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The Grandmaster(pop culture)
The ultimate “high roller,” En Dwi Gast, the Grandmaster, is an alien humanoid who possesses the dangerous combination of vast, godlike powers and an addiction to gambling. Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Sal Buscema in Marvel's The Avengers vol. 1 #69 (1969), the Grandmaster is willing to wager the lives of billions, including his own, in one of his cosmic games of chance. Like the Collector, the Grandmaster is one of the Elders of the Universe, and hence one of the oldest beings in the Marvel Universe. The Grandmaster belongs to one of the first intelligent races that evolved after the Big Bang. Whereas the rest of his race became extinct ages ago, the Grandmaster somehow became virtually immortal. His extraordinary psionic powers enable him to mentally manipulate and transform matter on a planetary scale. Among his many powers, he possesses superhuman intelligence, can psionically transport himself through time and space, and project bolts of energy. He also holds a limited power over life and death, and can resurrect a mortal who has been dead for a brief time. Like his fellow Elders, the Grandmaster has devoted himself to a particular specialty: in his case, he has become obsessed with games and gambling. In Avengers #69–#71 the Grandmaster engaged in a game with Kang the Conqueror; if Kang lost, the Grandmaster would destroy Earth. The Grandmaster used the Squadron Sinister, a team he had created, as his champions in the game. However, Kang forcibly enlisted the Avengers to compete for him, and they won the game. In the DC/Marvel crossover series JLA/Avengers (2003–2004) the Grandmaster challenged the Green Lantern Corps' enemy Krona to a game involving both superteams to prevent him from destroying the Marvel Universe. The Avengers and Justice League thwarted Krona. Yet the final page revealed that the Grandmaster had imperiled the Marvel and DC Universes in the first place by agreeing to play a game with the New God Metron, who used Krona as a pawn. The Grandmaster is thus willing to risk the end of two entire universes for the sake of a bet.