Wonder Man

Wonder Man

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Wonder Man
250px WonderMan 1 Wonder Man
Cover of Wonder Man #1 (Sep. 1991). Art by Jeff Johnson.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Avengers #9 (Oct. 1964)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
Don Heck
In-story information
Alter ego Simon Williams
Team affiliations Avengers
Mighty Avengers
Force Works
Abilities Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and durability
Ionic energy empowered
Extended life span

Wonder Man (Simon Williams) is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby, he first appeared in Avengers #9 (Oct. 1964).


  • 1 Publication history
  • 2 Fictional character biography
    • 2.1 The Avengers
    • 2.2 Civil War
    • 2.3 Dark Reign
  • 3 Powers and abilities
  • 4 Other versions
    • 4.1 Guardians of the Galaxy
    • 4.2 MC2
    • 4.3 Wonder Man series
  • 5 In other media
    • 5.1 Television
    • 5.2 Video games
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

[edit] Publication history

Wonder Man first appears in Avengers #9 (Oct. 1964), and after supposedly dying was not seen again until Avengers #102 (Aug. 1972) where he made a brief “cameo” appearance – still in a comatose state. Wonder Man’s body is later revived by the villain Kang in Avengers #131 – 132 (Jan – Feb. 1975), and then again by the Black Talon in Avengers #152 (Oct. 1976) and finally the Living Laser in Avengers Annual #6 (1976). After this last encounter, Wonder Man finally recovers his faculties and joins the Avengers in a full-time capacity in Avengers #160 (Jun. 1977).

Wonder Man is a member for many years, and for a time serves with the expansion group the West Coast Avengers, who first appear in a self-titled mini-series, which ran for four issues from September to December 1984. The team eventually disbands and Wonder Man joins a reformed version called Force Works, which debuted in an ongoing series in July, 1994. The unit, however, splinters quickly and Wonder Man eventually rejoins the main team in issue #4 (vol. 3), dated May 1998. Despite the collapse of the team in Avengers #503, (vol. 3, Dec. 2004), Wonder Man joins a new splinter group called the Mighty Avengers, who feature in an ongoing title that debuted in March 2007.

Wonder Man also appeared in an on-going series that ran for twenty-nine issues from September 1991 to February 1994 (also included are two Annuals). In 1986 he also appeared in a self-titled graphic novel, which was subsequently followed in 2000 by a limited series titled Avengers Two: Wonder Man and the Beast, which ran for three issues. In 2007 Wonder Man featured in a second mini-series, titled Wonder Man: My Fair Super Hero, which ran for five issues.

[edit] Fictional character biography

Simon Williams is the son of rich industrialist Sanford Williams, owner of Williams Innovations. Simon inherits the munitions factory after his father’s death, but over time the company’s profits fall due to its biggest competitor, Tony Stark. On the advice of his brother Eric, Simon tries to embezzle funds from his company but is caught and incarcerated. Simon blames Stark for his failure and readily accepts the proposition of master villain Baron Zemo, who requires a pawn to infiltrate the Avengers. The desperate Simon Williams agrees and, after being freed, is transformed into an ion-powered being. Called Wonder Man by Zemo, he is then sent to meet and join the Avengers, with instructions to betray them at a critical moment. Zemo ensures Wonder Man’s loyalty by advising him that as a result of the treatment his body now requires periodic doses of a serum to survive – a serum that only Zemo can provide.

The plan fails when Wonder Man decides to save the Avengers, apparently at the cost of his own life. Iron Man – Tony Stark’s alter ego – records Wonder Man’s brain patterns in the hope that one day he can be revived.[1] Unbeknownst to the Avengers, Wonder Man’s body has simply entered a catatonic state as it adjusts to the effects of the treatment. Eric Williams becomes distraught over the apparent death of his sibling and, blaming the Avengers, assumes the identity of the Grim Reaper in an effort to destroy them. The Grim Reaper attacks the Avengers three times before Wonder Man finally returns.[2]

Wonder Man remains in suspended animation for years, and it is during this period that Ultron, the evil robot creation of Henry Pym, steals the brain patterns recorded by the Avengers for use as a template for the synthezoid Vision[3] (it is eventually revealed that the Vision is built from the original Human Torch, an android created by Professor Phineas Horton.[4] This, however, only happened in mainstream continuity and other origins were possible courtesy of the Forever Crystal of Immortus).[5]

