meeting the Hulk for the first time, despite http://www.supermegamonkey.net/chronocomic/entries/hulk_151153.shtml
Posted by: JTI88 | October 23, 2016 9:49 AM
(Again from the lettercol of Giant Size Defenders #4): Gerber asked everyone in the Marvel offices if the Hulk and DD had met before. Everyone said no. Then a junior writer (Roger Slifer? I don't recall) caught the error once the book had gone to print. And you could hear Steve's AARGH! from the opposite end of the building.
Posted by: Haydn | October 18, 2017 7:49 PM
Generally, if they're a Silver Age character always just assume Murdock has been their lawyer at some point.
Posted by: AF | October 19, 2017 5:17 AM
Thus do these guys totally diminish the mystery and later usability of Steranko's high-concept Prime Mover character, for no obvious good reason other than adding yet another unneeded achievement to Doctor Doom's already fat resume. Sad. Database here shows only one more reference, after this one, for Prime Mover, who again is portrayed only as Doom's robot stooge, in Master of Kung Fu #59-60. Waste of good potential IMO, just like retroactively making the Steranko versions of Su Wan and the Yellow Claw into robots was also wasteful and unnecessary.
Posted by: Holt | February 11, 2018 1:48 AM
Prime Mover is used heavily in Grant Morrison's Fantastic Four: 1234.
Posted by: AF | February 11, 2018 3:32 AM
Thanks AF. I'll try to get a hold of that story. To be honest I had forgotten the last minute twist ending to Strange Tales #168, where the Prime Mover and Doom are revealed behind the scenes (by Steranko). Still, I wonder if that was always the intended ending, or if it was a last minute change-- it seems incongruous with the multi-part story up to that point, and strikes me as a bit of a cop-out ending, after the reader had already become invested in Su Wan and Yellow Claw, to have them so suddenly and finally revealed as robots. Everything is suddenly all wrapped up and quickly forgotten in the succeeding issues, like waking up after a dream. But it's unfair for me to put the heat on "these guys" for diminishing the characters, as I did in my previous comment. Poor dead Su Wan robot, I knew her well-- well, I mean, I thought I knew her well-- xD And poor Jimmy Woo.</3
Posted by: Holt | February 11, 2018 10:38 AM
BTW, I just now relocated the Defenders letters page I mentioned above. It was Tony "The Tiger" Isabella (Marvel fan, writer, and blogger extraordinaire) who caught the Hulk/DD error.
Posted by: haydn | March 27, 2018 6:44 PM
Only the Grandmaster could lose a coin flip to a blind guy!
Posted by: VtCG | March 30, 2018 1:11 PM
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