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Contest of Champions:  An overview by Sean McQuaid

1.  Issue #1
2.  Issue #2
3.  Issue #3
4.  Heroes Featured
5.  Where Are They Now?

Marvel Super-Heroes Contest of Champions 1 (June, 1982)
"A Gathering of Heroes!" Chapter 1
Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo and Steven Grant, story
Bill Mantlo, script
John Romita Junior, pencils
Pablo Marcos, inks
Joe Rosen, letters
Andy Yanchus and Patricia DeFalco, coloring
Bob Layton, additional art
Mark Gruenwald and Tom DeFalco, editors
Jim Shooter, editor-in-chief

"Somewhere in the cosmos," two indistinct but familiar figures agree to engage in a tournament of champions, culling their pawns from the planet Earth since it has "the greatest concentration of super-champions in this star-sector. " The players must be mighty, says one of the two, since the game's stakes are life and death.

Meanwhile, the Avengers are having a workout as part of a special reunion with some of the team's inactive members. Present are Wonder Man, Beast, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Vision, Captain America and Wasp. The others needle Beast by saying he's become rusty since joining the Defenders, so he wagers he can hold off all the Avengers single-handedly for one minute. He manages to elude them all for a full thirty seconds until they rush him all at once--but before they can subdue him, all seven Avengers vanish in an aura of red energy.

Elsewhere, the Soviet Super Soldiers--Crimson Dynamo, Darkstar, Ursa Major and Vanguard--attack the villainous Red Ghost in his arctic base before he can trigger a series of artificial earthquakes in Russia. Darkstar incapacitates the criminal after a brief group struggle, but all four Super-Soldiers vanish in an aura of red energy before they can apprehend the Red Ghost.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Four--Mister Fantastic, Invisible Girl, Thing and Human Torch--are about to give a speech at the Adventurers Club when they, too, vanish amidst a mysterious red glow.

Other heroes are disappearing in bursts of red light across North America: the super-team Alpha Flight--Aurora, Northstar, Sasquatch, Shaman, Snowbird and Vindicator--vanish in the skies over Canada while returning from a mission in their airship; the X-Men--Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm and Wolverine-- disappear during a Danger Room training session; Power Man and Iron Fist vanish while battling criminal gunmen in Harlem; Spider-Man disappears while scaling a building wall; and the Hellcat and Valkyrie vanish while watching a musical performance by the Dazzler, who likewise disappears in a burst of red light.

More and more heroes vanish in the red glow: Daredevil and Moon Knight, flying over Staten Island while working together on a case; Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil in the Savage Land; Doctor Strange and Devil-Slayer in Strange's Greenwich Village Sanctum; Spider-Woman, battling Gypsy Moth in the skies above San Francisco; Machine Man, striding over the Hudson River on his telescoping limbs; Quasar, security chief at Project Pegasus, and Jack of Hearts, one of the Project's voluntary test subjects; Hulk and Doc Samson, locked in combat in the southwest; a band of Eternals flying over the Andes, including Sersi, Ikaris and Ajak; the Son of Satan; Thor; Red Wolf and Lobo; Sunfire, in Japan; Captain Britain and his ally the Black Knight, in the skies above England on the Knight's winged steed Valinor; and the Inhuman Royal Family--including Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Triton, Crystal and Quicksilver--on a rare visit to Earth.

Meanwhile, the red glow spirits away still more heroes around the world: Le Peregrine in France; Talisman in Australia; Defensor, battling a paramilitary group in Argentina; Shamrock, saving children from a terrorist bomb in Northern Ireland; Sabra, repulsing a raiding party in Israel; the Collective Man, driving off a gang of thieves in China; the Arabian Knight in Saudi Arabia; and Blitzkrieg in the skies over West Germany.