During this vulnerable time, Wonder Man is used as a pawn on three occasions. Wonder Man is briefly revived by Kang the Conqueror to battle the Avengers as part of his Legion of the Unliving,[6] and later “resurrected” as a zombie by Black Talon and the Grim Reaper to attack the Avengers once more.[7] On the final occasion, the Living Laser hypnotizes a now-awake but still very weak Wonder Man in an unsuccessful attack on the Avengers.[8] After this encounter, Wonder Man chooses to remain with the Avengers, and soon after defeats the Grim Reaper, who was intent on destroying the Vision as he was “artificial” and a “mockery” of his brother.[9]

[edit] The Avengers

200px WonderMan Wonder Man

magnify clip Wonder Man

Avengers #9 (Oct. 1964), featuring the first appearance of Wonder Man.
Art by Jack Kirby.

Wonder Man eventually joins the Avengers in a full-time capacity and becomes close friends with his teammate, the Beast. For several months after his resurrection, Wonder Man suffers from slight claustrophobia and a fear of dying in battle, as he did once before. Wonder Man finally overcomes his fear of death during the final battle with Korvac.[10] Developing an interest in acting, Wonder Man stars in minor roles before moving to Hollywood, where fellow Avenger Hercules uses his contacts to establish Wonder Man’s career.[11] Wonder Man also works for a time as a stuntman, an ideal vocation since he is invulnerable to virtually all conventional weapons.[12]

Wonder Man joins the West Coast Avengers, and his new-found confidence begins to become arrogance. He develops a serious rivalry with Iron Man, but sees the error of his ways after a brutal battle with the Abomination.[13] Wonder Man eventually accepts the Vision as his “brother,” but there is a setback when the Vision is dismantled and rebuilt as an emotionless machine by a global conglomeration. The Scarlet Witch – the Vision’s wife – asks Wonder Man to provide his brainwaves once again in order to rebuild the foundational personality matrix of the original Vision, but Wonder Man refuses, having feelings for her himself. The Wasp further deduces that the Vision’s original relationship to the Scarlet Witch may even have been predicated by Wonder Man’s initial donation for the original personality matrix; at this, Wonder Man confirms that several of his hesitations about making the attempt arise from these doubts and the subconscious desire he’s felt toward the Scarlet Witch since her separation from her husband.[14]

When Avengers West Coast (renamed) disbands after a dispute, Wonder Man becomes a founding member of its successor group – Force Works.[15] Soon after this, an accident in space changes Wonder Man into a being of pure ionic energy,[16] and during a related mission against the alien Kree, Wonder Man is disintegrated in an explosion. Many months later, the Scarlet Witch accidentally resurrects Wonder Man in ionic form; while in this form he appears when she is in need.[17] Several months later, the Scarlet Witch is able to fully revive Wonder Man and he now exists in an independent, more human form. It is also discovered later that the Grim Reaper – dead at the time – is also revived.[18] Wonder Man becomes romantically involved with the Scarlet Witch, but ends their affair during the Kang Dynasty saga, due to her residual feelings for the Vision.[19]

[edit] Civil War

Wonder Man is blackmailed into working for S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Superhuman Registration Act Civil War. Due to charges of misappropriation of funds in his non-profit organization, Wonder Man is pressured to work for the pro-registration side in the ensuing Civil War drama. In addition to capturing renegade vigilantes and criminals, Wonder Man is instrumental in creating televised messages to educate the public and yet-unregistered superhumans about the specifics of the Registration Act.[20] Wonder Man is now a member of the Mighty Avengers.[21]

Wonder Man has begun a romantic relationship with fellow Mighty Avenger Ms. Marvel. He has warned her, however, not to use her position as leader of the Avengers to keep him out of potentially dangerous situations just because of their relationship.[22]

[edit] Dark Reign

Following the events of the Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn created a new team of Avengers, effectively retiring Wonder Man. Wonder Man later appears on television, lamenting his tenure as an Avenger, claiming it was all a waste of time, and that using violence to uphold justice has caused nothing but heartache and death. He ends his speech by sadly admitting that having Osborn in charge is exactly what the country deserves.[23]

[edit] Powers and abilities

While Zemo’s initial aim is to use ionic energy treatments to make Wonder Man at least as strong as “the equal of any Avenger”, his treatments surpass his expectations and endowed Wonder Man with strength comparable to that of Thor.[24] Zemo’s treatments also grant Wonder Man virtual invulnerability, immortality, and instantaneous reflexes. Zemo also outfits Wonder Man with a rocket pack in his belt to achieve flight.

