The Small Lebowski:
Characters Appearing: Auteur (Alex Flores), Neal Saroyan, Snap (Ginger Beach), Spider-Man, Stat (Spider Beach), Wonder Man
Wonder Man #28-29
Issue(s): Wonder Man #28, Wonder Man #29
These are the final issues of Wonder Man's series.
Wonder Man is acting in Macbeth, but the witches become real.
Spider-Man happens to be around as well.
And then they meet the cause of all this. He's also a good representation of why this book is getting cancelled.
After a bit of fighting, they wind up back in the real world, where Wonder Man's momentum causes him to smash up the movie studio. Psyk-Out runs for it, and Wonder Man and Spider-Man follow. Ginger Beach grabs on to Spidey as he passes her.
Ginger begs Wonder Man to go check on Spider, who's been sent to a foster home. Wonder Man agrees, while Spider-Man continues to search for Psyk-Out. Spider has been told by his parents that if he tries to leave him, they'll accuse Ginger of child abuse. So when Wonder Man shows up, he tells Wonder Man that he's ok with getting put in a foster home. Wonder Man realizes that Spider was talking a little too emphatically, and realizes that Spider was "acting". Wonder Man calls his agent and tries to get a lawyer, but Neal tells him that Wonder Man's rampage in the studio on top of his past "savage" actions mean that the public is against him, and if he tries to help Spider it will do more harm than good.
Meanwhile, Psyk-Out turns out to be a criminal for hire who also has his own reasons for wanting to kill Wonder Man. He's semi-protecting, semi-extorting a gang action movie producers who are running a gun running ring on the side.
But Spider-Man catches up with him.
Wonder Man soon joins the fight as well. Psyk-Out warps them back into his fantasy dimension or whatever. Psyk-Out seems almost like a low-rent Mysterio. His powers come from something called "empathy waves".
He also says that Wonder Man destroyed his "last chance".
Psyk-Out has Spider-Man and Wonder Man fighting each other without realizing it.
But they figure it out, and then Wonder Man negates Psyk-Out's powers by triggering an explosion of ionic energy.
It turns out that Wonder Man accidentally and randomly trashed the set of a film where Psyk-Out's special effects technology was going to be used. And after that, the producer gave up on that movie, but hired Wonder Man to do Macbeth.
After Psyk-Out is defeated, the gun-running producers assume that they are next and attack. Spidey and Wonder Man stop them easily without really knowing what their deal was.
After Spidey leaves, Alex Flores approaches Wonder Man to apologize for writing the unauthorized move script about him. Wonder Man says that it's fine. He proposes to Alex and suggests that they adopt Spider afterwards (don't be confused! Not Spider-Man!). She doesn't give an answer yet, and Wonder Man says he won't push her.
Then Wonder Man hears that Macbeth is cancelled because he trashed the studio. And this allows him to give a speech on what it's like to be cancelled.
He says, well at least i'll still be in Avengers West Coast (well, Force Works, actually).
A note from Gerard Jones explains what happened to this series, and it tracks exactly with how i felt about the series as i was reading and reviewing it. The series started off as a deliberately quirky & lighthearted book. It gathered a small fan base, but wasn't selling to "expectations", and its shortcoming was attributed to the tone. So Jones did a 180 on the book's tone, and went really dark. I think he went way overboard in that direction, and in any event after that Jones' heart was no longer in it. So he did the four part story culminating in issue #25 that got rid of all the darkness. But by then the damage was done. The creators were taking on other projects, including Malibu Ultraverse stuff. In fact, the issues prior to that four-parter had fill-in art so that Jeff Johnson could come back and do the four-parter, causing Jones to have to stretch things out. Jones said that the book still had enough readers to keep going (although the SOO figures below say otherwise), but everyone decided it was time to call it quits.
Jones also mentions one story that he didn't get to do: Glamour Girl (Gloria Angel)'s powers were going to send the cast back to the 1940s for a film noir story. It does sound like a return to the whimsy of the early issues, but, along with "Psyk-Out", it also doesn't make me feel like we're missing out on anything amazing by the book getting cancelled.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 81,103. Single issue closest to filing date = 46,885.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: This takes place concurrently with Avengers West Coast #102. See the Considerations for the previous arc for more. The assumption is that Wonder Man is unaware that the West Coast Avengers have been disbanded. Note that the conceptual panel showing the West Coast Avengers shows Scarlet Witch in her old costume, but that can be explained as just how Wonder Man thinks of her. We'll see Wonder Man return to the West Coast compound at the end of Avengers West Coast #102, so this is probably taking place while the meeting in that issue is happening.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Psyk-Out claims at one point that his movie "would have been the great dinosaur blockbuster of '93." This is of course a reference to the famous movie, "Billy and the Cloneasaurus."