Finally, we see where all these heroes and more--dozens, perhaps hundreds more--have been transported: a giant arena structure. In addition to the heroes seen earlier, the other heroes present include Nighthawk, Angel, Hercules, Havok, Brother Voodoo, Werewolf By Night, She-Hulk, Texas Twister, Falcon, Ant- Man, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Doctor Druid, Mockingbird, Iceman, Gargoyle, Black Widow and Hawkeye. All are recoiling in confusion at the bizarre mass abduction.

Thor questions his friend Ikaris about what's going on, but neither of them knows. Rom the Spaceknight introduces himself to the similarly metallic Jocasta. Shaman notices that all those present are capable of communicating with each other despite their varied languages. Wolverine reacts apprehensively at the presence of Alpha Flight, but Vindicator assures him that the Alphans are as mystified as all the others. Sasquatch meets Beast, and neither is impressed. The Living Mummy shambles by in the background. Iron Man questions Vanguard and Crimson Dynamo about their location to no avail. Shamrock and Captain Britain eye each other warily on account of their home countries' mutual enmity. Iceman and Darkstar catch up on old times, specifically their past membership in the Champions and their abortive romance. While the Shroud looks on, the Vision and Machine Man compare notes on how mechanical beings are outcasts even in an assemblage as exotic as this.

Ursa Major asks Colossus why he does not use his mutant powers in the service of the USSR. As his teammate Sprite (Kitty Pryde) looks on, Colossus replies that he can better serve Russia by serving the world as an X-Man. The Texas Twister nonchalantly lights a cigar in the background. The Torpedo, Night Rider and others pass by while Black Panther tells Captain America of how he was spirited away from Wakanda. Spider-Woman chats with Spider-Man while Son of Satan compares notes with Doctor Druid. The Black Knight and the Arabian Knight compare their respective magical swords, prompting Defensor to show off his shield. Stingray and Triton meet their mutual friend Namor, who says he will consult Doctor Strange to see what is going on.

The Thing introduces the Human Torch to Quasar while the original Defenders-- Hulk, Namor and Doctor Strange--huddle to no avail; Strange has no explanation for their kidnapping. Moondragon and Professor Xavier's mental powers reveal that the arena structure is orbiting Earth in outer space, but they cannot determine the identity of their abductor. As the heroes mill about in bewilderment, Professor X senses a "vast intelligence" drawing nearer. That intelligence then reveals itself as the Grandmaster, an Elder of the Universe and cosmic gamesman who has employed Earth's heroes as pawns in his games many times over; with him is a hooded, purple-robed figure. As the assembled heroes-- including Tamara, Whizzer, 3-D Man and a female Captain Universe--listen, the Grandmaster explains who he is and why they are all here: the heroes have been abducted to participate in a tournament of champions; to ensure their cooperation, the Grandmaster has paralysed all the remaining people on! earth and will not release them until the tournament is complete. The contestants will battle each other around the world in the search for four quarters of "the Gleaming Golden Globe of Life." Whichever team amasses the most segments of the globe will win. If Grandmaster's team wins, his opponent will restore Grandmaster's fellow Elder, the Collector, to life (as Grandmaster explains, the Collector was slain by the man-god Korvac); if Grandmaster loses, he will forfeit his own life to his mysterious opponent. The Grandmaster's shadowy adversary then explains that they will use only human pawns, not heroes from other worlds or from non-human races such as the Inhumans, Atlanteans, Eternals and gods. This, she explains, is to ensure a level playing field of sorts.

As Tigra and the other heroes look on, Grandmaster and his opponent--whom he refers to as the Unknown--begin choosing their champions. As incentive, the Grandmaster promises his champions that he will never again use earthmen as his pawns if they win this game for him. The Unknown counters by offering to extend the life of the Earth's sun by a million years if her pawns win the game. Before long, each player has picked twelve pawns. Grandmaster's team consists of Captain America, Talisman, Darkstar, Captain Britain, Wolverine, Defensor, Sasquatch, Daredevil, Peregrine, She-Hulk, Thing and Blitzkrieg. The Unknown's pawns are Iron Man, Vanguard, Iron Fist, Shamrock, Storm, Arabian Knight, Sabra, Invisible Girl, Angel, Black Panther, Sunfire and Collective Man.

