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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.

Previous:

The Contest's First Phase

Next:

The Contest's Third Phase

The Contest's Second Phase
War:

Contest of Champions

Location:

Manhattan, Earth-61610

Outcome:

The Red Team wins.
The Grandmaster requests to fight again within the hour, in a six-on-six death match.

Combatants


Commanders


Deaths

None.

None.


"When you know how to listen to the world... the world is eager to tell its secrets. They're close. A few blocks, at most."
"So let's go already. We don't want Sentry having all the fun--'specially since he won't K-I-L-L T-H-E-M--"
"
"Klithem"? What that? Hulk not nerd, big-mouth! Hulk not dig spelling bee!"
"...I think I'll be more effective alone."
Bullseye, Venom, and Hulk[src]

The Contest's Second Phase is a conflict in The Collector and The Grandmaster's Contest of Champions.

Background

Stick's Resurrection

Stick is revived

Stick is revived.

"For the sake of their game--their fool Contest--I had to come back. Out of the deep dark. Out of the nothing and nowhere."
Stick to himself[src]

Following his death, Stick is revived by The Collector and Maestro. However, the resurrection pains The Collector greatly.[1]

Ares' Resurrection

Following the Red Team's victory, The Collector shows off the portion of the Iso-Sphere that he has won. The Collector claims that the Iso-Sphere gives him the power to rival the gods, and to prove it he resurrects Ares. Gamora, tired of The Collector toying with them, tries to fight them, but is held back by Stick. Ares starts a fight between the Red Team and Maestro, but Maestro easily defeats them all. Maestro then tells The Collector to ready the healing crystals, as the Red Team will be fighting the next day.[2]

Iron Man's Removal

The Collector and Maestro fill the Red Team in on the strategy for the impending fight. Iron Man tells Maestro that he's done with the Contest, given that his armor is a wreck and is barely staying on. The Collector tells Iron Man that he is entirely right, and that he is no longer of any use to the immortal. The Collector then seemingly kills Iron Man (though, unbeknownst to the rest of the Red Team, The Collector simply teleported Stark back to his bed).[3]

Battle

Arrival

"And now, since you're all so very eager... I'll send you on your way."
The Collector to the Red Team[src]

Ares promises to Maestro that, if the latter does not select the former to fight in the battle, that he will kill the future Hulk. Sentry had killed Ares years earlier, during the Siege event, and Ares wants to "repay him in kind". Both Maestro and The Collector tell Ares that they would enjoy watching that, before The Collector sends them off to Earth-61610's Manhattan to fight.

Once both teams are in Manhattan, Gamora tells the Red Team that the city is full of hiding places and that the team should do nothing to reveal their position. Ares, however, calls out Sentry's name, in hopes of fighting him. Sentry then flies over, swoops Ares off the ground, and tells him that Ares doesn't need to shout, since Sentry can hear him.[3]

Gamora and Guillotine

"We should move. Immediately."
"Stick, New York is your territory--we'll need you to--Stick?"
"Already gone. So have the Sentry and Ares--for now, at least. And we should follow their example."
"Agreed. We seek our targets from the shadows--and then--"
"--We kill them."
"Your sword... spoke."
"You hear it, then? Not many can. It talks to me constantly--whispering in my head. And sometimes... sometimes I listen."
Gamora, Guillotine, and La Fleur du Mal[src]

Stick apparently leaves the group as soon as the fight starts. However, Guillotine fails to notice, and when Gamora says the two should move, Guillotine tries to tell Stick that New York is his territory and that they would need him. Gamora notes that Stick is already gone, as are Sentry and Ares, and that the two should follow their example. Guillotine says that they should "seek [their] targets from the shadows", and La Fleur du Mal finishes that they should be killed. To Guillotine's surprise, Gamora hears La Fleur du Mal speak. Guillotine tells Gamora of how the sword is constantly talking to her, and that sometimes she listens.

