Real Name: Imus Champion
Identity/Class: Human (see comments) technology user
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Armed costumed agents,
Talima (personal assistant), unidentified lawyer
formerly employed Boris, the Corruptor, Fleshtones, Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Lady Bullseye, Ninotchka, Peregrine, unidentified US intelligence agent, unidentified old female secret agent with surgical skills
Enemies: Avengers (Captain America/Steve Rogers, Firestar/Angelica Jones, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Justice/Vance Astrovik, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Thor/Odinson, Vision), Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff), Courier, Hawkeye (Clint Barton), Lynx, Peregrine, Squadron Supreme (Doctor Spectrum/Joe Ledger, Haywire/Harold Danforth, Hyperion, Moonglow/Arcanna Jones, Power Princess/Zarda Shelton, Shape/Raleigh Lund, Skylark/Linda Lewis, Whizzer/Stanley Stewart) of Earth-S, Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: A retreat in Marin County on the
a base in Marin County, outside Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, California
First Appearance: Avengers I#109 (March, 1973)
Powers/Abilities: Champion is about nine feet tall and appears to possess some degree of superhuman strength, though the extent of his own ability is unknown, as he usually wears an exo-skeleton. He was strong enough to grab the wheel of a plane as it was taxiing for takeoff, and bring that wheel to a complete halt.
A data storage unit implanted into his skull and connected to his brain enabled him to transfer his mind into surrogate robot bodies designed as muscular, normal-sized males.
Champion claims to have mastered all physical skills, but had demonstrated most significantly a proficiency in archery.
Champion wears an armored suit, equipped with a null force field, preventing most attacks from striking him. His gloves fire wrist blasts able to disintegrate most forms of matter. Amongst his special collectables and weapons are:
Perhaps his greatest weakness is an apparently pathological need to accomplish things in a grandiose fashion, drawing the attention of others to stop him, when he could have easily accomplished his goals in secret.
Weight: 776 lbs.
Hair: Black (graying)
(Avengers I#109 (fb) - BTS) - As he grew, Imus Champion developed an extraordinarily large body, one so large that doctors told him he would never be able to physically support himself. Instead, Champion drove himself to build his muscles powerful enough to do just that. In addition, he established himself as an entrepreneur, becoming one of the fifty wealthiest men on the planet.
(Black Widow V#5 (fb) - BTS) - The Time magazine considered him a genius, Guy Health reported about his goal to become the richest man on the planet and the Daily Bugle wrote an article about his most recent corporate takeover.
(Avengers I#109 (fb) - BTS) - Champion sought to obtain a ship containing a nerve gas shipment, which had sunken off the coast of California in 1942. Realizing that the Coast Guard would stop him before he could ever reach the ship, he decided that by triggering the San Andreas Fault, he could sink California, thus moving the US coast such that the ship would now be in international waters. In addition, the resultant chaos would divert the law away from his activities.
Champion thus had a series of charges placed along the fault, which he could have detonated at any time. However, desiring a more spectacular display of his abilities, he decided that he wished to trigger the detonator by firing an arrow from a distance. As he lacked training in archery, he decided that he must recruit someone to train him. He decided to recruit the Avenger Hawkeye (Clint Barton) to train him.
(Avengers I#109) - Arriving late for his flight to New York,
Champion instructed his chauffeur to drive through a fence onto the runway,
heading off the taxiing airliner. Though the plane is already going 50 mph,
Champion leapt out, grabbed the landing gear and stopped one wheel, causing the
airliner to pivot to a stop. Security confronted him, but upon learning that he
owned the whole airline, they let him board the plane and fly to New York.
Champion subsequently recruited Hawkeye to train him, telling him that he merely wished to become a talented archer to complete the list of skills which he had mastered. Hawkeye agreed to train him in exchange for a donation of one million dollars to his favorite charity, and over a period of weeks he accomplished his goal. Champion had wished Hawkeye to send a letter to the Avengers, assuring them of his well being, but as Hawkeye had recently left the group on bad terms, he declined. Claiming he did not wish the Avengers to think Hawkeye missing, Champion expertly forged the letter himself.
No sooner had Champion completed his training when he began to prepare to trigger the fault as intended. Hawkeye was appalled to learn what he intended and prepared to stop him, but Champion destroyed his bow and then captured him. Champion attached Hawkeye to one of the bombs and prepared to fire the arrow at the detonator. However, the Avengers had been alerted to a problem when Wanda (Scarlet Witch) realized that Hawkeye would have signed the letter "Clint," rather than "Hawkeye," as Champion had. The Avengers (Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision) arrived on the scene, but Champion and his agents managed to hold them off. The Vision freed Hawkeye just as Champion was drawing back his bow, and Hawkeye used his spare bow to fire an arrow that cut Champion's moving bow string from a distance of 50 yards, spoiling his aim.