The Unknown produces the aforementioned golden globe of life and divides it into four segments, hiding them in the four corners of the world. The pawns will have to search out the pieces and battle for their possession. The pawns are then teleported back to Earth. As the remaining heroes--including Makkari, Blue Shield, Paladin, Captain Ultra, Guardsman and Firebird--watch in helpless frustration, the Grandmaster and the Unknown explain that the tournament will conclude in one hour when the heroes return. If they do not complete the tournament and return in one hour, Earth will remain in suspended animation for all eternity.

Beginning in this issue, Marvel prints its first-ever attempt at a complete list of all its then-active heroic characters. The first section of the list includes 63 characters from Acroyear to Karnak. 


Marvel Super-Heroes Contest of Champions 2 (July, 1982)
Michele Wolfman and Christie Scheele color this issue, and Bob Layton is absent from the credits this time; otherwise, the creative team remains unchanged since the last issue.

After a one-page recap of issue 1, we skip straight to...
Chapter 2, First Contest: "Frenzy in the Frozen North"

The first contest takes place at the North Pole, where the Grandmaster's Daredevil, Darkstar and Talisman face the Unknown's Invisible Girl, Iron Fist and Sunfire. Sunfire flies off alone, determined to find the prize himself. Meanwhile, Iron Fist and Invisible Girl exchange greetings and set off in search of the prize together. Darkstar introduces herself to Daredevil, whom she recognizes from American media reports, and Daredevil is taken aback by the raw power she exudes. Daredevil has heard of Darkstar from their mutual friend, the Black Widow. Talisman introduces himself to the others as an aboriginal Australian hero, a shaman who communes with the Alterjinga or Dream-Time.

The introductions concluded, Darkstar flies off to cover Sunfire while Daredevil and Talisman seek the prize with their respective extrasensory powers. Darkstar engages Sunfire in an aerial dogfight, prompting Iron Fist to join the battle, though Invisible Girl suggets--in vain--that they shadow Daredevil in case he finds the prize. Irritated at the others' indifference to teamwork, Invisible Girl reluctantly sets out on her own to ambush Talisman. Talisman is searching for the prize in his intangible "dream form", but he returns to his physical body in time to confront the Invisible Girl. He whirls his tjurunga or bull-roarer, plunging them both into the surreal realm of dream- time and distorting the Invisible Girl's perceptions. Iron Fist confronts Daredevil and they fight. Darkstar and Sunfire battle to a standstill, damaging the surrounding ice and disrupting Talisman's spell enough for Invisible Girl to come to her senses. She creates a force field to screen out Talism! an's influence while Talisman himself is forced by the cracking ice surface to retreat. Meanwhile, Iron Fist is downed by the same fracturing ice and Daredevil, given a breather, gets a fix on the prize with his radar sense. It is afloat in the water nearby. In seconds, all the combatants are converging on the prize. Talisman plunges them all into dream-time, disorienting friend and foe alike while he makes his way to the prize. Invisible Girl and Daredevil are closer, though; Invisible Girl's previous experience with Talisman's power allows her to resist it to some degree, but Daredevil's radar sense gives him a comparable advantage which he uses to snag the prize with his billy club. The first contest goes to the Grandmaster.

Chapter 3, Second Contest: "Ghost Town Showdown!"
The Unknown's pawns- -Arabian Knight, Iron Man and Sabra--confront the Grandmaster's pawns--Captain Britain, Defensor and She-Hulk--in an old western ghost town. The Unknown's pawns introduce themselves to each other, and Iron Man disapprovingly notes the animosity between Arabian Knight and Sabra as the champions of an Arab nation and Israel, respectively. Sabra and Arabian Knight, both unmoved by Iron Man's words, each fly off alone to find the prize; Iron Man is glad to be rid of his bickering teammates and begins searching on foot. Meanwhile, the Unknown's pawns introduce themselves to each other. Defensor presents himself as Gabriel Carlos Dantes Sepulveda, AKA Defensor, kissing She-Hulk's hand and offering to safeguard her. She leaps off in a huff and Captain Britain decides that he might as well set out alone, too. Defensor sets out on foot, muttering about the hot-tempered anglos.

