Characters Appearing: Adam Warlock, Agatha Harkness, Angel, Auteur (Alex Flores), Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Dr. Druid, Dr. Strange, Drax the Destroyer, Dreamer (Jamie Flores), Galactus, Gamora, Havok, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iceman, Invisible Woman, Jean Grey, Living Lightning, Moondragon, Nova (Frankie Raye), Nova (Rich Rider), Pip the Troll, Polaris, Professor X, Psylocke, Quasar, Rogue, Sasquatch, Scarlet Witch, Shaman, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer, Soul Gem, Storm, Strong Guy, Thanos, Thing, Thunderstrike, Vindicator (Heather Hudson), Vision, Visionary (Argus LeVecchio), Wolverine, Wonder Man
Wonder Man #14
Issue(s): Wonder Man #14
Warlock understandably takes Wonder Man's rantings as an example of the senseless violence inherent in super-heroes. It almost reads as a meta-criticism of the super-hero genre except that we're supposed to be looking at things from Wonder Man's perspective and we "know" that Wonder Man isn't just being violent for the sake of it (although, especially after last issue, it's hard to be sympathetic to him).
When mindless rage isn't enough, Wonder Man works himself up by convincing himself he's fighting to protect the Scarlet Witch.
Then the fight is shut down by the arrival of Galactus. And, as we saw in the main Infinity War book, Galactus then creates a mind-meld with everyone involved, which should have let Wonder Man know that his fighting really was misguided. It also triggers a flashback to his origin. The reminder that Baron Zemo created Wonder Man as "a living engine of destruction" dovetails with his current situation.
The doubts that come with this, along with a reminder that he was once "dead", cause his body to shrivel. No one else notices because they're all experiencing the mind-meld themselves, which i guess is why there was no hint of this in Infinity Watch #4.
Although Thor does help him up.
Love Herc's expression.
Wonder Man then goes over the Scarlet Witch and insults the hell out of her.
Wanda is surprisingly tolerant about this. She notes that Wonder Man is acting "insane" but looks concerned and asks if he's ok.
That's basically it for new content in this issue (except for the supporting character subplot, below). So this is one of the issues that repeats events from the core book but adds an extra layer. In theory it's giving a character development focus that wasn't in the main book, but the "development" is so weird and out of left field, especially since there's no hint of it in any other books, that it's hard to get behind. I mentioned in the arc after Galactic Storm that writer Gerard Jones seems to be rolling with the punches, essentially; incorporating elements from the crossovers that he has to participate in. And i get that after being there for the genocide of the Kree, and being at ground zero for the Nega-Bomb explosion, there should be implications, both physically and mentally. And with almost no time to recover, Wonder Man is thrown into the confusion of the Infinity War. And from a certain point of view, that kind of chaos and trauma is exactly what Jones is depicting here. But it might have been better to not have Wonder Man go so far off the bend so quickly. Maybe instead of having these things play out here, they could have been suppressed, only to come back to the surface even stronger after the Infinity War, when Jones would have had more space to explore things properly. In fact, as i said last issue, the fact that Wonder Man is among friends during this time might have been a good opportunity to keep the fun tone of the early issues of this series, showing Wonder Man hanging out with Hercules and friends while biting back on the pain that he's feeling deep inside (and i think i would have left out the power problem altogether).
As for that subplot, we continue to see powers develop for Wonder Man's supporting cast.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place during Infinity Watch #4, beginning with the fight between the expeditionary force and the Infinity Watch, and ending as Thanos tells the heroes about the duplication of the universe that Magus is performing.
Posted by: Multiple Manu | December 19, 2017 3:06 AM
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