Thor then opened a chasm beneath Champion's feet, and Hawkeye fired a knockout gas arrow that incapacitated him. Champion was delivered to the authorities.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#126 (fb) - BTS) - Champion's prison sentence was commuted when it was learned that his massive form was deteriorating, apparently a progression of the disease which had tortured his body since his youth.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#124 (fb) - BTS) - Champion hired le Peregrine to capture the Lynx, who carried the Panacea drug, a cure to all known disease.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#124 - BTS) - Peregrine successfully obtained the Lynx, stealing her from both Wolverine and the Courier.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#125 (fb) - BTS) - Peregrine brought Lynx to Champion's retreat.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#125) - Champion chastised his doctors for complaining about being attacked by the ferocious Lynx, reminding them that he was paying them one million dollars each, which should compensate them for such hardships. When she bit him, however, he swatted her unconscious. When Wolverine and the Courier arrived and confronted le Peregrine, Champion's agents, the Fleshtones, attacked them all, until the Fleshtones were subdued by the newly arrived Black Widow.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#126) - Champion's agents checked on the Fleshtones, bringing them before Champion himself, only to learn that they were actually being worn by Courier, Wolverine, and le Peregrine, the latter of which had been convinced to join forces with the former two. They were then joined by the Black Widow, who knocked back. As the struggles caused his retreat to combust, Champion refused to allow the work for the cure to his condition to go up in flames, and he rushed into the fires after them.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#129 (fb) - BTS) - Champion survived the fire relatively unscathed and continued his search for the Lynx. Courier and le Peregrine infiltrated his costumed agents.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#129) - Champion led his agents to the Antarctic Base of They, in search of either Lynx, or the Malaigent, from which he hoped to reverse engineer the cure for his condition. When Wolverine and the Widow disabled They's security system, Champion led his men to infiltrate the base. Finding Lynx alongside Wolverine, he attempted to take her by force, confronting Wolverine, but was knocked down by Courier and Peregrine, who ambushed him from behind. They unleashed their defenses, slaughtering Champion's agents, and Peregrine struggled to hold Champion himself.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#130) - Sometime later, Peregrine wrote a story based on the Panacea and the recent conflicts, but his publisher rejected the idea. Peregrine had no idea that Champion owned the Publishing House.
(Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Champion purchased a biotechnology company which had developed a cure to his condition, thus achieving the cure for himself.
(Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998 (fb) - BTS) - Champion began collecting singular artifacts of power and interest.
(Avengers III#5 (fb) - BTS) - Champion initiated Operation: Smokescreen to keep the Avengers from interfering with his plans to pilfer a spacecraft from Thanos' fleet that had crashed years before (@ Avengers I#125) from the seafloor of Northern Maine. Champion employed the Corruptor, first programming him with a post-hypnotic suggestion so he could not reveal Champion's involvement or location. The Corruptor then took control of the Squadron Supreme (Dr. Spectrum, Haywire, Hyperion, Moonglow, Power Princess, Shape, Skylark, Whizzer) from their temporary headquarters at Earth-616's Project: PEGASUS.
(Avengers III#5 (fb)) - The US government had Project: PEGASUS send out a recovery team, traveling by commercial airliner for security reasons. However, the plane (owned by Championair) crashed, though it remained afloat with most of its passengers alive.
(Avengers III#5) - Duane Freemen sent the Avengers (Captain America, Firestar, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Justice, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision) to investigate the plot. As they approached, the Corruptor sent the Squadron Supreme to confront the Avengers, accusing them of being imposters impersonating the heroes apparently lost during the battle against Onslaught. A fight ensued, covering the final raiding of the alien ship, which was subsequently delivered to Champion's Boston warehouse, to be shipped directly to Champion as machine parts. However, Champion realized that the Avengers would eventually figure out what was going on, and so he began plans to crush them before they knew what had hit them.
(Avengers III#6) - Suspecting the Squadron had been mind controlled (again), the Avengers investigated Project: PEGASUS. This led to another battle with the Squadron, but Warbird identified the Corruptor and helped expose him and disrupt his control, allowing the Squadron to regain their minds. Frustrated, Champion planned a reckoning against the Avengers and the Squadron.
(Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998) - The Squadron Supreme fended off an attempt to takeover their minds again, and they recruited the Avengers to investigate, actually following a deliberately left trail to Champion's Marin County, California base. When the two groups arrived, he challenged them both to stop him from walking to his tower and transmitting the detonation codes to his satellite, which would activate twenty explosive devices, each within a major American city. In addition, he covered the field with an electromagnetic dome that would also trigger the explosives if any of them tried to leave the group or contact the outside world.
