Wonder Man #8
Issue(s): Wonder Man #8
Captain Marvel's team of Avengers is with Shi'ar Empress Lilandra as she is about to deploy the Nega-Bomb, and they are therefore witness to dissension among the Starjammers. Corsair, being an Earthling, refuses to bring the bomb through his old solar system. The rest of the Starjammers nonetheless agree to take the job, with reasons ranging from loyalty to the Shi'ar empire to "hey, we're mercenaries". Vision sides with Lilandra.
Vision's comment is a portent of the conflict between him and Wonder Man that will be the point of focus for this and the next Wonder Man chapter of the story. I am not a big fan of how that conflict plays out, and from my perspective, despite his appeal to logic, the Vision seems to be making a classic logical fallacy, argument from authority ("Lilandra rules by logic and therefore what she's doing must be right"). At the very least he seems to be leaping to conclusions.
Wonder Man, citing the fact that he used to be a weapons manufacturer and therefore knows that weapons created as deterrents nonetheless "demand to be used", objects to the launching of the bomb. He's too late to stop the transport ship from launching, but he grabs the Vision and leaps for it, making his way inside. Here's more from the Vision.
It's impossible for me to say that the Vision is acting "out of character", given that his personality was erased. But even after that, despite his lack of emotions, he chose to remain with a team of super-heroes. Protecting lives. So even though i've been reading along with all of his appearance since his deconstruction at the hands of John Byrne, his attitude in this story struck me as being "wrong".
Mixed in with this conversation is one about how Wonder Man is "irrationally disturbed" that the Vision's personality is no longer based on his own.
Steve Englehart treated Vision and Wonder Man as if they were brothers, but you'll see above that Gerard Jones says that Wonder Man thinks of the Vision like a son, and at the same time was romancing the Scarlet Witch by proxy through him.
The Vision tells Wonder Man that he'd be better off if he'd just shut down his emotions entirely, like he has.
Vision and Wonder Man are actually in a cargo freight that is being towed along by the Starjammers in a separate ship. But the Starjammers eventually detect the intruding Avengers, and go back to the freighter to attack.
The 1986 era Marvel handbooks put Ch'od's strength level at 20 tons, which is more than i would have guessed, but still way less than Wonder Man's 95 tons (not to mention his invulnerability). And he's the most powerful of the Starjammers (not counting Binary, who isn't here). And the Vision's no chump either. So the fight doesn't last long. The Starjammers are subdued, and Wonder Man makes a pitch to them, trying to convince them not to employ the weapon. The Starjammers think they are just transporting a portal, but Wonder Man knows that it's opening a portal to the Negative Zone, which would therefore unleash a force that will kill billions in the Kree galaxy. That convinces them to not deploy the bomb, but the problem is that their ship is already racing towards the stargate at top speed. The Starjammers get back to their ship, jettison the freighter, and go through the stargate. This leaves Wonder Man and Vision floating in deep Shi'ar space with the Nega-Bomb, but at least it wasn't deployed to Kree space and detonated (yet).
I don't really like the Vision's more-Spock-than-Spock personality but as i said, i can't really complain that it's wrong. I've also gone on at length elsewhere about my opinions on the whole Wonder Man/Vision relationship, so i won't repeat it. Suffice it to say i never really saw the Vision as a duplicate of Wonder Man in the first place, so Wonder Man's weird comments about immortality and about his vicarious enjoyment of the Vision/Scarlet Witch romance are weird to me.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part eleven of Operation: Galactic Storm. It continues in Avengers #346.
Crossover: Operation Galactic Storm
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showCaptain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Ch'od, Corsair, Cr'reee, Hepzibah, Lilandra, Living Lightning, Raza Longknife, Scarlet Witch, Starfox, Thunderstrike, Vision, Waldo, Wonder Man
This is the first time we've heard Simon claim that he can't have kids.
Posted by: Michael | January 31, 2016 5:35 PM
Well, in Avengers #157-158, there's a little hint of that.
Posted by: AF | February 1, 2016 3:41 AM
I don't know why anyones surprised there were lots of signs that Wonder Man was totally an energy being in the 90s.. for one thing, he was in Guardians of the Galaxy comic, completely immortal and then in P.Davids last Avengers story, the Hulk creates an Ion Bomb explosion by ripping him apart, and then he apparently dies from the same thing in Force Works #1...
Let's say my man Simon wasn't even an energy being.. he still came back from the dead. So why do peeps assume he's, uh, working regular down below after that LOL?
