What the D'ast? Champion of the Universe
(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CosmicBookNews.com. He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)
By Byron Brewer
You gotta love these Elders of the Universe. They could be lonely individuals sitting on small asteroids dribbling all over creation. (They are extremely old, after all.) Instead, they funnel their cosmic consciousness into hobbies or activities that keep them from going mad.
And who has had more success at that than the Champion, also known as the Champion of the Universe?
The Champion (Tryco Slatterus) is an immortal who claims to have been born billions of years ago in the Ancrindo Nebula, in the direction of the Magellanic Clouds. Although he wishes to prove himself the greatest warrior in the universe, he usually does so fairly. He keeps himself busy by fighting powerful warriors throughout the cosmos, and has even fought a number of assorted Earth super-heroes including the Thing, the Hulk, She-Hulk, Colossus, Thor and Wonder Man. Of these, Thor was disqualified for using a weapon (his uru hammer); the Hulk was disqualified because the Champion refused to “soil his hands on a mindless animal;” Wonder Man was disqualified for tearing up the ring after being battered badly in the first round; Sasquatch was knocked out in the first round; and Colossus was defeated by technical knockout in the first round when he was unable to continue fighting. Prince Namor had been previously disqualified for refusing to stoop to training and Doc Samson had been disqualified for not being sufficiently skilled to qualify as an opponent. Alone of all of Earth's heroes, the Thing managed to put up a semblance of fight against the Champion and lasted longer than any previous opponent the Champion had fought.
The Champion is a thoroughly ruthless and cold-blooded individual ever searching for the thrill of battle. When first introduced he was more than willing to annihilate the entire population on Earth unless a fighter would defeat him limited to boxing rules. However, he relented when impressed by the Thing’s ability to give him a challenge. When collaborating with the other Elders, he schemed to destroy the universe to be reborn as new versions of Galactus. In the miniseries Thanos Quest, he killed off an entire planetary population of soldiers just for sport. Later, he assumed leadership of another planet and indifferently set the population to civil war to provoke worthy challengers into seeking him out to put a stop to it.
The Power Primordial sustains the Elders through their very desire and will to continue in pursuing their various interests. If the Champion were to grow disinterested in his pursuits and chose not to continue them, he could potentially die as a result, although since Death decreed no Elder could ever enter her realm this may no longer be true.
Although several billion years old, the Champion is not as intelligent as most other known Elders of the Universe, partially because most have chosen to develop their minds along with their physical bodies. Regardless, he has some familiarity with advanced alien technologies that surpass the understanding of most Earthlings and has been shown as a crafty strategist when not blinded by rage.
I loved all the old stories that would pit the Champion against not only Terran strongpersons, but those of cosmic might as well. His battle with the Silver Surfer is well-remembered. There is nothing like a good slobber-knocker and the Champion usually gives a fantastic accounting of himself, as well as some fun adventure, with every appearance!