MEMBERSHIP: Chance; Athey; the Dicemen Council
PURPOSE: To manipulate people and events for their own amusement
AFFILIATIONS: None known
ENEMIES: Death's Head (Freelance Peacekeeping Agent incarnation); Iron Man 2020
BASE of OPERATIONS: New York, c.2020. Possibly worldwide in that era.
FIRST APPEARANCE: Death's Head I#10 (September 1989)
HISTORY: (bts) The Dicemen form at an unspecified date, apparently consisting of a number of rich but bored individuals seeking excitement in their lives. Their goal appears to be setting up situations using manipulation and guile which will bring different pawns into conflict with one another. They then watch these conflicts using remote video technology and bet on the outcomes.
The Dicemen invite a new member to join their elite group. They dub him Chance, and assign Athey as his assistant. Athey will arrange games for Chance, but as with all assistants to Dicemen, he is also given the duty of protecting the security of the entire group, even at the expense of his master.
(Death's Head I#10, bts) Athey devises a terrorist seige for his employer's amusement. Chance finds it too static, and thus boring.
(Death's Head I#10) For his next diversion, Athey hires Arno Stark, the Iron Man of 2020, to protect some Arab diplomats visiting New York. Then he hires some gunmen to attack the same diplomats. He and Chance observe as Iron Man makes extremely short work of the would-be assassins. Chance appreciates this new diversion so much that he insists Athey set up a new game involving Iron Man, in flagrant breach of the rules of the Dicemen which state that repitition of players is strictly prohibited, less the pawns used figure out they are being used in someone else's games and track the instigators down, threatening the security of the entire group. Athey expresses strong misgivings, but obeys his master's orders and suggests Death's Head as a suitable opponent for the armoured mercenary.
Athey visits Death's Head's offices, and hires the mercenary mechanoid, telling him the Arab diplomats are actually international terrorists protected by diplomatic immunity. Death's Head, frankly not caring so long as he got paid, took the assignment. Chance watched engrossed as the two armoured fighters battled, only to be extremely put out when Iron Man decapitated Death's Head, as he had money riding on the cyborg winning. Athey, ever the more canny of the two, recognised that the outcome of the conflict was still not so clear cut, and was proven right when the headless Death's Head continued to hit his opponent.
Things rapidly took a disastrous turn for the watching Dicemen when the two combatants stopped the melee long enough to compare notes; both realised in short order that they had been hired by the same Indian gentleman (Athey). Figuring out they were being watched, the two mercenaries activated their scanners and located the cloaked flying camera observing them. Chance looked on with mounting terror as Iron Man chased down the device, snatching it from the air, while Athey confirmed his master's fear; given how easily the two pawns had found the camera, they should have no problem tracking the signal back to it's source. Sure enough, mere seconds later the mansion's perimeter defenses are breached by a pair of extremely annoyed mercenaries. Chance demands Athey do something about the situation; Athey concurs, and pulls a gun on his master. He points out that Chance has endangered the Dicemen through breaking the rules of the group, and that it is his duty to protect that group. Then he shoots Chance dead.
Athey makes good his escape through a hidden passage seconds before Iron Man comes smashing into the room, but before he departs he leaves out the remainder of the mercenaries' payments and sets the mansion's self-destruct to destroy any evidence before it can be recovered.
COMMENTS: Created by Simon Furman and Bryan Hitch.
Dialogue between Chance and his assistant Athey makes it clear that the Dicemen are a far larger group than just the two of them. How widespread the group is, and how far back they go, is never established. It is possible that a version of them exists in the modern era of the Marvel Universe.
If Chance is typical of the group, then the Dicemen themselves don't actually do any manipulating themselves, but instead rely on their assistants to handle this end of things. Chance didn't even come up with the ideas for the games on many of the occasions, as shown by his ignorance of the Iron Man 2020 / gunmen game, and his attitude to the preceding terrorist seige game he mentions.
Profile by Loki. New image by MarvellousLuke.
CLARIFICATIONS: The Dicemen should not be confused with
Chance should be not be confused with
Chance appears to have been a fairly recent addition to the
ranks of the Dicemen, given that he is still trying to get Athey to refer
to him by his nom de plume. Athey mentions that he is rich and influential,
but we never find out how he came into this money and power. His arrogant
ignoring of the Dicemen's rules led to his demise at the hands of the servant
the group had assigned to him.
Athey was not himself a Diceman, but instead worked for the
group. According to the last words Athey said to Chance before killing him,
he was similar to number of operatives who worked for the different Dicemen.
His job was to set up games for the amusement of his master and his master's
peers, and also to protect the group as a whole by killing Chance should
there be a risk of exposure - which circumstances arose as a result of Chance
insisting on using Iron Man for a second game in a row. The two mercenaries
described Athey as being an Indian, fortyish, with an English accent, refined,
aloof, smartly dressed, who looked down his nose at people when he spoke
to them. He clearly disliked having to work for Chance; after killing his
employer he noted that he would have liked to say it was a pleasure work
for him, "but my mother taught me never to lie". Athey escaped before
the mansion blew up, and is presumably still active in the world of 2020,
setting up games for a new master.
The Dicemen Council
The ruling body of the Dicemen, never seen and only mentioned
as having chosen Chance to join their elite club. Appearances:
Any Additions/Corrections? please
--Death's Head I#10-BTS
Death's Head I#10 (September, 1989) - Simon Furman (writer), Bryan Hitch (pencils/inks)
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Last updated: 11/13/13.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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