Elsewhere, the three remaining members of the Yellow Team are gathered. Bullseye tells her teammates that the Red Team is close, and Venom says that they should just go already, since he doesn't want Sentry "having all the fun", especially since he won't kill the Red Team. Since Venom spelled out "KILL THEM", Hulk fails to grasp this. Bullseye then says that she'll be more effective alone, telling the two that they can find their own path. Hulk says that he "not need chick to help Hulk rumble" and that no one tells him what to do. Hulk then goes on about how he hates being told what to do. Venom then tells Hulk that he may have an idea.[3]

Venom-Hulk

"Venom... SMASH!"
Venom-Hulk[src]

Gamora smells the Venom Symbiote, and goes out on her own to fight Venom once more, since the two are "a bigger target" if they stick together. However, as soon as Gamora leaves, Guillotine is ambushed by Bullseye; Bullseye fails to kill Guillotine, since La Fleur du Mal warns Guillotine of the impending danger. Bullseye says that her strike should have severed Guillotine's spine. Bullseye recognizes the blood-red hood and the demon sword (and thus recognizing her opponent as a Guillotine), since she killed a past Guillotine (presumably Alexis Sauvage).

As Gamora is running around looking for Venom, Eddie Brock (the Venom Symbiote's human host) calls her down. Gamora recognizes her as the Venom "[she] thought [she] slew". Eddie tells her that it "wasn't agonizing at all" before telling "Pete" that he is being sarcastic. When Gamora asks where the symbiote is, she is attacked by Hulk... with the Venom Symbiote attached.[3]

Stick Saves Guillotine

"You see, most of your skill... is magic. But me? I'm just good."
Bullseye to Guillotine[src]

Guillotine tells Bullseye that La Fleur du Mal needs blood and that she will give Bullseye's blood to the sword. Bullseye manages to deprive Guillotine of her sword; Bullseye notes that most of Guillotine's power is magic while "[she's] just good", throwing an ace of spades at Guillotine. However, Stick appears and deflects the playing card with his staff before hitting Bullseye with it.

Stick tells Guillotine to move; Guillotine tries to tell Stick that she can help him, but Stick says that he doesn't need it before telling Guillotine that she'll be useful three blocks south, or stay there and get both of them killed. Guillotine leaves, telling Bullseye that "this is far from over"; Bullseye says that "it was over the moment [they] met", and that she will go after Guillotine after she kills Stick.[1]

Sentry and Ares

"Why all this hostility? Were we enemies in your world? What did I ever do to you?"
"You murdered me, monster. You tore me asunder with your bare hands."
"W-What? But--but I have a code against killing--I'd never--"
"So you say. But I've seen your other face, demon. I know who you truly are."
Sentry and Ares[src]

Sentry, having flown Ares to a rooftop, explains that he brought Ares there to talk. He explains that his Sentry-Senses can tell when the two Elders have their eyes on them, and that currently they are not being watched, so now they have a window to talk to each other. Ares then shouts that he will beat up Sentry. Sentry, confused, asks why Ares is being so hostile to him. Ares explains that Sentry killed him, but Sentry says that he has a code against killing. Ares tells Sentry that he has seen Sentry's "other face", and that Ares knows who Sentry truly is.

Sentry, still confused, says that he has always been the Sentry and that Emmerick is dead. When Ares asks who Emmerick is, Sentry tells him "no one", before shouting that "[he's] not the Void". When Ares asks who mentioned the Void, Sentry punches him in the face, knocking Ares out.[1]

Stick Fights Bullseye

"Getting rough out there. You know, there's ways we can walk away from this..."
"Don't lie to me, Stick. Once someone falls away from your perfect path of enlightenment, there's no coming back. You taught me that--"
"Not me... some other me. From some other world--where I'd be dumb enough to let you live."
Stick and Bullseye[src]

Stick (unsuccessfully) tries to get Bullseye to retreat, but Bullseye sees through his ploy and tries to attack him. Bullseye explains that she killed the Daredevil and Foggy Nelson of her timeline before going back to attacking Stick. When Stick swings his bo staff, Bullseye jumps on top of it. Before she can attack him, he grabs hold of her wrists, tilts back, and flips Bullseye onto her back.

