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Legendary Focus: The Champion of the Universe

You know you’re living in strange times when we’re getting actual Elders of the Universe on the big screen.

If you’ve seen the recent teaser trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, then you know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is adding yet another fabled cosmic character to their ranks. Joining Benicio Del Toro’s take on the Collector is Jeff Goldblum’s Grandmaster. While that’s nuts, and I’d like for that to translate into (comic-styled) figures for both of them, there’s another Elder of the Universe that I’ve … championed … in several top ten lists.

The Champion. The Champion of the Universe.

The Champion debuted in Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7, where he kidnapped some of the strongest beings on the planet and forced them into participating in a boxing match. The fate of the world, of course, lay in the balance, because the fate of the world doesn’t have much else to do but lay in the balance. Despite the power of those gathered — heroes such as Thor, Hulk, Sasquatch, Colossus and Wonder Man — the Champion is one of the most powerful beings in existence, so the fights were still as uneven as a bout between Ivan Drago and Louis Tully.

The comic itself is on a short list as one of my favorite single issues ever. It brought together all the things I loved most into a single issue — the strong guys of various teams — and then went bananas on the concept. If Thor wearing boxing gloves yet still holding onto Mjolnir isn’t a concept that makes you nod your head in appreciation, then I just don’t know what to tell you. I say good day to you!

Being an Elder, and possessed of “the Power Primordial,” which is essentially the residual energies of the Big Bang, the Champion spent eons honing his left jab. He really has no other hobby, so his entire schtick is setting up boxing matches so he can pummel the bejeebus out of anybody brave enough to step into the ring with him, which sounds a lot like Mike Tyson in the late ’80s.

The Champion has been featured in several stories since his debut, and has occasionally been misused in a handful by writers who don’t really “get” the character. Truthfully, it’s for the best that the Champion has not been used more because he probably should have made exactly one appearance — his best one by far — and then retired.

Of course, saying that, I don’t want to gloss over his appearance in the Thanos Quest, a comic detailing Thanos and his acquisition of the Infinity Gems. The Champion, already mega-powerful, had at some point had acquired the Power Gem, which ratcheted his power levels from “psychotically high” to “infinitely powerful.” Thanos wanted that gem so he would have a full mint-on-card set, and thus was laid on paper a slobberknocker of a fight between Thanos and the Champion, the stuff that comic book erections are made of.

From an action figure standpoint, there is no body type in Hasbro’s current stock that would work for him, so I’ve just screwed my entire case for him. Rats!

But just in case, The Champion is a massive dude, standing 9 feet 2 inches tall and weighing in at over a ton. Unlike people like Juggernaut or the Hulk, his physique is sleek despite his size, so he would need something befitting of that stature. Unlike the recent Thor figures of the Wrecking crew, this is one time where a bigger base body is definitely better, because the entire point of the Champion is to be terrifyingly large compared to normal-sized people. And also, it would need a regular-sized Thing figure to re-enact the climactic fight between the two of them, so the Thing would look even more outmatched by comparison.

7 thoughts on “Legendary Focus: The Champion of the Universe

  1. I just got that MTIO Annual #7 in the other day after years of reading rave reviews about it. Would asking for an Elders of the Universe wave be too much? The Champion has BAF written all over him. Ol’ Tryco Slatterus certainly deserves the treatment.

  2. 100%! Champion, Grandmaster, and Collector all deserve a spot in the line. I won’t hold out hope for the rest of the Elders – though I’d love them – but those three are needed.

  3. Every word of this article is spilling over with win. Great googly moogly, I’d love to have a Champion fig. Going by the photos, since I don’t yet have him, the Titus BAF looks like he’d be a good fit, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. And Hasbro, once you make this happen, you can feel free to start pumping out the other elders.

  4. A Champion figure would be great. I’m going out on a limb and saying Sylvester Stallone’s cameo in GOTG2 is as Champion.

  5. im more worried about this new black panther not coming out whats taking so damn long!?!?

  6. if nothing else the champion would be perfect as a baf that way he is done plastic justice .

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