Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human, magic user (Australian
Identity: Publicly known
Legal Status: Citizen of Australia
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Aquarian, Daredevil, Darkstar, Dr. Druid, Dr. Strange, Gaea, Invisible Girl, Moonglow, Roma, Shaman
Enemies: Death, Grandmaster, Maelstrom
Known Relatives: Unidentified ancestors
Place of Birth: Somewhere in Australia
Base of Operations: Mobile in Australia
First Appearance: Contest of Champions#1 (June, 1982)
Powers/Abilities: Talisman's powers are derived
from the "Dream-Time" (Altjeringa), another dimension which he can send
his astral form to by whirling his bull-roarer or entering a trance. In
the Dream-Time, time passes at a different rate, and he can communicate
with the spirits of his dead ancestors. When he departs the Dream-Time,
he can re-emerge on Earth's plane anywhere within 10 miles. Outside of
the Dream-Time, Talisman can communicate with dead spirits, and his
mystic senses are acute enough to detect those who are invisible, or
even microscopic. His bull-roarer can also unleash energies which
disorient his opponents.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 170 lbs.
History: (Contest of Champions#1) - While meditating in
a trance, Talisman was whisked away by the Grandmaster to participate in
his game against Death, in an attempt to revive his brother the
Collector. Talisman was chosen to serve on the Grandmaster's team, and
while he attempted to evade the Grandmaster's
force field, he found that he was unable to shift into Dream-Time.
(Contest of Champions#2) - Talisman was placed on a team
with Daredevil and Darkstar, against Iron Fist, Invisible Girl, and
Sunfire, to find 1/4th of the Golden Globe of Life at the North Pole. As
Daredevil and Darkstar introduced one another, Talisman answered their
queries with, "To give one's name is to risk one's soul, young woman.
But I may be called Talisman, from among the Aboriginal people of
Australia." Darkstar then set after Sunfire, and Talisman began
meditation, slipping into the Dreamtime, while Daredevil went into
battle against Iron Fist. The Invisible Girl attempted to sneak past
Talisman's entranced form, but from within the Dreamtime he sensed her
approach and returned to his physical body. Though unable to see her, he
knew that he could still overwhelm her senses and unleashed power of his
bull-roarer, disorienting her. She managed to escape by creating a force
field that cracked the ice Talisman was standing upon, breaking his
control. Talisman then set after the Globe, but his ally Daredevil
obtained it first.
(Contest of Champions#3) - As Grandmaster prepared to have
the Collector revived, Talisman determined that because reviving one
life-force must lead to the death of another, Death would have to slay
someone else to revive the Collector. He shifted into the Dream-Time,
and contacted the Invisible Girl to assist him in unmasking Death to the
Grandmaster, in the hopes that he would back down. Grandmaster refused
to back down, despite learning that he must die in the Collector's
place. Death then returned Talisman and all of the other heroes to their
respective homes on Earth.
(Quasar#23) - As Maelstrom halted the rotation of the
Earth, Talisman was among those with acute senses who detected what was
(Quasar#24) - Doctor Strange mystically called on other
mystics, including Talisman, to help him face the threat that endangered
them all. They agreed, and entered trances to lend him their power in
saving the Earth from Maelstrom's power.
(Quasar#25) - Deathurge attempted
to kill Dr. Strange to prevent the success of their spells, but he was
thwarted by the Whizzer (Stanley Stewart). Ultimately, the Earth's
rotation was restored when Maelstrom was defeated by Quasar.
Avengers I#53) - The Eye of Agamotto appeared to Talisman as it
considered him a possible replacement for Doctor Strange as Sorcerer
Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo, Steven Grant, John Romita Jr. and Pablo Marcos.
Talisman was confirmed as one of the mystics seen in the Eye of Agamotto's vision in New Avengers I#53 in Avengers, Thor & Captain America: Official Index to the Marvel Universe#15 (2011).
Contest of Champions writer Steven Grant revealed that the series was supposed to have the characters broadly international, but Marvel didn't have many international heroes at the time who weren't X-Men. Bill Mantlo brought in Mark Gruenwald and Steven Grant to help out creating new characters. Talisman was one of the characters created by Steven Grant.
Steven Grant: "In 1980, Marvel had a deal to do Olympic-themed treasury editions. Bill & I did the Hulk & Spider-Man at the Winter Olympics, which was published. We then worked with Mark on the Marvel SLuper-Heroes Summer Olympics Special. Then the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, & in protest Carter pulled the US from the Moscow Olympics. Nothing to tie into, book went into the drawer for awhile. At some point, after tons of resistance, Marvel was convinced to try the mini-series format. Jim Shooter pulled "Summer Olympics" from a drawer, & Bill (Mantlo) & JR2 (John Romita Jr.) reowked it into a 3 issue mini. But that was months after it had already been done. The main reason MSH&SO was chosen as the mini-test was that it was already done, for the most part, so the company would have to spend minimal more money to publish it. The # of characters were bet hedger. But it made Marvel gung-ho on minis...BTW pretty sure Mark did the rough designs for all the new characters, to prescribed specifications. JR2 did more polished takes. I'm constantly having people at conventions bring copies to sign & asking "Did you expect when you were working on CoC it would have the impact it did?" I tell them, truthfully, "We didn't even know we were working on Contest of Champions..." (I believe Jim (Shooter) named it).
Profile by Prime Eternal
Talisman should not be confused with:
images: (without ads)
OHOTMU I#11, p9 (Talisman main image)
Contest of Champions I#2, p4, pan3 (face)
Contest of Champions I#2, p6, pan7 (astral form returning from Dreamtime)
Contest of Champions I#2, p7, pan2 (unleashing bull-roarer)
Contest of Champions I#3, p20, pan2 (Talisman's power)
Quasar#23, p20, pan10 (wearing robe)
New Avengers I#53, p3-4, pan1 (in Eye of Agamotoo's vision)
Marvel Super Hero Contest of Champions#1-3 (July-August, 1982) - Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo & Steven Grant (writers), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Quasar#23-25 (June-August, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Len Kaminski & Howard Mackie (editors)
New Avengers I#53 (July, 2009) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Billy Tan (pencils), Matt Banning (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 12/10/2003
Last updated: 01/26/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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