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Contest of Champions #2

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You have no idea what you're getting into here![src]

Plot and/or ending details follow. Be cautious, as there are spoilers ahead.

What Is It Good For?
Contest of Champions 2 cover
Information
Release Date: November 4, 2015
Publication Date: January 2016
Editor-in-Chief: Axel Alonso
Cover
Artist(s):
Paco Medina
Writer(s): Al Ewing
Penciler(s): Paco Medina
Inker(s): Juan Vlasco
Colorist(s): David Curiel
Letterer(s): Joe Sabino
Editor(s): Mark Paniccia, Chris Robinson
Previous: Contest of Champions #1
Next: Contest of Champions #3
Discussion: Discuss this comic here.
"Banner can't take your call right now. Please leave your message at the sound of a thousand femurs breaking."
Maestro


What Is It Good For? is the second issue of the Contest of Champions comic book. It was released on November 4, 2015.

Short Summary

Ares is resurrected. When The Collector's team talks about the next phase of the Contest, Ares starts a fight between the Maestro and the Red Team. Meanwhile, White Fox finds more information about the death of Gun-R, and The Grandmaster talks with the Yellow Team's Summoner, Jacob Gallows.

Long Summary

In Elysium, Ares is playing with his son, Phobos, when he hears a sound. He is then attacked by several Summoners. Ares asks who dares to trespass. The Summoners tell Ares that he is summoned. Ares asks if he is, then summons a bolt of lightning, which strikes him and places his combat uniform on him. Ares tells the Summoners that he wishes to extend a summons of his own, and that the Summoners should join him in the grave. Ares easily takes out the Summoners, and he is reminded of the joy he takes in battle. However, as his foes are merely empty shells, he is unsatisfied. Ares hears his son telling him to look out. Ares is then attacked from behind by two Summoners, and complains that paradise seems to have dulled his killing edge and that paradise is lost before being placed into a crystal.

In the Battlerealm, The Collector is showing off the Contest's prize: the Iso-Sphere. The Collector claims that the Iso-Sphere gives him the power to rival the gods, and to prove it (on Maestro's advice) he kidnapped Ares from the afterlife, upon which Ares' crystal appears in the room.

Outlaw asks Iron Man if he said he knew The Collector. Gamora explains that The Collector is one of the Elders of the Universe, immortal monomaniacal beings who devote their endless lives to one specific pursuit; Iron Man adds that, in the case of The Collector, the pursuit in question is collecting sentient beings like they were baseball cards. Iron Man also says that he met "his friend" (Maestro) one time, during a bit of business with Kang and Stark's possible future. Iron Man asks if Maestro is still one of the good guys, to which Maestro replies that Banner can't take his call right now and that Stark should leave his message at the sound of 1,000 femurs breaking, and Maestro cracks his knuckles; Iron Man simply says, "Okay. Wrong Hulk."

Gamora says that she has had enough of this and that The Collector has toyed with sentient beings for the last time, but Stick interrupts her, saying that she can't fight them, and then asks if she thinks nobody has tried to. Stick then says that Guillotine tried (to which she adds that she ended up right back in the crystal, while Stick stood and watched). Stick retorts by saying that he's not an idiot, and that if you fight someone you're not ready to fight, you lose every time; Stick then tells the Red Team to be smart, and "keep it in your damn pants for a change." Gamora says that this is spoken like a coward, but Outlaw interrupts her, pointing to Ares and asking if the latter should be looking at the Red Team.

The Collector says that this is impossible before Ares' crystal starts to crack. Guillotine raises her sword, but Stick tells her to wait; Guillotine says that the Red Team is distracted, but Stick tells her to not be a moron and wait. Ares breaks free from his crystal. The Collector yells at Maestro that, since Maestro picked Ares, Maestro should do something about it. Maestro says that he lives to give before punching Ares in the face. As Maestro beats up Ares, Maestro asks Ares what it is he's god of again; god of black eyes, god of glass jaws, god of first-round knockouts? Ares interrupts him, saying that he's the god of war, then saying that there was no quarter asked, and thus none given, before kicking Maestro in the crotch.

