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Wonder Man

Alter Ego: Simon Williams

Notable Aliases: Mr. Muscles, Hal Canutt

First Appearance: The Avengers #9 (October, 1964)

An industrialist driven out of business by Tony Stark, he was approached by the Masters of Evil and offered superpowers and revenge. It wasn't until after he'd gotten his powers that the Masters revealed the catch -that his powers would kill him without regular treatments that only Baron Zemo could provide - and sent him to infiltrate the Avengers. Since Good Feels Good, though, Wonder Man discovered he preferred being a hero and ended up saving the team from the Masters' trap at the cost of his own life. (Being comics, he got better. Then worse. Then better again.)

  • '80s Hair: His mullet, seen most prominently in West Coast Avengers, is something he won’t ever live down
  • Actual Pacifist: Simon takes this up once he joins the Avengers Unity Squad, stating that things can't always be solved by punching things. He proves that during the Infinity storyline as he prevents his teammates from attacking a man who for reasons involving his wife turning out to be an Inhuman is now thirty feet tall, and is able to find out what happened to his family.
  • Always Someone Better: DC's Wonder Woman during JLA/Avengers. In an alternate reality where the Justice League and Avengers co-exist, Wonder Woman always beats Wonder Man in an annual arm wrestling contest with a smile on her face. Their fight in the Savage Land also goes Wonder Woman's way after she ties up Simon with her lasso.
  • Asleep for Days: In the graphic novel Emperor Doom, Simon goes into a sensory deprivation tank for a month, and thus isn't around to notice when Doctor Doom uses his Mind Control device to Take Over the World. Since he's immune to the Purple Man's powers, it's up to Simon to stop Doom and restore free will to the world.
  • Back from the Dead: More than once, like most heroes.
  • Berserk Button: Wolverine learned the hard way that you don't taunt Simon about his unrequited feelings for the Scarlet Witch after being punched through a wall like a common Mook.
  • Brain Uploading: Ultron used the comatose Simon's brain patterns to create a personality matrix for the synthezoid Vision. Coming to terms with the Vision, who was dismantled by the U.S. government after attempting to take control of the world's computer systems, Simon suddenly refuses to allow the Avengers to use his brain patterns after reassembling the synthezoid. Calling the procedure a violation, Simon refers to his "brother" as nothing but a copy.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": His costumes always have a W chest insignia, and on some costumes, the letter M.
  • Cain and Abel: As kids, Simon was always the favorite while his brother, Eric, was considered the "black sheep" of the family. This made Eric jealous and bitter, leading to his later career as the villainous Grim Reaper.
  • Celebrity Superhero: He's a superhero thats also an actor, famous for being a movie star who does his own stunts. Being an invulnerable hero basically made of Hard Light, he doesn't need a stunt double. Lately writers have been playing up his vanity, with him once stopping pursuit of an enraged Hercules to sign autographs for a smitten fan. His appearance in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 has him introduce himself as though posing for a photo.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: Torn between becoming a full-time actor and his superhero duties, Simon comes to this conclusion after the Abomination attacks during his latest movie's public relations gathering. Instead of being concerned by the destruction, Simon's actor friends are shallow and materialistic, forcing Simon to reconsider his life.
  • Civvie Spandex: Though his original costume was a garish red-and-green affair, for much of Wonder Man's career he just fought crime in civilian clothes, or pants and a tank top with a big "W" symbol on it.
  • Claustrophobia: Simon became mildly claustrophobic after years in suspended animation.
  • Cool Shades: Originally worn to hide his red eyes, the shades become part of Simon's costume during his time in Hollywood.
  • Cowardly Lion: Early in his career thanks to his fear of death.
  • Curse Cut Short: During his fight with the assassin, Ladykiller, in Wonder Man: My Fair Super Hero #1:
    Wonder Man: Ah-ah. None of that. This is Hollywood, and this fight's been rated PG.
  • Decomposite Character: In the Ultimate Marvel Universe, "Wonder Man" is a bit of an odd duck. Ben Grimm 'evolves' from his traditional rock-monster Thing look back into his burly human form with similar abilities ("ionic" energy projections, Flying Brick, etc) to the 616-Wonder Man. However, a later story arc in The Ultimates introduced it's own version of Wonder Man (who is actually named Simon Williams at that). His power set is significantly downgraded from his 616-incarnation, merely being gifted with Super Strength and Super Toughness acquired from his days as a Professional Bodybuilder and Olympian who fell from grace when it came to light he was using PED's laced with Mutant Growth Hormones.