Champion vanished from sight, leading the teams to split up into smaller groups to locate him. Using his various weapons, he successfully incapacitated all sixteen heroes and made it to his tower. Though he regretted having to kill so many innocent people, he felt it more important that he follow through with his threat. However, Firestar had had the foresight to send an ant to get a message to Hank Pym, and as Giant-Man he led his ants to disable Champion's equipment, while at the same time he notified public officials of the bombs' locations, so that they could be safely dismantled. All of the other heroes recovered and confronted Champion as well, and he surrendered, promising them all that his attorneys would have him out within a week, and that they would file suit for this false arrest.
(Avengers III#10) - A few days later, Champion's lawyer discussed with him the positive progress of his motion to dismiss the charges against him. Unconcerned, Champion instead contemplated the fact that the Avengers had defeated him, and that he must train and prepare so that next time...
(Black Widow V#4 (fb) - BTS) - Imus harvested the brain of Ivan Petrovich after his death.
(Black Widow V#3 (fb) - BTS) - Imus, calling himself Sumi, came to cybernetics expert Ned, the son of a Russian scientist in the same field, and had him create a data storage device based on his father's work. Sumi looked at the papers on the device his father had made for Black Widow and started asking Ned questions about it. He figured out a lot about everything on his own. Eventually Sumi asked Ned to find a way to watch human memories, but it didn't work as Sumi expected when he tried it on a frozen brain in his possession (the brain of Black Widow's old mentor Ivan Petrovich). Sumi took the data unit Ned had made for him and his research somewhere else.
(Black Widow V#4 (fb) - BTS) - After finding out about the data storage unit in Black Widow's belly Imus decided to go after her to destroy the heart of the Avengers. He learned from Ivan's brain many shocking information about Black Widow like the dead baby.
(Black Widow V#3 (fb) - BTS) - Imus used Ned's data storage unit to control surrogate robot bodies.
(Black Widow V#5 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Imus bought an intelligence agent, who was in debt with former HAMMER leader Norman Osborn, by promising him new weapons technology if he framed Black Widow for spying on her allies and selling the information.
(Black Widow V#1 (fb) - BTS) - Imus sent Black Widow an envelope with a black rose and a ribbon to play mind games with her (it was a reminder to her dead baby and its father from years earlier).
(Black Widow V#1) - One of Imus' surrogate robot bodies watched Black Widow through a sniper rifle scope meeting with former KGB agent Black Rose, the only rose she knew, to learn if the content of the envelope meant anything to him, but he couldn't help her.
Later the robot shot Black Widow with a tranquilizer dart to sedate her when she spotted and attacked his agent, an old female surgeon, working for Imus. The robot watched the old woman cut a data storage device from her lower body without perforating her stomach or intestines. Sumi complimented the old woman for her skills before murdering her and keeping the device for himself. Sumi apologized to Black Widow for the pain and asked her to come looking for him as soon as she could.
(Black Widow V#4 (fb) - BTS) - Sumi hired Lady Bullseye.
(Black Widow V#2 - BTS) - Imus forced Black Widow to go into hiding by exposing her spying on the superhero community for years through the device in her belly, which was a highly advanced data storage device, the size of a pill, capable of wireless uploads and downloads of vast amounts of information. An intelligence agent, who had previously endorsed Norman Osborn, and was now working for Imus Champion revealed to Hawkeye, Tony Stark and Captain America (Barnes) that the Black Widow was collecting info on all of her allies on how to get to them. He added the Black Widow was going to sell the information to the highest bidder, but they wouldn't believe him until Stark received a call that Pepper Potts had been shot by Lady Bullseye with a sound rifle, which knocked her out. Imus' plan succeeded and Black Widow was now wanted by the FBI, who offered a 1 million dollar reward for information that led to her arrest.
(Black Widow V#3 (fb) - BTS) - Sumi hired Ninotchka and Boris to go after Black Widow.
(Black Widow V#3 - BTS) - Black Widow went to London and visited Ned, the son of the Russian scientist, who had created the device stolen from her belly and learned from him about his former employer Sumi, what he had learned about Widow's storage unit from his father's papers and what he had created for him.
(Black Widow V#3) - Imus, controlling a surrogate robot, who revealed himself as Sumi, confronted Black Widow alongside Boris and Ninotchka in the burning lab of Ned, which had just been blown up by one of Imus' agents. During the battle Ninotchka slew Ned with a knife before the Widow knocked her and Boris out. Black Widow shot the Sumi robot, who revealed he had more bodies like this one to control, thanks to Ned's data storage unit. He then told Black Widow to follow the rose because this was how he found her baby.
(Black Widow V#5 (fb) - BTS) - Black Widow activated a virus within the files from the data storage unit stolen from her, which would destroy every computer that had downloaded or shared information from it.