Following his resurrection and metamorphosis, Wonder Man’s physiology evolves to the point he acquires the power of true flight, independent of technology. Due to Wonder Man’s self-regenerating ionic energy, he also no longer needs to sleep, eat or breathe. Wonder Man’s eyes also glow red courtesy of the ionic energy stored in his body. While with concentration, Wonder Man can revert his eyes to their natural state, he usually wears sunglasses to conceal the effect.

Before his “death” at the hands of the Kree, Wonder Man discovered new abilities of his ionic body, such as changing his size (enabling him to grow taller than his adversary Goliath) and emitting energy from his eyes. Since his resurrection, Wonder Man has not used these powers. However, when the Scarlet Witch resurrected him during writer Kurt Busiek’s tenure as head writer, Wonder Man was often seen as being able to transform into a state of pure living ionic energy at will and back again.

[edit] Other versions

[edit] Guardians of the Galaxy

In an alternate future, Wonder Man – now with snow white hair and using the alias “Hollywood” – reluctantly aids the Guardians of the Galaxy. He eventually joins the team, [25] and later the “breakaway” team, the Galactic Guardians. [26]

[edit] MC2

In the MC2 Universe, Wonder Man is never revived after initially dying to save the Avengers, with robotic copies being utilized instead.[27]

[edit] Wonder Man series

Wonder Man starred in his own series set in a possible distant future. The first story arc had him goaded into rehabilitating a newly appeared super-villain, Ladykiller.[28]

[edit] In other media

[edit] Television

Wonder Man appears in The Avengers: United They Stand animated series, voiced by Hamish McEwan.

[edit] Video games

Wonder Man appears as a supporting character in the 1991 video game Captain America and the Avengers.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Avengers #9 (Oct. 1964)
  2. ^ Avengers #52 (May 1968); 79 (Aug. 1970); 102 (Aug. 1972) + 107 – 108 (Jan. – Feb. 1973)
  3. ^ Avengers #57 – 58
  4. ^ Avengers #134 – 135
  5. ^ Avengers Forever #1 – 12 (1998 – 1999)
  6. ^ Avengers vol.1, #131 – 132
  7. ^ Avengers #152 (Oct. 1976)
  8. ^ Avengers Annual #6 (1976)
  9. ^ Avengers #160 (June 1977)
  10. ^ Avengers #177 (Nov. 1978)
  11. ^ The beginning of this relationship is seen in Avengers #211 (Sep. 1981)
  12. ^ Mentioned by the Vision at the conclusion of Avengers #250 (Dec. 1984)
  13. ^ West Coast Avengers #25 (Oct. 1987)
  14. ^ Avengers West Coast #42 – 45 (Mar. – June 1989)
  15. ^ Force Works #1 (July 1994)
  16. ^ Wonder Man #9 (Apr. 1992)
  17. ^ Avengers vol. 3, #3 (Apr. 1998)
  18. ^ Avengers vol. 3, #10 – 11 (Nov. – Dec. 1998)
  19. ^ Avengers vol. 3, #51 (Apr. 2002)
  20. ^ Civil War #1 – 7 (May 2006 – Jan. 2007)
  21. ^ Mighty Avengers #1 (May 2007)
  22. ^ Mighty Avengers #6 (Oct. 2007)
  23. ^ New Avengers #51
  24. ^ Stated by Zemo in Avengers #9 (Oct. 1964) and confirmed by Wonder Man in Avengers #176 (Oct. 1978).
  25. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #62 (July 1995)
  26. ^ Galactic Guardians #1 – 4 (July – Nov. 1994)
  27. ^ A-Next #1 – 12 (Oct. 1998 – Sept. 1999)
  28. ^ Wonder Man #1-#5

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