14 Things You Didn’t Know About The Grandmaster From The Comics
The Grandmaster is everyone's favorite Elder of the Universe these days thanks to Jeff Goldblum's appearance as the character in Thor: Ragnarok. But what do you really know about the Grandmaster in his original Marvel Comics form? The game-obsessed Elder has been around for over 50 years, and most Marvel fans know him as the mastermind behind events like Contest of Champions or JLA/Avengers - in other words, he came up with an excuse for fan-favorite heroes to throw down against each other.
But there is more to the Grandmaster than just games. Well, kind of. Do you know what the Grandmaster's real name is? Did you know he has a daughter who has become an ally to the Avengers? Did you know he created the Squadron Sinister? If you mostly know the Grandmaster thanks to Goldblum's bizarre turn in the MCU, scroll down to learn some interesting factoids about the bluest, most immortal Elder around.
The Grandmaster's Real Name Is Not 'Grandmaster'
As much as we'd love to have learned his birth certificate actually had "The Grandmaster" written on it, that just isn't the case. The guy's real name is not "The Grandmaster," it's En Dwi Gast - just as Steve Rogers and T'Challa go by "Captain America" and "Black Panther," respectively. This is not a Vision situation where a character's costumed moniker is the same as their true name. He chose "The Grandmaster" because he's obsessed with games. It's that simple.
How you actually pronounce "En Dwi Gast" is anyone's guess since the cosmic being predates both the English language and Earth itself. But wondering why the vast majority of the Marvel Universe's cosmic beings and aliens speak and/or understand English opens up a can of worms that might hurt your brain to think about. The guy's name is En Dwi Gast and that is that. No further questions.
He Is Immortal And Has A Host Of Superhuman Abilities
Knowing the Grandmaster has lived essentially since the dawn of time, it's safe to assume you've figured out the guy is basically immortal. However, you probably didn't know he also has a host of superhuman abilities thanks to the Power Primordial. All of the Elders of the Universe have harnessed the energy of the Power Primordial, which has been around since the Big Bang, to give themselves all kinds of powers.
The Grandmaster has used the Power Primordial to level himself in almost every regard. The guy has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability. He is one of the smartest beings in existence, possessing psionic powers, including telepathy and telekinesis, as well as energy manipulation powers. Let's put it this way: Thank goodness he has devoted himself to games instead of something like "conquering" or "galactic domination."
He Was Introduced Way Back In 1969's 'Avengers' #69
The Grandmaster has become a bit more of a Marvel mainstay in recent years, owing to his supporting role in the MCU blockbuster Thor: Ragnarok and his many appearances in modern Marvel Comics series, from 2016's Contest of Champions and 2017's All-New Guardians of the Galaxy to 2018's Avengers and 2019's Shatterstar miniseries. The Grandmaster has been around for a while, though.
En Dwi Gast was first introduced way back in 1969's Avengers #69 when he challenged Kang the Conqueror to... wait for it... a game! The Grandmaster spent the next 15 years being sparingly used by the creative minds at Marvel until writer Steve Englehart began fleshing out and using the Elders of the Universe in the third volume of the Silver Surfer solo series. Since then, the game-obsessed Elder has been a more steady presence in the comics.
He Is An Elder Of The Universe
The Grandmaster is a member of the enigmatic group known as the Elders of the Universe. Defining this group of cosmic aliens is harder than you'd think, as their origins are supposedly lost to time. Yes, they are so old, they have outlived their original galaxies. Don't go nuts trying to think about the amount of time it takes for a galaxy to expire and how these goobers could outlive every member of their respective races and escape their original, dying galaxies. That is just how comic books work.
The Grandmaster and the Collector are perhaps the most well-known Elders thanks to their inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Jeff Goldblum and Benicio del Toro, respectively. There are numerous other members of the Elders, from the Runner to the Caregiver. At one point, six of the Elders held the Infinity Stones before Thanos collected them into the Infinity Gauntlet during, you guessed it, 1991's Infinity Gauntlet event, which served as an inspiration for Avengers: Infinity War.
He Can Travel The Multiverse On A Whim
According to the Grandmaster's official "In Comics Profile" page on Marvel's website, the blue-skinned Elder of the Universe "possesses near-omnipotent power and immortality across all of reality, allowing him to travel through time, space, and dimensions." That means good old En Dwi Gast can pretty much go wherever (and whenever) he wants throughout the Marvel multiverse. As if being hyper-intelligent, nearly all-powerful, and immortal wasn't good enough...
This power is how the Grandmaster discovered the Squadron Supreme of Earth-712, inspiring him to create his own version of the team, the Squadron Sinister. It was how he was able to challenge Krona to a multidimensional game in JLA/Avengers. It was also how he traveled to Earth-93060 to challenge Nemesis to another game involving the Avengers, this time against UltraForce. All this untold power and he uses it for games. Go figure.
For A Time, He Possessed One Of The Infinity Stones
You know about the Infinity Stones, don't you? Well... you're reading about a comic book character, and Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame were two of the biggest box office hits of all time, so we'll just assume you do know what the Infinity Stones are. For a hot minute, the Grandmaster had control of the Mind Stone (AKA the Mind Gem, in some circles). The Mind Stone grants its user psionic powers like telepathy - pretty powerful piece of equipment right there.
Before the events of The Infinity Gauntlet, the Grandmaster and Thanos played a game for control of not only the Mind Stone, but all the Infinity Stones Thanos had collected up to that point. Alas, both men cheated in order to gain the universe's ultimate power, but Thanos ended up cheating just a little bit better than the Grandmaster (it involved a robot version of himself) and walked away with all six Stones. The Grandmaster may be great at games, but in his eons upon eons of existence, he apparently hasn't quite mastered the art of cheating.