She-Hulk flattens the Arabian Knight and attacks Sabra. Defensor attacks Iron Man. Captain Britain attacks the recovering Arabian Knight, pitting his star-sceptre against the Knight's scimitar. She-Hulk knocks Sabra out of the sky, and the Arabian Knight saves her with his flying carpet. Sabra is furious at being rescued by her hated teammate, and her ire distracts the Knight long enough for Captain Britan to smack him on the head. Britain then turns to Sabra, but she easily dodges his overconfident attack and plucks away his star- sceptre, sending him plunging to the ground. Iron Man smashes his opponent through a wall at the same time, and the hapless Defensor collides with the falling Captain Britain. With Britain unconscious and Defensor dazed, Iron Man homes in on the prize with his sensors and confronts She-Hulk at the scene. Though professing a chivalrous reluctance to fight her, Iron Man quickly downs She-Hulk with a repulsor blast. While he examines her to be sure s! he's uninjured, the Arabian Knight slips in and grabs the prize from its hiding place in a blacksmith's forge. The second contest goes to the Unknown.

The complete 1982 list of Marvel's heroic characters continues in this issue with 73 more characters, from Karkas to Vision.


Marvel Super-Heroes Contest of Champions 3 (August, 1982)
Chapter 4, Third Contest: "Siege in the City of the Dead"
Don Warfield and Carl Gafford color this issue; otherwise, the credits are the same as last issue.

The Unknown's pawns--Vanguard, Angel and Black Panther--face the Grandmaster's pawns--Wolverine, Thing and Peregrine--in China. Peregrine introduces himself to his teammates as the winged champion of truth, justice and the French flag. Thing recognizes Wolverine as "one of those new X-Men." The Thing himself seems to need no introduction. The three split up in search of the prize while the other team make their introductions. Angel and Black Panther greet each other quite cordially, commenting on their respective histories with the Avengers and the X-Men. Vanguard declares himself the best man to lead their group effort, but Angel voices a preference for the Black Panther's leadership experience. The Panther himself says they are all capable of leadership and that appointing a single leader is not necessary. Vanguard reluctantly agrees and starts outlining an assault against their foes, but the Panther suggests they may find their prize through non-confrontational stealth. ! Vanguard scoffs at that idea and orders Angel to do an aerial recon, but Angel has already flown off to do just that. When Vanguard turns back to the Black Panther, the Panther has already bounded out of sight.

Black Panther comes across an archaeological site housing hundreds of ceramic warriors; exploring it in search of the prize, he narrowly dodges an attack by Wolverine, who extends his claws. Angel encounters Le Peregrine, who is thrilled to meet the famous Angel and proceeds to pummel him with martial arts moves. Vanguard repels the attacking Thing while Wolverine and the Black Panther spar, and the Panther is shocked that Wolverine actually seems prepared to kill him. Angel, realizing he must out-think Peregrine to win, feigns retreat while snatching a staff from a nearby Chinese peasant. When the boastful, overconfident Peregrine flies too close in pursuit, Angel attacks him with the staff and wins the short struggle that follows. The Thing, meanwhile, kayos Vanguard and tries to call off Wolverine. The Black Panther uses this distraction to flip Wolverine away, and the Thing scorns the murderously obnoxious Wolverine. Before the argument can continue, though, Wolverine a! nd Black Panther both catch wind of an alien scent. The Panther uses that scent to pinpoint the prize and the Thing uses his strength to dig the prize out of the ground. The third contest goes to the Grandmaster.

Chapter 5, Fourth Contest: "Struggle in the Jungle!"

