"I know, blast it! *grunts* But you don't know what it's like to die and come back. To be haunted by death... seeing any part of you alive makes you feel immortal. I can't have kids, you know — I'm just an ionic energy... thing. When your mind was based on mine, you were the closest I'd ever get to a son. And when she fell in love with your mind... I could feel a little closer to her."
Wonder Man is a Marvel Comics
superhero created by Stan Lee
, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby
. Making his debut in Avengers #9
(October, 1964), Simon Williams is one of the Avengers' strongest, most outspoken members. He won the Superpower Lottery
with his "ionic energy", which gives him speed, strength, immortality, flight, and plenty of other powers besides. (They tend to change with time.)
Originally the head of Williams Innovations, a munitions company competing with Stark Industries, Simon Williams was bright but inexperienced. Simon inherited the business after the death of his father, Sanford Williams. After his company's profits started to fall, Simon acted on bad advice from his brother, Eric, and was arrested for embezzlement. Eric's ties to the Maggia, an international crime syndicate, also placed Simon and his company in a bad light.
Blaming Tony Stark
for his company's troubles, Simon is about to be sent to prison when his bail is paid by Amora, the Enchantress. Temporarily free, Simon is faced with a proposition from Baron Zemo, the leader of the Masters of Evil: superhuman powers in exchange for destroying the The Avengers
from within. Agreeing, Simon accompanies the Masters to South America, where he is granted superhuman strength and durability via Zemo's "ionic ray" treatment. Calling his creation "Wonder Man", Zemo has Simon test his strength against Amora's companion, Skurge the Executioner. Besting Skurge, Wonder Man is informed that the treatment that gave him superpowers also altered his metabolism. Without periodic doses of a special serum, Simon would die within a week. This was intended to ensure Simon's loyalty to Zemo, the only man who could provide the serum.
Arranging a staged battle between himself and the Masters of Evil, Wonder Man is successful in winning the Avengers over. After explaining his reliance on Zemo's serum, the Avengers attempt to cure him but are unsuccessful. Left with no choice but to remain loyal to Zemo, Wonder Man leads the Avengers into an ambush by the Masters of Evil. During the battle, Simon has a change of heart and helps the Avengers defeat the Masters instead, knowing full well that he was sacrificing his lifeline in the process. Proud of his choice, Simon succumbs to the treatment's deadly side effect and falls into a coma. Unable to find any life signs, the Avengers come to the conclusion that Simon passed away. Placing his body in suspended animation for the trip back to the United States, Iron Man creates a copy of Simon's brain patterns in the hope that one day they'll be able to revive him. The brain patterns were later used by the super-villain Ultron to create a personality matrix for The Vision
, a synthezoid who would turn against his master and join the Avengers. Given Simon's history of having done exactly the same thing, this wasn't one of Ultron's smartest plans.
Meanwhile, his brother Eric, blaming the Avengers for his death, became the super-villain called The Grim Reaper and allied himself with other villains to gain revenge. He even had a voodoo priest reanimate Simon's body to attack them. It turned out however, that he wasn't dead, merely in a coma while he changed into an "ionic" form. In this form he was even more powerful and didn't need the serum to survive, though his eyes now glowed red.
The revived Simon joined the Avengers as Wonder Man, and was a member for years, becoming best friends with The Beast (from The X-Men
, at the time an Avenger) and later had a romantic relationship with Wanda the Scarlet Witch (who ironically had once been married to The Vision.) Simon was one of the founding members of the West Coast Avengers, and began a side career in Hollywood as an actor and stuntman. After the dismantling of the West Coast branch, he joined Iron Man's new team, Force Works, but was disintegrated on the team's first mission. Many months later, he would remanifest in a purely energy state, thanks to the Scarlet Witch subconsciously using her powers to call on him in times of need; she would later find a way to fully restore Simon to a physical body.
Simon was unwillingly drafted
into the pro-registration side of the Civil War
. In the wake of the Secret Invasion
, he became increasingly disillusioned with the perpetual cycle of superhero-supervillain violence. After repeatedly asking the Avengers not to re-assemble, he put together a team of similar malcontents (including a new Goliath, angry over his uncle's death during Civil War) who attack Avengers Mansion and Stark Tower, demanding that the Avengers be disbanded. The Avengers lock him up without a trial, effectively proving Wonder Man's point: the Avengers are powerful without accountability.
In the aftermath of the Avengers vs. X-Men
event, Wonder Man will be joining the cast of Uncanny Avengers
, a title launched as part of the Marvel NOW!
No relationship to Wonder Woman
, if you're wondering
. Though they have faced each other in some crossovers
In the Ultimate Marvel
universe, Wonder Man is the current form of Ultimate Ben Grimm
, after he "metamorphs" out of his classical golem-like
StorylinesVideo GamesWestern Animation
- Wonder Man vol. 1. (1986). One-shot.
- Wonder Man vol. 2 (1991-1994)
- Tales of the Marvels: Wonder Years (1995)
- Avengers Two: Wonder Man and Beast (2000)
- Wonder Man vol. 3 (2007)
Tropes seen in these series include: