*Marvel: Marvel’s first published mini-series, issued in 1982, Contest of Champions came about almost by accident. Originally intended as a Marvel Treasury Special to tie-in with the 1980 Olympics, the project crashed & burned when the USA pulled out of said event, and the prepared pages, after a time in limbo, were re-edited into this three-parter, in which virtually every Marvel super-hero (and several brand-new international ones created for the Olympic tie-in) are drafted by the Grandmaster in a contest with Death to win back the life of the deceased Collector. Split into teams, the heroes are used as pawns to gain artefacts and therefore win points to determine which cosmic entity wins their goal. By Mark Gruenwald, John Romita Jr. and Bob Layton, the unexpected success of this unplanned mini-series paved the way for more premeditated events, beginning, of course, with Marvel’s Secret Wars in 1984. This complete three-issue series averages VF, pence copies, and is on sale as a set for £35.