Issue(s): Avengers #9
This issue starts with Cap having schizophrenic hallucinations about Baron Zemo.
We then catch up with Zemo, the Enchantress, and the Executioner, still stuck in the dimension Thor banished them to, and it's revealed that the Enchantress could have teleported them home at any time, but she had forgotten how impatient mortals can be.
They decide they need a new ally to go up against the Avengers, so they find disgraced inventor Simon Williams and turn him into a super-villain. Just like that. Zemo is an incredible genius. As he's imbuing Williams with ionic energy, the Enchantress goes "Don't forget the invincibility!", like it's a minor ingredient in a pie Zemo is making. Zemo responds "Zemo forgets nothing!".
Williams, given an awkward costume (designed by Heck?) and the "corny name" Wonder-Man...
...has the strength of Giant-Man, bare fists equal to Thor's hammer (and Williams will for years talk about how his fists have been compared favorably to the hammer of Thor, without mentioning that the person doing the comparing was the evil Nazi scientist that created him!), transistor-powered jets that enable him to fly like Iron Man, and the hand-to-hand fighting ability of Captain America.
His loyalty is ensured by the fact that the ionic energy that created him is also killing him, and he need a weekly antidote from Zemo to stay alive.
The Masters of Evil plant Wonder Man on the Avengers by staging a scene where he helps them foil a MOE-led bank robbery (and no one questions why two immortal Asgardians and a Nazi super-genius would stoop to robbing banks). Giving a partial truth about his origin, the Avengers learn about the fact that he's dying and set out to try and help him. Even the Teen Brigade does some research at the local library, although i'm not sure there's a lot of books on "Terminal Illness Caused By Ionic Nazi Super Science".
Note that Janet would rather go out to eat than have her boyfriend try to stop a man from dying.
More from the happy couple and their "friendly" bickering:
Then Wonder Man kidnaps the Wasp in order to lure the rest of the team back to Zemo's South American compound. The whole "pretending to join the team" part of the strategy doesn't make a lot of sense, or at least they don't get a lot of mileage out of it. If they wanted to fight the Avengers at their compound they could have just invited them there. I can think of better uses for a mole on the Avengers, and i'm not even a Nazi super-genius.
On the other hand, Zemo did have a giant magnet waiting to trap Iron Man, so that shows some planning.
Anyway, the Avengers lose due to Wonder Man's power, but then Simon has a change of heart and switches sides. The Masters of Evil flee, and Wonder Man dies. It will later be retconned that the Avengers somehow make an electronic recording of Wonder Man's brain waves before he dies, although I can't image what they intended to do with it.
The Avengers Classic reprint shows Wonder Man actually capturing the Wasp, something that happened off panel in the original.
It's not terribly necessary but it does depict the Wasp as a more competent individual than the the original books were at the time...
...and it shows Williams being a little smitten with her as well.
Quality Rating: C- Historical Significance Rating: 4 - first Wonder Man
Chronological Placement Considerations: Happy and Pepper are watching Iron Man distrustfully, wondering if he's responsible for Tony Stark's disappearance. The MCP places this during Tales of Suspense #59.
Continuity Implant? P - minor back-up story is continuity insert
Reprinted In: Avengers Classic #9
Inbound References (18): show
Wonder Man was dropped due to a cease-and-desist letter from DC over the name similarity to Wonder Woman. Marvel brought him back in the 1970s when DC introduced Power Girl in 1976, hypocritically ignoring their established Power Man.
I actually like Heck's art a lot, but it seems to start declining when the issues hit the 20s. He's not the best action artist, but he's serviceable. He is probably the best draftsman of the early Marvel period though - and the only one who could draw attractive women.
so, Wonder Man is the Super Skrull of the Avengers
i'm starting to think the Wasp and Pym aren't actually dating. i think it's all in the Wasp's head.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|