Wonder Man #2
Issue(s): Wonder Man #2
...mind controls Wonder Man, and the West Coast Avengers have to fight him.
The difference is that since Wonder Man was already controlled by her once, it's easier for him to resist this time.
I do love that the Enchantress says she would have turned the Avengers into "hot fat" if she wasn't worried about attracting Odin's attention.
Resisting the Enchantress also wins Wonder Man some points with Scarlet Witch.
This issue also introduces Alex Flores, a Hollywood screenwriter.
The thing that's most interesting to me is the Enchantress' scheme. In my reading of the early #300s of Thor's run, it seemed like he was trying to encourage people to worship him, since the gods are kept alive and powered by worship. And that's explicitly what the Enchantress is trying to do here.
I think that's something that is missing from the depiction of gods in the Marvel universe. I think they should all be trying to garner "worshipers", in different ways, which would help distinguish them from other high powered characters, and would also explain the prominence of Norse gods (due to Thor's high profile position in the Avengers).
This issue is pretty average. It's lighter on the Hollywood satire than last issue (and next issue), and is more of a straight adventure story that could just as easily have been an Avengers West Coast fill-in issue. As with the Marvel Comics Presents story, it doesn't feel like a Wonder Man story since he's under Enchantress' control the whole time, but it's fine (if not anything special) as a basic Avengers West Coast story. Although i am liking Jeff Johnson's art, which reminds me of a Tom Morgan with tighter lines.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAuteur (Alex Flores), Enchantress, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), USAgent, Wonder Man
Reminds me a little bit of how the first three issues of Captain America and the Mighty Avengers had the new Captain America inverted from Axis.
Posted by: Max_Spider | October 31, 2015 1:41 PM
If I remember OHOTMU correctly, I think the difference between Marvel Universe "gods" and "demons" is that gods don't require human worship and demons do.
I actually think it's good to not go down the "ancient gods need modern worshippers route". It creates a lot of problems for the setting. Not only does it take characters like Thor away from the heroic, it opens up why the gods allowed their worshippers to fall away in the first place (I know about the Celestials angle, but really that is just a stop gap), and creates lots of problems for history explaining the rise of the monotheistic religions (if Odin is real, why not YHWH?).
Personally, I'd be much happier if the Asgardians were considered extradimensional entities and the Olympians the Eternals, and the other gods similar or mistaken Dr Strange like entities. But Marvel never had a coherent explanation - they just did whatever seemed fun at the time.
Posted by: Chris | October 31, 2015 2:06 PM
Chris, not Quite- the OHOTMU admitted the distinction between "gods" and "demons" was blurry but argued that the difference was that demons are parasitic, preying in some way on "lesser" beings.
Posted by: Michael | October 31, 2015 3:18 PM
DC, meanwhile, actually seems to take the tack of putting YHWH in some way "above" other classes of gods, without ever mentioning him by name. But then, other real-world pantheons play a much less starring role in DC, without a "Thor" figure; the closest thing they have is Wonder Woman, who has a much more tangential connection to the Greek gods than Marvel characters. She's not as inextricably linked to them as, say, the Spectre, who's literally the wrath of (the Judeo-Christian) God. DC seems to have explicitly subordinated most real-world pantheons to their in-house god-like concepts the New Gods and Endless, and even those seem to have been themselves subordinated to YHWH though the relationship has never been made perfectly clear. (Note: all this is pre-New 52, I have no idea how they've treated it in the post-New 52 era.)
Posted by: Morgan Wick | October 31, 2015 3:52 PM
Morgan, New 52 Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus so the connection to the Greek gods is more direct than ever before. I tried the book out for awhile and, unless something has changed in the last year or so, the gods are as much a part of her story now as Odin & co. are to Thor.
Posted by: Robert | October 31, 2015 7:20 PM
I never found out how they treated these issues in the New 52 era because DC died to me with the New 52. The core of Wonder Woman's character is being the quintessential female (and feminist) hero; if I could find a way to boil away her origin to remove any trace of the Amazons and the Greek gods, I would.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | November 1, 2015 6:01 PM
I knew the Wolverine series existed and ignored it while still reading X-Men. But at this point, AWC was the only comic I was still getting and I didn't even know this series existed and it didn't seem to have mattered. Shows how some comics really integrate well and some can just be ignored. Not a comment on the quality of this - just on how I could read AWC and not even know this existed.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 23, 2016 9:35 AM
Erik's comment gives me another opportunity to get on my Pro Footnote soapbox. Michael notes in the comments for Avengers West Coast #80 that the art and script may have been modified at the last minute to address the fact that Wonder Man's jetpack was destroyed. If Wonder Man's dialogue about no longer being able to fly had been accompanied by a footnote, Erik might at least have been aware of his solo series.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 28, 2016 11:14 AM
I am with you on that soapbox. All footnotes ever did was make me want to find those older issues and read them. Maybe Marvel didn't care because back issues don't give them any extra income - just the comic store selling them.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 28, 2016 11:17 AM
Wonder Man's series does actually get footnoted a fair bit in West Coast. Especially in a streak of issues concurrent/following the storyline in Wonder Man where Simon becomes a poor man's Hulk and then quits the team. And another that comes to mind is in #92, Goliath refers to his appearances in Wonder Man and it is footnoted. And of course during Galactic Storm there's probably a few footnotes pointing towards it. I mostly remember because it is exactly HOW I found out about the series and read it. When I was reading West Coast, it was pointed out enough that it felt substantially important. Maybe by this point you were just blanking out footnotes?
Posted by: AF | January 28, 2016 1:00 PM
In my personal case, I stopped reading AWC after the Hollywood Horror storyline, so before the issues you mention. But by then, they must have been running concurrently for several months without me realizing it (I had a subscription to AWC so wasn't in a store and wouldn't have seen Wonder Man on the shelves).
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 28, 2016 1:17 PM
Comments are now closed.
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