Guillotine, seeing this, raises her sword before being yelled at by Stick to wait. Guillotine says that Maestro kidnapped them and made them fight for their lives, and that now he is vulnerable and will not wait any longer. She attacks him, but not before Maestro summons Captain America's shield. However, La Fleur du Mal, Guillotine's sword, manages to slightly cut through it, prompting Maestro to shout that it was near mint before hitting Guillotine with it.

Outlaw shoots Maestro with one of his "mercy bullets", and Gamora points out that Maestro survived before Outlaw interrupts her by saying that he doesn't have anything lethal anymore but that maybe he can keep Maestro busy. Iron Man says that he and Gamora will handle the rest, and that his new prototype suit doesn't have the new tech he's putting in (also that his fight with Joe Fixit didn't help the suit any), but it still has plenty of the old magic. Maestro throws Captain America's shield at Iron Man, and his shields fail to raise in time to stop it from hitting him. Gamora says that she will attack Maestro now.

Maestro tells the Red Team to imagine a world where Tony Stark created the gamma bomb and became the Iron Hulk. Maestro then tells the Red Team to imagine a world where Maestro killed Iron Hulk and took his armor, then tells the Red Team that it's the world they're in now. Maestro then easily defeats both Gamora and Outlaw, telling Outlaw that he wants a word about Outlaw's lack of lethal weapons and that Maestro didn't bring Outlaw to the Battlerealm to make friends. This leaves just Ares, whom Maestro asks if he wants to finish the fight. Ares tells him not today, and Maestro says Gamora was right in the fact that Ares is a coward. Stick rebukes Maestro, saying that Ares is smart and that Ares is biding his time, waiting to see what Maestro's weaknesses are, and not letting Maestro figure out his.

Stick asks if they are done, to which Maestro replies that they are for now before telling The Collector that the Red Team needs to be healed, for they are fighting in the morning. The Collector tells Maestro that it was a good fight and was very stimulating and that he was right in allowing Maestro to live. Maestro gives his thanks to The Collector before telling him that he's going to his quarters.

In Seoul, South Korea, a team has recovered the body of Gun-R, on the request of White Fox, so that she may find something the investigation didn't. White Fox sniffs Gun-R's mask, only to find that she does not recognize the scent. She states that it is similar to that of the Earth, but that it is of a different Earth. She then states that she thinks Gun-R died in a parallel world, and that if they find that world, they find Gun-R's killer. White Fox then points out that specific components of Gun-R's body are missing, and that he wasn't just torn apart, he was cannibalized, though she doesn't know why.

In Maestro's quarters, Maestro talks to himself about The Collector's comment about his fight being stimulating. Maestro says that he'll ram The Collector's "Summoner" down his throat before calling him a popinjay. He then says that he is the Maestro, and he always calls the tune.

Elsewhere, The Grandmaster says that he is the greatest game-player in all creation, and that he has been playing contests such as this since the stars were young, leading him to question why he only holds a pitiful slice of the Iso-Sphere and why he is losing to his brother. The Grandmaster points out that the Red Team's Summoner, Maestro, has only four players on his team, while The Grandmaster has five; The Grandmaster's team has the advantage, yet they are losing. The Yellow Team's Summoner, Punisher 2099, points out that The Grandmaster's rules say that Maestro can pick ringers for his team, and that he has picked some good ones. The Grandmaster asks Punisher 2099 if he can't, and that he is allowed to pick fighters from any universe, but Punisher 2099 reminds The Grandmaster of an oath he once swore to never again tamper with his home reality (and The Grandmaster notes that to break it risks disqualification). Punisher 2099 says that the two need to ride the Yellow Team harder, and to remind them that failure isn't an option. Punisher 2099 says that the Yellow Team is full of criminals and murderers, and that they're not here to fail—they're here to be punished.

Variant Covers

Trivia

References

Contest of Champions (2015)
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