Stick tells Bullseye that she should never rely on weapons, either hers or her opponent's. Stick then threatens Bullseye, saying that if she keeps hold of her sais, he will kill her with them; however, if she lets them go, he'll kill her anyway. Before Stick can kill Bullseye, Sentry appears and stops him, saying that no one will die while he's around, and that Stick wouldn't like it if he made Sentry angry.[1]

Gamora's Removal

"Come on, Gamora--on your feet, damn you--"
"She might turn the tables, admittedly. Or...she might just die."
"This is not the time, Summoner--"
"A Guardian of the Galaxy. A friend of the ruler of Spartax. Gone missing. People will look for her, Collector--even here. Prying into your precious Contest. Do you want that?"
"You are dancing on thin ice, Summoner. But... no. We'll send her home."
The Collector and Maestro[src]

Elsewhere, Gamora is being effortlessly beaten by Venom-Hulk. The Collector, watching from the Battlerealm, is angry that she is being beaten so easily. Maestro, however, points out that, since Gamora has gone missing, people will certainly look for Gamora, even in the Battlerealm. Maestro then asks The Collector if he wants that. The Collector tells Maestro that he is dancing on thin ice, but then The Collector sends Gamora home, effectively removing her from the Contest.

The Collector tells Maestro that he is beginning to irk the immortal, and might have to prove himself again. Maestro says that he probably already has, presenting The Collector with an idea for the ideal candidate to vacate Gamora's position on the Red Team: White Fox. However, Maestro is too late, as The Collector has already chosen the fifth Champion; one that is "skilled, driven, and highly collectible".[1]

Guillotine vs. Venom-Hulk

"Now you, monster--"
"No! No blood! Alien! Unclean!"
You--you won't cut him? How am I meant to--"
"Venom-Hulk... kill!"
Guillotine, La Fleur du Mal, and Venom-Hulk[src]

As Eddie Brock speaks to himself, he is hit over the head by the hilt of La Fleur du Mal. Guillotine then tries to fight Venom-Hulk, but La Fleur du Mal deems him "unclean" and refuses to cut him. Venom-Hulk tries to punch Guillotine, but she dodges. When Venom-Hulk tells Guillotine that she cannot dodge him forever, Guillotine tells him there are other ways to beat him.

Guillotine summons the souls of the past Guillotines from La Fleur du Mal. The past Guillotines remove the Venom Symbiote from Hulk, defeating him. Guillotine complains that the technique she just used was "not without cost" and that "someone should pay for it".

Eddie Brock tells her that, without the symbiote, he is powerless. He is then knocked out by Stick, who had somehow defeated Sentry. With all members of the Yellow Team defeated, the Red Team is teleported back to the Battlerealm. Ares asks how Stick defeated Sentry, but Stick tells him that he'll find out when it's time.[1]

Aftermath

The Perfect Fifth Champion

"My opponent, The Grandmaster, has chosen to accelerate things a little. One final all-against-all challenge... that we will win."
The Collector to the Red Team[src]

The Collector welcomes the Red Team back to the Battlerealm, but tells them not to get too comfortable, since they will fight again within the hour. Ares tells the immortal that an army needs time to rest, and The Collector tells them that they can rest in a crystal prison like Outlaw.

When the Red Team refuses, The Collector tells the Red Team that they will be competing in an all-against-all death match (per The Grandmaster's request) that the immortal is confident the Red Team will win. When Guillotine asks how The Collector knows the Red Team will win, Maestro tells them that he will be competing alongside them, as will the new fifth Champion: Night Thrasher.[1]

Appearances

Appearances for The Contest's Second Phase

References

[ve] Comic Book Conflicts
Conflict Deaths
Red Team Yellow Team
The Contest's First Phase Moon-Boy, Agent of HydraDevil Hydrasaur
The Contest's Second Phase
The Contest's Third Phase TBA TBA

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