The Unknown's pawns--Storm, Shamrock and Collective Man--face the Grandmaster's pawns--Captain America, Sasquatch and Blitzkrieg--in a South American equatorial jungle. The Grandmaster's pawns introduce themselves to each other and then split up, though Cap regrets this approach's lack of teamwork. The Unknown's pawns introduce themselves to each other and the Collective Man reveals himself to be five men, the merged Tao-Yu quintuplets; as a merged being, they become a man with the strength and abilities of five men, plus the power to draw on the collective energy of China's citizenry. Splitting into his five selves to search the jungle more effectively, the Collective Man departs while Shamrock and Storm go off in two other directions. Storm spars with Blitzkrieg, eventually knocking him out of the sky. Shamrock's agility and probability-altering "good luck" power allow her to outfight Captain America. Collective Man is overpowered by Sasquatch but draws on the collective ! strength of the Chinese people to hurl Sasquatch away with one titanic effort that renders the victorious Collective Man unconscious. Captain America and Blitzkrieg then join forces to seek the prize, which Blitzkrieg unearths using an electrical vortex. Before Captain America can grab the prize, though, Shamrock is lucky enough to grab it and wins the contest for the Unknown.

That ties the championship at two contests apiece, but the text makes a major error here and declares the Grandmaster the victor by a score of three to one. The writers and/or editors miscounted somewhere along the line.

Chapter 6, "Winner Takes None!"

Arabian Knight, Daredevil, Shamrock, Thing and the other heroes return to the arena with the prizes, the four quarters of the Golden Globe of Life. The Grandmaster and the Unknown are there to receive them, as are Earth's other heroes--including Blue Shield, American Eagle, Shooting Star and Union Jack. The Grandmaster congratulates his victorious pawns, vowing that he will never manipulate earthlings again. He then merges the segments of the Golden Globe, eager to resurrect the Collector.

Earth's heroes, suspicious of the Unknown's motives and the potential consequences of this bargain, look on anxiously--and one of the heroes acts: Talisman uses his bull-roarer to plunge the room into dream-time and then directs Invisible Girl to unmask the Unknown, assuring Invisible Girl that the same strength of will which protected her from the effects of dream-time will preserve her sanity when she confronts the Unknown. Suppressing an instinctive fear of the Unknown, the Invisible Girl pulls back the mysterious adversary's hood--and reveals the skull-faced grin of Death herself, the personification of death.

Grandmaster says he knew full well who his opponent was, but Death then reveals something that Grandmaster didn't know: the golden globe requires a comparable life-force to restore another's life. To resurrect the Collector, the Grandmaster must sacrifice himself. Unable to turn away from the game and unwilling to break his own rules by sacrificing the heroes in his stead, Grandmaster allows himself to die--and through the globe's power, the Collector lives again. Outraged at the Grandmaster's demise, Collector vows to force Death to restore the Grandmaster. Death says the Collector would fail in such an effort, but offers to play a game for the Grandmaster's life. The two depart to discuss this and the heroes are returned to Earth, their world restored to normal.

The Avengers, specifically, return to their workout--where the Beast avoids a likely trouncing by pointing out that they've been gone for almost an hour, and as such he has already eluded them for well over a minute. The seven Avengers then fall solemnly silent, pondering the Grandmaster's fate.

The 1982 list of Marvel's heroic characters concludes in this issue with Wasp, Werewolf, Wolverine and Wonder Man, for a total of 140 active heroes in all. This is followed by a list of 35 inactive heroes, from Banshee to Yellowjacket; a list of 21 deceased heroes, from Adam Warlock to Zuras; and two short lists (no info apart from group affiliations) of heroes from other worlds and other times, and quasi-heroic characters such as supporting stars and vigilantes.