Posted by: TCP | April 3, 2017 10:01 AM
While it's sweet that Wonder Man is building a family that will surely be an important part of his life from now on, the moment's also twinged with sadness that his mother didn't live to see this day.
Posted by: Mortificator | April 3, 2017 5:44 PM
Except she DID live to see it, because she isn't dead. The WONDER MAN arc with Grim Reaper and Simon's parents had so many continuity errors it was ridiculous (and shocking with Fabian Niceiza as editor, since he is USUALLY really good for remembering continuity details). Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern ended up having to dismiss virtually the entire arc as mind-game illusions from Mephisto for some mysterious purpose when they tried cleaning up the mess in Busiek's AVENGERS run and Stern's AVENGERS TWO miniseries.
Posted by: Dermie | April 3, 2017 6:35 PM
I believe that was actually Mortificator's joke, Dermie. :-)
Posted by: fnord12 | April 3, 2017 7:32 PM
There were solicitations for Wonder Man 30 and 31 even though the series was cancelled at issue 29. There's two schools of thought about why this was. One was that it was deliberate- an attempt to hide Wonder Man's death in Force Works 1 which was supposed to come out in January 1994 (cover dated March 1994) but unfortunately Force Works got delayed a few months. The other is that the cancellation was so sudden the solicitations went out before they knew it was cancelled- but that's inconsistent with Jones's claim that the decision to end the book was made by the creative team.
Posted by: Michael | April 3, 2017 7:51 PM
"and shocking with Fabian Niceiza as editor, since he is USUALLY really good for remembering continuity details"
Revanche and Guardian would like a word with you.
Posted by: Vincent Valenti | April 3, 2017 11:12 PM
I think you left that comment on the wrong entry.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 4, 2017 12:28 AM
@Fnord, ah, right--that makes sense. lol. Whoops
@Vincent Valenti, that is why I was sure to emphasise the word "usually". ;)
Posted by: Dermie | April 4, 2017 5:58 PM
Whoops, I remembered seeing the "really good for remembering continuity details" line and thought fnord had said it or it was said on an entry where Niceiza actually was an editor, and missed it in the earlier comment.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | April 4, 2017 9:45 PM
I like a lot of the new Marvel titles, inadequate thought was given to Wonder Man's solo title other than "we have a somewhat popular character here, give him his own series." Whimsy was a bad fit for Wonder Man. Whimsical titles never have staying power anyway, the gags gets old very quickly. What you have here is one of Marvel's most powerful characters, someone who is a peer to Thor, Hulk, and Iron Man. Any title concept needs to milk drama and conflict from that premise.
1) Better supporting cast. I must give credit that Jones actually introduced a supporting cast early on, and they were normal people too. But they just didn't work because they were there for the whimsy side. Some characters work, but not others.
2) Ignore the Hollywood stuff. Wonder Man's role as a stunt man and later actor was never a good idea in my opinion. It was a desperate attempt to give Simon some more personality, but was the wrong way to go about it. There is no real good dramatic tension there. I'd simply make Simon a "celebrity hero" since he has a public ID. A glamorous hero the papparazzi pursues, but not waste time with getting acting gigs. Find him some other interest/career.
3) Figure out the kind of adventures he will be on that is appropriate to someone of Simon's power and nature. Whatever it is, it hasn't been seen in the past three years. If it were me, I'd steal from modern Superman comics without making it too obvious and avoid all his Silver Age Krypton baggage.
Posted by: Chris | September 26, 2017 6:20 PM
Anyone else amused by the idea of Wonder Man doing Shakespeare?
It's almost like Michael Keaton's Birdman... ;)
Posted by: Piotr Witkowski | October 3, 2017 7:13 PM
@Piotr- Simon may have made a passable Soothsayer in "Julius Caesar", but that's about the only Shakespearean role he could fill. :-)
Posted by: Brian Coffey | October 3, 2017 7:53 PM
"And then they meet the cause of all this. He's also a good representation of why this book is getting cancelled."
Possibly the greatest 'review' of a story ever written on supermegamonkey.
Posted by: Wis | October 7, 2017 4:21 AM
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