Wonderful
September 7th, 2011

Wonderful

Writers are paid to make fake people do and say stuff. When somebody like Wonder Man was created, I doubt there was any thought given as to what the guy would be up to ~40 years from the time, but, here we are, with Wonder Man arriving in the New Avengers #1 Annual today to menace Spider-Man, Wolverine, et al with a motley group of anti-heroes.

Why Wonder Man, though? What about his past makes his heel turn plausible? Failed actor, failed relationships, he’s always been sort of a joke. He’s standing up now, though, against the heroes who fight the large battles that destroy the city blocks and always seem to get the nobodies caught up ins.

Why Wonder Man? Because somebody said so, I guess.

-cof

^ 22 Comments...

  1. zark169

    The last line is pretty dead-on for the character. After his series ended back around 1990, it’s seemed like every few years he’ll pop up to do something that doesn’t really make sense based on his previous portrayal, then they’ll give a bit of a handwave explanation as to why he did it. And after Civil War it seems that he might as justl be the official writer mouthpiece whenever he shows up.

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  2. Randy

    I like bendis for the most part, but sometimes he uses round characters to fit through a square hole.

    Scarlet witch go coocoo, and becomes a plot device, The Hood becomes a complete evil bastard even though he had a bit of a conscience in his original mini, Doctor Doom call Ms Marvel a fat cow and whore, Noh-Varr from Morrisons Marvel Boy becomes a pseudo captain marvel and wants to fit in with humanity just because the characters kree and the word “marvel” was in the title of the mini. Wonder Man is just used to fit through a square hole just those characters.

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    Kadin Reply:

    I haven’t read a whole lot of Hood stuff, but couldn’t you justify him going totally evil because of the whole demon-hood thingy affecting him? Iirc, when he manages to summon the hood to himself (as opposed to picking up the physical thing and putting it on), whatsername (Satana or something) says that he’s “beyond hope” or something. It would depend on how well it was written, of course, but what you describe doesn’t strike me as an outrageous violation of the character’s history or anything.

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  3. Randy

    I should have taken more than a second to edit that comment. Oh,well.

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  4. JoeAconite

    Wonder Man seems perfect for a “Comics , Everybody!” history piece.

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    chrishaley Reply:

    Yeah, I could see that now that you mention it.

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  5. SexyBlackPat!

    heh, i love that last panel

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  6. AdamYJ

    The weird thing is that Wonder Man has this strange “quietly integral” role in Avengers history. His death was the first big death in the book. His ressurection was the first big ressurection. His brain engrams were used to create the Vision, who he sees as a brother. Meanwhile, his actual brother is a recurring villian named The Grim Reaper. He had a relationship going with Scarlet Witch for a while. He was pals with Beast during his Avengers stint. He’s really at the center of a lot of stuff. Yet, when people make a list of core Avengers, he’s rarely on it.

    Wonder Man is actually my favorite Avenger. I should note that I’m not reading the book he currently appears in, because I aim to keep it that way.

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    chrishaley Reply:

    Yeah, I’ve always had a soft spot for Wonder Man as well, with no real understanding of why I have it, but your collection of important Avengers moments he’s directly or indirectly involved in might be part of the puzzle.

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  7. BJ Mesloh

    Honestly, this is probably the first original decision to be made with the character. He’s fallen into that “tough strong guy” niche that most writers can’t do anything with except use as a deus ex machina. At his best, though, he’s been made to be one of the more human heroes that Marvel has, similar to Booster Gold (who he predates.)

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    BJ Mesloh Reply:

    IMHO his best character arc was probably on Disney’s Avengers cartoon.

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  8. MartiniManJoe

    As the only person I think who still reads “New Avengers”, I have to say I have no problem with Bendis making Wonder-Man a bad guy. He wasn’t being used by anyone else and if its a good story thats all that matters. Bendis gets a bad rap of misusing characters but to me he breathes new life into them. Scarlet Witch was never anything but a plot device. uhhh how are going to defeat Kang….let Wanda do some magic. Brian K Vaughn said he was happy with how Bendis used The Hood and as much as I loved The Hood Mini series its not like we were losing sleep over no one using him until Bendis remade him into what he is now. Thats not to say Bendis doesn’t have his flaws he’s got the same disease that Geoff Jones has and that’s that they OVERUSE him

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    AdamYJ Reply:

    My problem with Brian Bendis is that I can never seem to enjoy anything he writes. It’s just that simple. I especially can’t stand his chirpy Aaron Sorkin-esque dialogue. It’s one of the things that made him famous, but I just can’t stand to read it. To each their own though, right?

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  9. MartiniManJoe

    And theres my essay for the month

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    Markus Seaberry Reply:

    I had stopped reading “New Avengers”, but I bought this annual. I had been following the Wonder-Man storyline in Avengers, however. I think the storyline makes sense, especially when he talks about the “five worst acts” committed by the Avengers or whatever. It’s an interesting read.

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  10. SeanNOLA

    I would really REALLY like to see Tom Batiuk’s take on WonderMan. “Funky Wonderbean”

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  11. Brendon

    I love that Curt used the term “heel turn.”

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    LarryKoopa Reply:

    Agreed!

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  12. Zakspeed

    I think WM was already established as a bad guy in Dark Reign: Lethal Legion

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  13. rhinobaby

    The first comic I ever owned was the issue of Operation Galactic Storm where Wonder Man and Vision fought the Starjammers inside the Nega-Bomb. I’ve enjoyed the character ever since.
    Even though it’s a What If? book, I really enjoyed him in The Last Avengers Story.

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  14. The Comics Rope: 12th September 2011 | The Ninja Rope

    [...] by Brian Michael Bendis and Neal Adams, which saw Wonder Man come back as a bad guy, or something, I don’t know. You know Marvel are doing well when this is what an “off” week looks [...]

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