Heroes Featured in Contest of Champions:
Ajak, American Eagle [III], Angel [III], Ant-Man [II], Arabian Knight, Aurora, Beast, Black Bolt, Black Knight [III], Black Panther, Black Widow [II], Blitzkrieg, Blue Shield, Brother Voodoo, Captain America, Captain Britain, Captain Ultra, Captain Universe, Collective Man, Colossus, Crimson Dynamo [V], Crystal, Cyclops, Daredevil, Darkstar, Dazzler, Defensor, Devil-Slayer, Doc Samson, Doctor Druid, Doctor Strange, Falcon [II], Firebird, Gargoyle [II], Gorgon, Guardsman [II], Havok, Hawkeye, Hellcat, Hercules, Hulk [II], Human Torch [II], Iceman, Ikaris, Invisible Girl, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Jack of Hearts, Jocasta, Ka-Zar, Karnak, Living Mummy, Lobo, Machine Man, Makkari, Medusa, Mister Fantastic, Mockingbird, Moon Knight, Moondragon, Night Rider [IV], Nightcrawler, Nighthawk [II], Northstar, Paladin, Peregrine, Power Man [II], Professor X, Quasar [III], Quicksilver, Red Wolf [III], Rom, Sabra, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Sersi, Sh! aman, Shamrock, Shanna the She-Devil, She-Hulk, Shooting Star, Shroud, Snowbird, Son of Satan, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Sprite [II], Stingray, Storm, Sub-Mariner, Sunfire, Talisman, Tamara, Texas Twister, Thing, Thor, Tigra, 3-D Man, Torpedo [III], Triton, Union Jack [III], Ursa Major, Valinor, Valkyrie, Vanguard, Vindicator, Vision [II], Wasp, Werewolf by Night, Whizzer, Wolverine, Wonder Man.

Other Characters:
Collector, Death, Grandmaster, Gypsy Moth, Red Ghost.


Where Are They Now?

Ajak, Arabian Knight, Blitzkrieg, Colossus, Defensor, Doctor Druid (a past member of the Avengers), Lobo, Mockingbird (killed in action while serving as a member of the Avengers), Tamara, Torpedo [III] and Whizzer (an honorary Avenger) are all seemingly deceased. Ajak died battling rogue scientist Professor Damian. Arabian Knight was accidentally killed by the mutant menace Humus Sapien. Blitkrieg and Defensor were murdered by the serial killer Zeitgeist. Colossus sacrificed his life to create a cure for the deadly Legacy Virus. Doctor Druid became an amoral monster in the course of a quest to augment his own powers, and threatened to disrupt all reality before he was murdered by Hellstorm and Nekra. Lobo died battling the Bengal. Mockingbird was murdered by the demon lord Mephisto, and her spirit is currently trapped in the eternal combat of his Arena of Tainted Souls. Torpedo was murdered by his foremost foes, the Dire Wraiths, but his armor has since been adopted by the ! young adventurer Turbo. The Whizzer died in battle with his old foe Isbisa.

Guardsman [II] (Michael O'Brien), Rom, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) and 3-D Man all retired from super-heroics, though the 3-D Man later merged with Delroy Garrett to create the new super-being Triathlon, who became a member of the Avengers. For a time, Michael O'Brien served as security chief for the Avengers. Jessica Drew (who once declined an offer of Avengers membership in her former guise as Spider-Woman) now operates as a private investigator.

American Eagle [III], Ant-Man [II] (a longtime ally of the Avengers who has declined offers of Avengers membership), Aurora, Black Bolt, Blue Shield (an Avengers ally and rejected membership applicant), Brother Voodoo, Captain Britain, Captain Ultra, Captain Universe, Collective Man, Crimson Dynamo [V] (now known as Airstrike), Darkstar, Dazzler (an Avengers ally who declined offers of Avengers membership), Devil-Slayer, Gargoyle [II], Gorgon, Ikaris, Iron Fist, Jocasta (an honorary member of the Avengers), Karnak, Ka-Zar, Living Mummy, Machine Man (a former member of the Avengers), Makkari, Medusa, Moon Knight (a former member of the Avengers), Night Rider [IV] (now known as Phantom Rider [IV]), Northstar, Paladin (an occasional Avengers ally), Peregrine, Power Man [II], Red Wolf [III] (another occasional Avengers ally), Sabra, Sasquatch, Shaman, Shamrock, Shanna the She-Devil, Shooting Star, Shroud (an Avengers ally who declined an offer of membership), Snowbird, Son of S! atan (now known as Hellstorm), Sunfire, Talisman, Texas Twister, Triton, Union Jack [III], Ursa Major, Valinor, Valkyrie, Vanguard, Vindicator and Werewolf by Night are active adventurers who do not appear regularly in any particular comic. Son of Satan, now Hellstorm, has actually evolved into more of a villain than a hero over time, and is now the master of one of Marvel's hell realms.

