Wonder Man #4
Issue(s): Wonder Man #4
I will say this for Splice, though. Unlike some characters i could mention, he actually puts all those pouches to good use.
Splice has been sent after Wonder Man because he accidentally destroyed some property (dinosaur statues!) in an earlier issue, and that property turns out to be owned by Lotus Newmark, a one time Hawkeye villain. She erroneously assumes that Wonder Man is on to her current scheme.
But that's not really the case, and Wonder Man thinks that he's been lured to an audition where for once he'll get a real role instead of an action role/quasi-stunt man. Instead he's attacked by Splice.
I'm probably reading this differently than intended. Because all i can think is that this Splice guy is no match for Wonder Man. So while i'm mostly pleased that Wonder Man just keeps shrugging off whatever Splice throws at him...
...i think we're supposed to focus on the fact that Splice is a quick learner and that he eventually does come up with a way to stop Wonder Man. Wonder Man is helped by his friend Alex Flores.
I do like the role-reversal "plot-twist" message of the ending, but i still feel like Splice should have been out cold after that first punch from Simon. Granted we don't know much about the character's origins yet (only that he also came to Hollywood to become an actor but got into the assassination business instead), but there are few characters that should be able to withstand a punch to the head from Wonder Man, and this guy shouldn't be one of them.
Also in this issue we meet a dancer named Lahoya Scripps and her friend Aundray Phelps, later Buff and Attractive Lad of Crazy Eight.
And earlier we met Argus LeVecchio, who will also be in the Crazy Eight, as Visionary.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: It's mentioned that Wonder Man still doesn't have his jet pack repaired.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAndrew (Lotus henchman), Attractive Lad (Aundray Phelps), Auteur (Alex Flores), Buff (Lahoya Scripps), Glamour Girl (Gloria Angel), Lady Lotus, Neal Saroyan, Splice II, Visionary (Argus LeVecchio), Wonder Man
This was the only issue of Wonder Man I picked up in real time and I hated it. Years later when I was grabbing up every cheap back issue I could find, I got the whole series hoping it would read better with age. It did not.
Posted by: Robert | November 23, 2015 2:34 PM
Well I enjoyed it for what it was.
Posted by: Grom | November 23, 2015 6:37 PM
I think the idea is that Splice's suit absorbs impacts but not electricity- I think Simon even suggests that it might be vibranium in a later issue. But it should have been explained more clearly.
Posted by: Michael | November 23, 2015 8:11 PM
In fact, Simon says his suit is vibranium this issue- page 22.
Posted by: Michael | November 23, 2015 11:28 PM
Fnord, if you are tracking the appearances and introductions of Crazy Eight members like LaHoya, then you should also note Aundray's first appearance here, as well as Argus (and Gloria, back in issue #1).
As for Splice--I really liked him. Yes, he was definitely outmatched against Wondy in terms of strength, but I think his costume had some sort of exo-skeleton or something to it that enhanced his strength, speed, etc (which helps explain how he wasn't knocked out by Simon's punch--not to mention surviving that electric zap Alex gives him).
But one thing I appreciated with Splice is the added variety to Simon's rogues gallery. Most of the foes that he tends to get thrown up against are in the bruiser category (like Goliath and Gamma Burn thus far). Having an opponent who relies more on speed, wits, hit-and-run tactics and a variety of trick weapons is a different challenge for Simon. So that was nice.
I'd like to see someone bring Splice back. Although he started out as a Wonder Man villain, there is no reason he couldn't turn up in virtually any Marvel book. He's an assassin fore hire, so he doesn't need to be tied to any one character or location.
Posted by: Dermie | November 24, 2015 1:08 AM
I've added the additional Crazy Eighters, thanks Dermie. For some reason the MCP doesn't track them.
My point about Hollywood Deadpool is less about whether or not he has a vibranium weave and more that a guy who is an assassin for hire should never be a direct challenge to Wonder Man. Speedfreek is a similar character - someone who is able to stand up against the Hulk because he has been given way more rare Marvel materials than most classic Marvel villains are able to get. But at least Speedfreek's super-speed makes him difficult for the Hulk to catch, if not punch out, and he has an interesting personality. I agree with Dermie that Splice might have made a decent villain for other characters, except that we already have Spymaster and Deadpool to play the role that he plays.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 24, 2015 7:47 AM
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