I also think its weird as hell to have the Vision be like a "son" after all the 1980s closeness of an accepting Simon referring to Vision as his brother in that one mini-series where we found out Magneto was Wanda's Dad.. it seems a lot of growth and continuity was established in the 80s making the Marvel U that much richer just for them to screw it up in the 90s because they needed stories, smh... I liked stuff like Darkhawk and X-Force because it wasn't messing up old stuff.. it was groundbreaking.. but this kinda thing.. Byrne has a habit of abusing people in his comics and what he did to the Vision is kinda typical for him...
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity, Actor, Author, Food Critic, Comics CEO | February 1, 2016 5:50 AM
But he's clearly implied to have sex with Tigra in West Coast Avengers 5, so obviously he's... fully functional.
Posted by: Michael | February 1, 2016 8:00 AM
dude, being able to get it up does not mean you are able to, how do I put it without fnord slapping me LOL- you know, it don't mean that all his fish can SWIM. if the dude don't bleed he may lack some other functions where fluids are concerned! LOL!
Posted by: Brimstone: Wrestler, Celebrity, Actor, Author, Food Critic, Comics CEO | February 1, 2016 3:41 PM
Seems like they're going for a Spock vs. McCoy thing with Simon and the Vison, and failing.
Posted by: Bob | February 1, 2016 5:21 PM
Being unable to get a woman pregnant doesn't mean a man is impotent; millions of men have vasectomies and they can still sexually function perfectly well.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 3, 2016 12:08 PM
I do think Michael raises an interesting question, though I don't know whether Fnord wants us to debate it! I was of the impression that Wonder Man and Goliath didn't need to eat or breathe, and were basically energy beings that no longer really had internal organs. So it doesn't surprise me that Wonder Man can't have kids, though we're a while off Busiek's Avengers which if I remember correctly treated Simon completely as an energy being.
I'm not sure either of them have been consistently portrayed as pure energy beings, certainly not as of 1992. I'm pretty sure we've seen Wonder Man bleed (possibly by the Scarlet Witch in Byrne's run, or other issues?). While Goliath is shown in Web Of Spider-Man 60 to have a heartbeat, which always seemed a mistake, but hey it's in a comic so I guess it must be correct (unless we can No-Prize it). So having blood still being pumped around should be enough to explain how he is "fully functional", but I'm not sure the comics ever really tried to make a scientific explanation of how the internal systems of these ionic beings actually worked, even in the official handbooks. Do they still have skeletons, for instance? Is it just their flesh is now made entirely of energy?
Posted by: Jonathan | February 3, 2016 1:39 PM
And Jessica Jones broke Atlas' nose in more recent comics. Yeah, the "being made of ionic energy" is often either forgotten or ignored.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | February 3, 2016 11:00 PM
Re Goliath: in Web of Spider-Man 60, he has a heart attack but in West Coast Avengers 1, it's stated that he no longer has blood. There doesn't seem to be any way both of these statements can be true.
Posted by: Michael | February 3, 2016 11:11 PM
To be fair, Atlas' status has gone through a number of changes over the years--during his time with the Thunderbolts he lost all of his ionic power, and was reverted back to human form and needed to be powered by Pym Particles again. And later he lost the Pym Particles and ended up ionic powered again. So, just because his power set and physiology was defined one way in the past does not mean that the same is necessarily true NOW.
The same is true of Wonder Man, given the number of deaths and rebirths he has had over the years. During the WONDER MAN series they tended to treat him as if he was literally made out of energy. But in prior stories he was said to be flesh and blood, but his cells were all charged with energy.
When Busiek brought Simon back from the dead in his AVENGERS run, he returned to the "cells charged with energy" status quo...but writers since then have veered back towards the "made out of solid energy" definition. I think its safe to assume that ionic-powered characters end up in a state of flux.
Posted by: Dermie | February 4, 2016 12:23 AM
X-Ray of the U-Foes is a being of intangible living energy.
Posted by: Oliver_C | February 4, 2016 6:26 AM
"A little extra art help on this and next issue."
Given how strange all the heads look in the first panel, I'm not sure I'd define it as "help". Although most of the rest of the issue doesn't seem to be that bad.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 26, 2016 11:34 AM
By the way, despite being "treated like an energy being", Busiek did imply that the Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man were having sexual relations. Indeed one of tbe big impetus or Simon's "summons" from the dead was to "comfort" Wanda...including physically and intimately.
And of course lots of heroes and villians who don't NEED to eat do so anyway (for instance, Mercury of New X-Men fame says she eats just to feel like a "normal person.")
Posted by: Jon Dubya | November 17, 2016 12:26 AM
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