Angel [III] (now known as Archangel), Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sprite [II] (now known as Shadowcat), Storm and Wolverine are all characters affiliated with the X-Men, appearing in the various ongoing series featuring that team (such as Uncanny X-Men, New X-Men, X-Treme X-Men and X-Men Unlimited). Past X-Men such as Havok and Sunfire appear on a less regular basis. Wolverine also appears in his own ongoing series. Beast is an inactive member of the Avengers, while Archangel and Iceman have declined offers of Avengers membership more than once over the years. There is also an alternate reality version of the X-Men (including a still-living Colossus) appearing regularly in the Ultimate X-Men ongoing series, and other alternate versions of the team appear in the X-Men: Evolution TV series and the current series of X- Men movies.

Beast, Black Knight [III], Black Panther, Black Widow [II], Captain America, Crystal, Falcon [II], Firebird, Hawkeye, Hellcat, Hercules, Iron Man, Jack of Hearts, Moondragon, Quasar [III], Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Sersi, She-Hulk, Stingray, Sub-Mariner, Thor, Tigra, Vision [II], Wasp and Wonder Man are all affiliated with the Avengers, though some of those characters do not currently appear with the team on a regular or frequent basis (recurring members in recent Avengers storylines have included Black Knight [III], Black Widow [II], Captain America, Firebird, Hercules, Iron Man, Jack of Hearts, Quasar [III], Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Stingray, Thor, Vision [II], Wasp and Wonder Man, plus various characters not featured in Contest of Champions). Avengers members Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man and Thor also appear in their own ongoing solo comics, which sometimes feature other Avengers in supporting roles (for instance, Black Widow and Jocasta are oc! casional allies to Iron Man, Falcon is an occasional ally to Captain America and so on).

Doctor Strange, Hellcat (an inactive member of the Avengers), Hulk [II] (a former founding member of the Avengers), Nighthawk [II], Silver Surfer (who once rejected an offer of Avengers membership) and Sub-Mariner (another inactive member of the Avengers) all appear regularly as members of the Defenders in that team's ongoing series.

Hawkeye became the leader of an outlaw super-team called the Thunderbolts and has been appearing in their ongoing series since then, though he is currently separated from his team during a long-term storyline that saw him placed in federal custody before escaping and becoming a fugitive.

Daredevil (a longtime Avengers ally who has declined offers of membership) and the Hulk (a former founding Avenger) each star in their own ongoing series. The Hulk series sometimes features Doc Samson (another hero who declined Avengers membership) as a supporting character. Spider-Man (a former Avenger) has starred in several ongoing solo series in recent years, in addition to various mini-series, specials and so forth; he has also starred in several versions of his own animated series, and will soon star in a feature film.

Invisible Girl (now known as the Invisible Woman), Human Torch [II], Mister Fantastic and Thing are active members of the Fantastic Four and appear in that team's ongoing series. Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic and Thing are also all former members of the Avengers.

In summary, many of the Contest of Champions characters are featured in a variety of ongoing series (Avengers, Black Panther, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, Defenders, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Marvel Knights, New X-Men, Thor, Thunderbolts, Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, X-Treme X-Men and X-Men Unlimited) as well as various limited series, one-shots and book projects.