The Secret Crisis Contest Wars

In 1985, the fourth Invasion of Earth from Mars took place. This revealed to Terrans in general that Martians were really Skrulls. At the same time as this invasion (not at all coincidentally) many of Earth’s heroes and villains were arbitrarily abducted from their normal pursuits to participate in a series of contests apparently initiated by beings of incredible power.

A year before the crisis hit, Eurostar assassinated the Legion of Honor, the premier American superhero team of the time. As far as anyone has been able to tell, there was no actual connection between this event and the Crisis. Sometimes coincidences happen.

First there was the Great Supervillain Contest perpetrated by the alien known as the Crimson Claw. As that attempt to destroy heroes was closed down, teams of mismatched heroes were abducted to extreme areas like ice fields, jungles, deserts, and so forth and forced to compete. Then similar groups of heroes found themselves up against villain teams and the games grew deadlier.

Then the Skrulls invaded.

Finally, several heroes and villains rose above the distractions to realize that a being of immense power from the Anti-Matter Universe (aka Negative Zone) called the Monitor from Beyond had been arranging everything. He was using the energies expended in the battles to create a rift between the matter and anti-matter universes that would intersperse them and create an entirely new world, and perhaps universe. All of the super-powered activity was fueling his Attractor.

An ad hoc group of the Fantastic Four, the Superman Family members and an Amazon strike force led by Wonder Woman II attempted to attack the Monitor from Beyond in his Negative Zone fortress. That’s when they found that the supervillain survivors of the Great Supervillain Contest were working for the Monitor from Beyond. They only succeeded in getting the original Fury and several dozen Amazons killed. The survivors gathered the Justice League of America and the Justice Society at the JLA’s old cave headquarters (the Skrulls having destroyed the JLA's orbiting station). There they were caught in a massive power drain that held them helpless. There was only one force that could help them.

The force was the Freedom Fighters, led by a recently returned Uncle Sam and including World War II heroes The Human Bomb, The Ray, Black Condor, Doll Man, Plastic Man, both Firebrands, Steel I, and Miss Liberty (Joan Dale-who at one time was called Miss America) but not including Phantom Lady. This group had assembled separately and missed getting caught in the power drain.

The Freedom Fighters attempted an assault on the Negative Zone headquarters of the Monitor from Beyond. They ran into a defending force of Flash Rogues and Green Lantern enemies, backed by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (without Magneto). The Monitor had incited the villains to use deadly force, but the villains found themselves fighting foes that had learned their craft on the unfriendly fields of WWII. Quarter was neither asked nor given by either side. The only heroes to get away were Doll Man and Plastic Man, who fought past the struggle and managed to penetrate the fortress, doing their part to shut down the power-drains that had been keeping heroes like Superman and Captain Marvel and the Green Flame bearers helpless.

Among the villains lost in that battle were both Icicle I and Captain Cold I (bitterly antagonistic and competitive to the end), plus Heat Wave, Mirror Master I, Lamplighter, the first Sonar, the Tattooed Man, Mastermind, the Toad, and Evil Star. Bodies of all the slain combatants were found except for that of Uncle Sam, but he has not been seen since.

The Fantastic Four, JLA, JSA, and just about every hero left standing and many villains then combined on an assault on the Negative Zone fortress. The Monitor had his seriously diminished force of villains on his side and the battle was monumental, but the heroes won, and the Monitor from Beyond was banished into the annihilation zone of the Negative Zone. He might not be dead, but he is definitely not coming back. It was during this attack that Johnny Quick and Flash II died destroying the Attractor of Worlds.

The casualties of the entire struggle also included

VILLAINS

Awesome Android    Destroyed by the heroes attacking the Monitor from Beyond in the final battle, though the plans are out there for anyone who can find them.

Catman          Discovered the hard way that Wolverine does not share Batman’s code of ethics during the Contest.

Cheetah I        Slain by Kraven the Hunter during the last stages of the Contest

Dr. Destiny     Died when the Monitor from Beyond detected him trying to influence his dreams.

Dr. Sivana      Slain by the Crimson Claw when he attempted to take over the Claw’s headquarters.

Giganta I         Was too big a target during the Contest.

IBAC               Died heroically after he joined the heroes in the first assault on the Monitor from Beyond. He was mentally forced to change back to his mortal form and blasted to smithereens.

Lex Luthor      The criminal genius scientist who had plagued Superman for decades, died defending New York from a Skrull invasion force.

Mad Thinker   Had control of his Awesome Android snatched from him by the Monitor from Beyond and was crushed by his own creation.

Merlin              The archer, not the archmage. He died during the Contest, taking on Deathstroke.

Molecule Man            Who learned the futility of controlling molecules when facing a foe who dealt with the quantum building blocks of the atoms themselves.

Psimon           Turned into a vegetable by the combined attack of Professor X, Marvel Girl, and Raven.

Unus               The Untouchable one found the limits of his power in a Contest conflict with Iron Munro, whom he incited to use full power on his force field and only then found that the force field had limits.

Vanisher         Forced to blind teleport into space by Psimon during the Contest

 

HEROES

Atom I             Ambushed and killed by the Secret Society of Super-Villains during the early stages of the Contest. His opponent was only supposed to be Blockbuster, but the SSOSV cheated, as usual.

Dove I             Died protecting his brother from a sneak attack by Jewelee while Hawk pounded Punch into the ground.

Drax                The Destroyer died under a pile of the bodies of dead Skrulls.

Fury I               Died taking on the Monitor in direct combat to cover the retreat of the heroes after the first abortive attempt to attack him in his lair in the Negative Zone.

Flying Fox      See Iron Munro

Havoc             Died in the final assault on the Monitor from Beyond when swarmed by the Monitors Shadow Skrulls, who were only marginally affected by his blasts.

 “Iron” Munro   Depressed after accidentally killing Unus the Untouchable, he threw himself into the battle with the Skrulls. He, his old comrade Flying Fox, and the Peregrine of France delayed the Super Skrull for two hours until Sentinel found the power generator satellite and destroyed it. The Super Skrull was just celebrating the slaughter of all three opponents when he realized that his power boost was gone. This was rapidly followed by attacks from Sentinel, the Iron Man of that time, and Superman that laid the Skrull Champion low.

Johnny Quick Died opening the way for Flash II to destroy the Attractor of Worlds.

Kole                Died in the last battle with the Monitor from Beyond

Lori Lemaris  Died at the hands of Tiger Shark in the Contest

Northwind       Died in defense of his home city of Feitheria against a Skrull attack.

Peregrine       France’s high flying champion teamed with Iron Munro and Flying Fox to stop and harass the Super Skrull until his power source was destroyed. All three lost their lives in the battle.

Vibe                Died in one of the Contests, fighting Merlin the Archer.

Vixen I             Died at the claws of the Cheetah I during the Contests.

Steel I             Died as part of the Freedom Fighters.

Steel II             Steel II died in the second assault on the Monitor. (John Henry Irons, who built his battlesuit to fight the Skrulls, took up the name Steel and is still around.)