  • Embezzlement: Simon nearly went to prison for embezzling from his own company. Later, Simon would embezzle from his non-profit foundation, Second Chances.
  • Energy Being: Initially downplayed, his flesh and blood tissues were fortified with an ionic treatment, meaning he was an energy being possessing an organic body. After he seemingly died, his body entered a coma that turned himself more completely into energy, a form he occasionally takes.
  • Flying Brick: Much like Superman, he just started off as an invulnerable superhuman capable of In a Single Bound, replicating flight with various Jet Pack implements. Eventually he developed enough control over his energy form to perform true flight and eye beams.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He started off as a mole for the Masters of Evil before Becoming the Mask. As of late he switches between an ally and antagonist to the Avengers.
  • Horrible Hollywood: Simon becomes an arrogant movie star during his time in Hollywood. His actor friends aren't portrayed in the best light either.
  • Immortality: Simon's immortality has always been an issue because it makes him feel less human.
  • Ironic Fear: He spent much of his career being horribly afraid of his own death — despite the fact that he's an ageless Energy Being who's in the same tier as Thor or Hercules in terms of raw strength and invulnerability. In fairness to him, this wasn't an unfounded fear, as he was mortally wounded and rendered comatose in his first appearance.
  • Jet Pack: Wonder Man used a jet belt to get around until he learned how to fly on his own.
  • Magikarp Power: He is mostly known as a 'brick' type character, with super strength and durability, but little else going for him compared to many of his teammates on The Avengers such as Thor and The Vision. However, in one Guardians of the Galaxy storyline, it was revealed that his unique physiology not only made him immortal but increased his power over time, so that a millennium into the future he was one of the most powerful heroes in the universe.
  • Minovsky Physics: His super strength is later explained by the Watcher as being derived from Pym particles, which are capable of modulating strength and density along with mass.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: Uses his Nigh Invulnerable Flying Brick powers to earn a living as an actor, especially in action movies, performing the kinds of stunts most crash test dummies wouldn't survive.
  • The Mole: Wonder Man was created to destroy the Avengers from within. He ended up Becoming the Mask and sacrificing himself for them.
  • My Way or the Highway: In a The Avengers Annual, while shooting a film, he actually can't remember this line, ruining a take.
    "We can do this my way or... um... you can hit the road!"
  • The Needless: Simon neither breathes or consumes food, though he'll order meals on occasion when in shared company.
  • No Stunt Double: He performs his own stunts, thanks to his powers essentially giving him an indestructible body in the way that he doesn't even have a physical form.
  • Old Shame: In-Universe. Since Dark Reign, where he becomes despondent after Norman Osborn's rise to power, he's been treating his time in the Avengers as this. He first tries to convince Steve not to reform the team and, when that fails, he decides to attack the team while Noh-Varr was building a time machine for them.
    • There's also part of his acting career, being truncated by his constantly glowing eyes and drastic musculature, as sunglass wearing leotard clad "Mr. Muscles". Beast found it hilarious.
  • Only Mostly Dead: One of his powers is that when he seems to be killed, he is just recouperating in an "ionic coma". The first time after he was presumed dead after helping the Avengers defeat the Masters of Evil. Then again after his death in Force Works, but it took some time for him to come all the way back.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Type V. Eric Williams tried to revive Wonder Man using voodoo magic in New Orleans, but the Houngans' magic turned Simon into a mindless zombie.
  • Pet the Dog: In the infamous Avengers #200 Wonder Man talks Carol over her fear about the situation and makes her realise ignoring the problem won't help.
  • Popularity Power: He has something of an inverted case of this. If you ask just about any official source, he's one of the most powerful Avengers, practically Superman-esque in terms of his sheer strength and invulnerability. But since he's never been a particularly popular character relative to other characters in his weight class, he has a very strong habit of getting his ass kicked, even by people who are supposed to be far weaker than him.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Even though the most visible side effect of his powers is glowing red eyes his occasional ionic form is purple.
  • Queer Flowers: Invoked in the case of Wonder Man and Beast. When Wonder Man returns from the dead again in the pages of the Busiek/Perez Avengers, Beast shows up with a bouquet of roses, tackles him, and gives him a sloppy kiss on the lips. In an issue of Marvel's Alternate Universe Exiles, the team's Alterna-Beast chooses not ot return to his own universe because, with his lover Wonder Man dead, there was nothing left for him there.
