Wonder Man #26-27
Issue(s): Wonder Man #26, Wonder Man #27
We seem to be trying a new direction again. Wonder Man has taken it upon himself to deal with fundamentalists that have taken over the Islamic Republic of "Kanem".
Kanem is said to have the "world's most advanced food-growing system", called Agrimax, and the fundamentalists apparently have a "super-terrorist", which is why Wonder Man thinks he should be involved. More generally, though, he's calling himself "Earth's immortal protector".
Wonder Man is going to Kanem against the orders of the US government and he has to fight his way through the airforce to get there. The Avengers disavow his actions.
Wonder Man arrives and finds the busted Agrimax facility and gets permission to try to fix it. But then the Hulk shows up, fist first.
Hulk is working with a group of Kanemis soldiers that claim that Wonder Man is the one who destroyed the facility. So they fight. Wonder Man doesn't seem to be keeping up with the Hulk's changes (even though they've been in all the Infinities together).
The Hulk, meanwhile, has gotten the latest data on Wonder Man from the Pantheon, so he knows that Wonder Man has fought the Avengers and teamed up with Grim Reaper recently. But Wonder Man proves his innocence by saving a kid that tries to run into the middle of the fight to stop it.
One thing that is kind of refreshing is that the Hulk is very tolerant towards the Kanemis when they get upset that the Hulk decides to believe Wonder Man over them.
It turns out, though, that the general is secretly working for whoever the heck these guys are.
Ok, there's some of the comedy that we saw in the earliest issues of this series.
Too bad the art is atrocious.
The big guy, "Furor", seems kind of dumb.
The guy in the floating wheelchair, "Plan Master", is the brains of the operation.
Furor also seems to be Plan Master's son.
Hulk and Wonder Man seemed to get knocked out by Furor, but they were just faking. They hear the talk with the general, and pop back up to deal with him after Furor and Plan Master leave. Wonder Man then flies after the super-villains, leaving the Hulk to do some more comedy.
Wonder Man tosses Furor into Plan Master. Furor is enraged by being forced to injure Plan Master, but Wonder Man is able to hold him off again. Then the elders of Kanem show up, demanding to know just what the heck is going on here. The general tries to lie and say that all four super-characters are behind the destruction of Agrimax, but Furor has had enough and reveals what's really going on.
A little more humor from the Hulk when Wonder Man offers their services in fixing Agrimax (doesn't the Pantheon have tech resources for that?), but also some heartfelt admiration.
Wonder Man anticipates re-joining the West Coast Avengers when he gets home, but instead he finds a couple of crises in his supporting cast. Ginger Beach is losing custody of Spider, and Alex Flores has agreed to write a movie script with an unauthorized screenplay focused on Wonder Man.
I like the basic Authority style plot, which not coincidentally is the sort of thing that the Hulk is supposed to be doing in his own book. The execution in terms of the writing isn't horrible either; i enjoy the more light-hearted scripting. The art overshadows all of that, unfortunately, and therefore any new change in direction probably wasn't going to get noticed.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Hulk can appear here in the gap in Hulk #407.
In Avengers West Coast #102, the Vision says that Wonder Man's last known location was in these issues ("His last known location was the third-world state of Kanem... where he engaged the Hulk"). None of the other West Coast Avengers correct the Vision. That seems to suggest that Wonder Man's appearances in Scarlet Witch #1-4 and Wonder Man #28-29 shouldn't take place between this issue and Avengers West Coast #102. Scarlet Witch #1-4 features Scarlet Witch's new costume (which suggests placement after Avengers West Coast #101) but takes place before the break-up of the West Coast Avengers in AWC #102. So this issue should take place after Avengers West Coast #101 and also after Scarlet Witch #1-4. Wonder Man #28-29 definitely should take place after these issues (i.e. they're not an out-of-sequence fill-in or the like). In issue #29, Wonder Man will think to himself that he should get back to "my friends in the Avengers" in a panel that shows a conceptual drawing of the West Coast team. A later narration panel in that issue, in a plug for Force Works, informs us that "they're the Avengers West Coast no more!". An epilogue in Avengers West Coast #102 shows Wonder Man arriving at the Avengers West compound to find out that they've disbanded, so it seems that Wonder Man #28-29 can take place during the main story in Avengers West Coast #102 but before the epilogue. That honors the idea that these issues are Wonder Man's last known location at the time of the meeting in #102. (The alternative is to say that Wonder Man #28-29 occur before AWC #102 but that the other Avengers aren't aware of them, but those issues feature a fairly public fight in Hollywood, guest starring Spider-Man, so it's more plausible to say that they hadn't occurred by the time of the meeting.)
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAuteur (Alex Flores), Dreamer (Jamie Flores), Hulk, Neal Saroyan, Snap (Ginger Beach), Stat (Spider Beach), Wonder Man
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