A strange and powerful alien wanting to play a game with lesser mortals is a staple of sci-fi narratives. The Grandmaster is the Avengers' version of this trope, an Elder of the Universe who has dedicated his immortal existence to games of chance, skill and competition. He rarely battles the Avengers directly, but rather manipulates them into serving as players in one of his Games of the Galaxies against another threat. Dedicated to fair play only in the most technical of senses, Grandmaster has no qualms about stacking the deck in his favor for matches. Immensely powerful, Grandmaster can literally kill with a wave of his hand. Instead, he is frequently undone by his own gambling addiction and fear of being seen as a loser. Heroes as varied as Hawkeye, Daredevil and Living Lightning have won back the fate of the Earth several times by beating Grandmaster at his own game. Today's winner of a Spotlight covers the one who lives to win... the Grandmaster!
MightyAvengers.Net Presents... UncannyXmen.Net
Spotlight on... WICCAN
Wiccan of the Young Avengers has a history that defies belief. Born the improbable child of a witch and a synthezoid, conjured through the magic of an entire town of witches and anchor by the soul of the Devil himself, the original William ceased to exist only to be reincarnated as a transmigrated soul in the body of Billy Kaplan. Once you get past his origins, though, Wiccan is much easier to understand -- he's just a reality warping teenager whose powers present like magic but actually come from the Demiurge, the sentient biosphere of the entire planet that is also Billy's future incarnation, whose influence on magic will echo forward and backwards in time once he claims his birthright. Oh, and he's engaged to a half-Kree and half-Skrull hero destined to unite the warring races even to the detriment of his adopted homeworld, Earth. But that probably won't be a problem, right? Before EMPYRE, read our Spotlight today on Billy Kaplan, beloved of Dorrek VIII, the Asgardian, the Demiurge... WICCAN.
Spotlight on...GHOST RIDER VI
One of the Avengers' newest members, Robbie Reyes is one in a long line of Spirits of Vengeance, but the first to join Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Raising his kid brother alone, teenaged Robbie was possessed by the spirit of his Satanist serial killer uncle who was bound to this plane through his Dodge Charger. Robbie became the Ghost Rider, and bent the power of Heaven and Hell to his will, becoming a local hero in Los Angeles. As a legacy of the first Rider from 1,000,000 B.C., Robbie got involved in a battle with the Horde, and possessed the body of a fallen Celestial for his first day as an Avenger. Now training with the world's best, Robbie Reyes may truly be the greatest Ghost Rider of all time.
Russia's answer to the Avengers, The Winter Guard was formed by uniting members of the government's previous super team and a group of exiled heroic mutants. The team was later restructured to a core team of four iconic members - but who was really under their costumes? And did anyone even care? Times change, and the Winter Guard once again comprises a large team but with some dubious motives and methods.
One thing remains the same though, the Winter Guard always do as they are told...mostly. Read all about the complicated history of Зимняя гвардия!
With the world in a bit of a dark and dreary place right now we decided to let our latest character update brighten up your day in a way only she can do. Since we last touched base with her, the X-Men's resident songstress rejoined the team after many years absence, bounced around alternate realities with the X-Treme X-Men and even joined the Avengers' side team A-Force. Despite all her adventures though we are still no closer to understanding her strange resurrection power. So why not let life's worries drift away as you delve behind the music on the updated life of...Dazzler. Plus as an added bonus, we have compiled a brief history of Dazzler's music career as well as some of the few songs that she has song on panel in The Music of Dazzler!
Spotlight on...DOCTOR NEMESIS!
Not many of the X-Men's newer recruits have a history quite like James Bradley. First appearing in the 1940's outside of Marvel comics, he was brought into the MU in the 1990's as a villain. Seeking redemption, he became a nazi hunter and eventually joined the X-Men to help with the fallout of M-Day. He quickly became a key member of the team due to his unapologetically large ego, biting wit and brilliant mind. More recently he has been supporting the Avengers as an Agent of Wakanda. Not bad for a guy who's over 100 years old! Read the surprisingly long history of X-Club's resident mad scientist...Doctor Nemesis!