  • The Rival: Simon sees Iron Man as his rival from their time as competing business executives.
  • Romantic Runner-Up: To the Vision, the synthezoid who possesses Simon's brain patterns. The relationship between Vision and Scarlet Witch might have been influenced by Simon's unrequited feelings for Wanda
  • Robot Me: The Vision, who possesses a copy of Simon's brain patterns. Initially disturbed by the synthezoid, Simon eventually recognizes the Vision as a "brother".
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Simon's father used to beat him if he got anything less than straight A's in school.
  • Self-Made Man: The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes retcons Simon into one. Instead of inheriting Williams Innovations from his father, he built it from nothing.
  • Sixth Ranger Traitor: He was the first Avenger to join the team after Captain America. An industrialist driven out of business by Tony Stark, he was approached by the Masters of Evil and offered superpowers and revenge. It wasn't until after he'd gotten his powers that the Masters revealed the catch -that his powers would kill him without regular treatments that only Baron Zemo could provide - and sent him to infiltrate the Avengers. Since Good Feels Good, though, Wonder Man discovered he preferred being a hero and ended up saving the team from the Masters' trap at the cost of his own life. (Being comics, he got better. Then worse. Then better again.)
  • Sizeshifter: Now latent, Simon used to have the ability to change size in battle.
  • Smart People Play Chess: More brains than brawn growing up, Simon loved to play chess as a kid.
  • Stunt Double: In-Universe. Taking advantage of his invulnerability, Simon worked as a stuntman when he couldn't find acting jobs.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: As a key member of the West Coast Avengers who was a major member of the team throughout its run, was shockingly killed in a Heroic Sacrifice in the first issue of the sequel series Force Works. Which had the accidental effect of cancelling his own comic series while it was still going!This lead to his second volume being accidentally cancelled because of it.
  • Sunglasses at Night: He virtually always wears a pair to cover up his glowing red eyes when in civilian clothes.
  • Super Strength: Often considered the third strongest Avenger after Thor and Hercules, Wonder Man is one of the strongest Earth-based heroes in the Marvel Universe. Captain America once described Simon's strength as Sentry-level, while Simon himself compared his punches to blows from Mjölnir, Thor's enchanted hammer.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Thanks to his pacifism, he tries this with a resurrected and extremely angry Hulk in Avengers: No Surrender. Unfortunately, since this Hulk isn't the typical misunderstood Savage Hulk, what Simon gets is a venomous "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Teleport Spam: He once faced off against an opponent who, instead of simply teleporting, switched places with someone else. At the beginning of Operation: Galactic Storm, Wonder Man was assigned to protect Rick Jones. Captain Atlas, having just stolen Captain Marvel's Nega-Bands, accidentally discovered that knocking the bands together caused him to switch places with Rick. Atlas used this trick to keep Wonder Man from being able to attack at all, for fear of killing Rick. Wonder Man was able to figure out Atlas's timing.
  • Tragic Villain: Simon's actions against the Avengers post-Siege are pushing him in this direction.
  • The Unfavorite: Eric Williams, Simon's older brother, at least with their mother. Dad was horrible to both of them pretty equally.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: At points with the Uncanny Avengers, with some of his teammates, Wanda included, being irritated by his pacifism, and the constant preaching thereof.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: After the whole debacle with the Revengers, he's brought back into the Avengers fold after he helps rescue the Wasp from the Microverse.
  • West Coast Team: Simon is one of the founding members of the West Coast Avengers.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: He's had some angst over being immortal.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: His heel face revolving is eventually figured to be a result of the energy that sustains his body leaking causing instability.
  • The Worf Effect: To the point where it became a running joke in Runaways comic and in the Mighty Avengers he had to keep reminding everyone he was supposed to be as strong and tough as either The Sentry or The Mighty Thor.
  • You Wanna Get Sued?: In a one-shot that featured Simon Williams ending up in the Mojo verse, Mojo's lackey points out that Marvel owns the Wonder Man copyright:
    Mojo: No problem. A quick gender flip and we market him as Wonder Wo...
    Lackey: Lawsuit city, dead ahead.