(Black Widow V#4 - BTS) - Paralyzed by Black Widow Lady Bullseye revealed Sumi had hired her for the hit on Pepper and that Black Widow would contact her. He didn't give her a message for Black Widow because he had already given it to her. Black Widow took a memory drive from her and traveled to Russia to find answers, but found none.
(Black Widow V#4) - Imus, controlling another robot body, approached Black Widow at a restaurant in Munich, Germany. She had figured who he actually was and was mad at him for having memories only Ivan should've had. Black Widow destroyed the Sumi robot for mentioning her dead baby and husband before Captain America (Barnes) and Imus' intelligence operative captured her. Barnes was unaware the intelligence agent kept her in a cooler to get ready for Sumi.
(Black Widow V#5) - Imus was in bed with four women when he activated another surrogate robot. Using the robot he visited Black Widow in the cooler to tell her how he had downloaded all the secrets from the storage unit and read them, including the incomplete file on Imus himself. Black Widow told him it was incomplete because he wasn't worth his time and still wasn't. She wondered if Imus had become too weak to come after her by himself due to his disease. They were joined the the intelligence agent, who Black Widow provoked until he hit her so hard the chair she was bound to fell over. Black Widow broke free and forced the agent to reveal how Imus had bought him. She then revealed how she had recorded the whole conversation and that she had days ago activated a virus within the data Imus and the agent had spread that would destroy every computer it came in contact with, including the one in Imus head. Imus lost control over the robot when the virus caused the robot's brain and Ned's data storage device in Imus' head to short-circuit.
His scientists fixed the storage unit, but told him to contact the original creator, which was impossible because he was dead, as it could short-circuit again. Black Widow appeared and Imus' underlings fled. He revealed how he couldn't part with Ivan's brain even after he had downloaded all its memories. Unplugging himself from the computer Imus attacked Black Widow, who smashed Ivan's brain over Imus' head. During the fight Black Widow noticed all of Imus' medication and realized he was dying and wanted her to kill him so he could send his mind into a robot body. Black Widow left him alive, but left Imus in a vegetative state by deleting his mind and his connection to the robots.
Comments: Created by Steve Engelhart, Don Heck, and Frank McLaughlin.
I'm not sure that being a nine foot tall powerhouse able to halt a moving airplane is within the limits of human abilities. There has never been any mention of Imus Champion actually being superhuman though, so I'm not sure if he is a mutant, mutate, or other.
I always liked Avengers I#109, though it is perhaps the most contrived plot I have ever read. Every single problem Champion had could have been easily avoided, but perhaps he wanted things to proceed as they did, because he actually wanted to face the Avengers.
All (or, at least, most) of the items listed above as in Champion's possession probably deserve profiles at some point.
The Official Marvel Index to the Avengers entry on Avengers #109 details the events of that issue as starting in early November, training for weeks, and ending in mid-December.
Profile by Snood. Black Widow V update by Markus Raymond.
No known connection to:
Armed with various weapons, they wear nondescript blank facemasks to remind him of the faceless masses from which he has accumulated his wealth.
--Avengers I#109 (Avengers I#109, Marvel Comics Presents I#126, 129
Apparently based on the West Coast, it offers total solitude, lacking even telephone or other communications when not desired. It fits Champion's personality because it looks down on the world. It was apparently consumed by flames after he had abducted Lynx.
--Avengers I#109 (Avengers I#109, Marvel Comics Presents I#126, Black Widow V#5
Avengers/Squadron Supreme Annual 1998, p14 (w/o ads), pan 1
Avengers I#109, p5, pan2, civilian attire
Avengers I#109, p15, pan1 (first costume)
Black Widow V#3, p17, pan4 (Sumi, surrogate robot body)
Black Widow V#5, p13, pan5 (Imus showing muscle)
Avengers I#109, p12, pan1 (retreat)
Marvel Comics Presents I#125, p2, pan2 (face)
Avengers I#109 (March, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#125-126 (1993) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Dennis Jensen (pencils), John Hodlredge (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#129-130 (1993) - Scott Lobdell & Dan Slott (writers), Dennis Jensen (pencils), Dennis Jensen & Jon Holdredge (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Avengers III#5-6 (June-July, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey, Bob Wiacek (#6) & Bruce Patterson (#6) (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers/Sqadron Supreme Annual 1998 - Kurt Busiek & Len Kaminski (writers), Carlos Pacheco (pencils), Matt Banning, Vince Russell, Bob Wiacek, Al Vey & Paul Neary (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#10 (November, 1998) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Widow V#1-5 (June-October, 2010) - Marjorie Liu (writer), Daniel Acuna (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
First Posted: 04/12/2004
Last updated: 11/14/2016
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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