Wonder Man annual #2
Issue(s): Wonder Man annual #2
There is nothing i can say that is funnier than that design is all on its own. Although i do want to bring attention to the giant H and M on his shoulders. That is classy. The open shirt is without question of course also a highlight. I will point out that on the trading card that came with this annual, the coloring de-nudifies the chest...
...but there's no doubt from the interior art that this guy goes around open shirted.
Love the painted on mask, too.
Hitmaker does get some continuity cred since it'll turn out that his costume is based on Rampage...
...and i also want to give him some points for making fun of Marvel's multi-racial gangs.
Hitmaker - who is a quadriplegic without the body armor - attacks Wonder Man as a way to increase his own profile in Hollywood. But Wonder Man teaches him the true meaning of heroism, etc.. And with the help of the Beast, they tackle a gang that Hitmaker and his brother were mixed up with. Hitmaker stole the suit from them. The gang is backed up by Recession Raiders.
It's noted that the Recession Raiders couldn't have adapted the Rampage technology on their own, so they must be working with someone higher up. But Hitmaker prevents Wonder Man from catching them, in part because he wants to deal with his brother on his own, and in part because he wants to look good in front of the arriving cameras. And also so that Hitmaker would have something to do on his own, in the astronomically small chance that this story was well received and he got more appearances. Which didn't happen. Hitmaker, heal thyself.
The first back-up story focuses on Splice. Someone made a movie about him, with live footage of one of his assassination hits. Splice doesn't like that he didn't get a share of the profits. So he kills the people that he feels ripped him off while making the cameraman film him for a sequel.
The second back-up checks in on the It the Living Colossus cast. Bob O'Bryan has built a new It the Living Colossus which Wonder Man is "fighting" in a movie. But a rival special effects guy named Charlie is mad that O'Bryan underbid him, so he takes control of the Colossus. Wonder Man's challenge is to deal with the rampaging robot without destroying it.
O'Bryan actually manages to take control back, and Charlie is caught.
It's nice to see It the Living Colossus (or a facsimile) again, and with the Hollywood ties, Wonder Man's book is a good place to do it. The story actually fits with the early whimsical direction of the regular series. Nothing can make up for Hitmaker, though.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: Even though Wonder Man #25 seems to continue directly from Wonder Man #24 (and there aren't really any other good breaks in Wonder Man #22-25) this seems to go between those issues. Wonder Man is wearing his pre-Wonder Man #25 costume and he says that he's had "a week of pure Hades" and worries that Hitmaker's attack is "another ploy of the Grim Reaper or Blackheart" and later says that "Blackheart is making me do things I don't like" with a footnote pointing to Wonder Man #24 & 25. So it's definitely meant to take place during Wonder Man #22-25 somewhere. When he first meets Hitmaker, he says that he's late for a meeting with the Beast, so i guess the idea is that after meeting the Beast at the end of Wonder Man #24, they take a break and then meet back in the same place for the beginning of #25. It's hard to believe that Wonder Man took time out from dealing with having a demon arm and the endangerment of the souls of various loved ones to respond to taunts from Hitmaker, but that does seem to be the case.
Crossover: 1993 Annuals
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBeast, Bob O'Bryan, Diane Cummings, It the Living Colossus Robot, Megan McCambridge, Splice II, Wonder Man
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