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August 21, 2011

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Wonder Man

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Written by: Billy
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Hey everybody, welcome back to Marvel Snapshot! After a two week layoff (vacation), I’m back and ready to deliver another great character spotlight from the Marvel U. This week, I’ll be focusing on none other than Wonder Man, Simon Williams himself! He was created by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Don Heck back in 1964 (Avengers #9).

Simon Williams was a rich industrialist who was left this fortune by his father when he died. After a while, the company got into financial trouble, mainly because Stark Industries was their main competition, and was making leaps and bounds compared to them. Simon’s brother, Eric, then convinced his brother to steal money from the company. Well, the authorities found out, and Simon was thrown in jail. Meanwhile, Baron Zemo had a plan to use Simon’s hate for Stark Industries, to exact a plan of murder against the Avengers. He had the Enchantress bail Simon out of jail, and then Simon agreed to undergo a process where his body would be pumped full of ionic energy. This granted him superhuman strength and durability. So much so, that he even beat the Executioner in a test. Zemo then had Wonder Man infiltrate the Avengers, acting as one of their members. The Avengers ended up getting captured by Zemo, but when Zemo was about to kill them, Wonder man had a change of heart and rescued them. Although, he apparently died in the ensuing fight. Iron Man recorded his brain patterns, though, in the hopes that one day he could be revived.

These events are what led Simon’s brother, Eric, to become the Grim Reaper. Simon wasn’t actually dead, however, just in a catatonic state that resembled death, and he was eventually brought out of it. In the meantime, Ultron constructed an android (The Vision), and used the brain patterns of Simon Williams to give his creation life. This is why Vision has the same attributes as Simon. Wonder Man then became a regular member of the team and fought alongside them against Dr. Doom, Attuma, and a whole host of others, including his own brother, the Grim Reaper. He also became best friends with Beast. He fell in love with the Scarlet Witch, and this created some tension, because she was married to the Vision. They eventually made their way across the country along with a few other members, and became the West Coast Avengers.

The Kree/Shi’ar War, and many other battles, are part of the life of Simon Williams over time, and he was even killed off again, but brought back by Wanda (Scarlet Witch). He became a spokesman for the government during Civil War, had an affair with Ms. Marvel, and then quit the team to keep his acting career alive. The most recent appearance, though, has shown that Simon is totally against there even being a team of Avengers, stating that it only brings death and sorrow. Iron Man then informed Thor that Simon was leaking ionic energy, and his mental state is what’s causing this.

As usual, take a look at some covers and my recommended reading list below, and have a great weekend! See you next week.

Recommended Reading
Essential Avengers vol. 1 – Tpb
Essential Avengers vol. 6 – Tpb
Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest – Tpb
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 Civil War – Tpb (2006)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 Operation Lightning Storm – Tpb (2006)
Ms. Marvel Vol. 4 Monster Smash – Tpb (2006)

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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7 Comments



  1. I’ve loved Wonder Man ever since I first saw him in Avengers #177, one of my very first comics! Personally I think that once he started to become an actor things have gone downhill for him. I didn’t care for his 90’s series but I enjoyed how Busiek wrote him in the Avengers v. 3.



  2. Wonder Man is pretty cool. I just think the whole Vision/Wanda/Simon thing was a bit strange since they are both like the same guy.



  3. What is it about this guy that people like? I just don’t get it because he’s never really stood out to me and is never really missed (at least by me) when he’s not around.


  4. Billy

    @Thomas- I also enjoyed the volume 3/Busiek years (especially the Kang issues).
    @Nick- Yeah, agreed. I liked it when he and Wanda just hooked up. Or better yet, he and Ms. Marvel.
    @Speech- I always liked his “Superman-esque” qualities. When Thor wasn’t around, he was the muscle of the team. I’m cool with that, but like Thomas said, the whole TV actor thing is just dumb.



  5. Good job. I’ve always had a soft spot for Wonder Man, as he was one of the first Marvel superheroes I was curious about. I didn’t know most of this history though, and am curious enough to pick up next month’s New Avengers Annual with him in it.



  6. […] so he created a “synthezoid.” The Vision has the brainwaves of the then presumed dead Wonder Man, and this is something that will plague him for a while. Vision initially goes after Janet van […]



  7. […] destroying Avengers Tower. The real danger, though, just might be coming from the press conference Wonder Man has called as he exposes the problems caused by the Avengers to the world.Where the beginning of […]



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