There were many breakout stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2017, but perhaps the greatest of them all was The Grandmaster, Jeff Goldblum’s character in Thor: Ragnarok. Along with Benecio Del Toro’s The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, The Grandmaster is one of the Elders of the Marvel Universe, a group of uber-old and uber-powerful characters who can trace their origins back to the earliest days of Marvel’s fictional comic book multiverse. In general, if readers encounter the Elders of the Universe while reading a Marvel comic, they know some serious cosmic happenings are about to go down. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you're rewatching all your favorite MCU movies on Disney+.
With a few exceptions, Marvel’s Elders of the Universe all carry official titles that act as one-word descriptors of their purpose in life. The Collector lives to collect things, The Grandmaster enjoys organizing large competitions, and The Runner, well, runs. However, this doesn’t mean that the Elders are boring, one-note characters. Each of them has a rich comic book background that has seen them take center stage for some of the biggest events in Marvel history.