If ever there was a conflicted superhero it has to be Wonder Man, Simon Williams.
Wonder Man has always been an interesting character as he is, in fact, an outright celebrity in the public eye. Unlike other heroes, the public never tends to question his actions and in his heart, Simon knows that his sins of the past make him a most questionable Avenger. This Graphic novel collects his debut in Avengers #9 as well as his return in Avengers #158-160. Then we are given a more contemporary look at the hero who is brought back to life yet again and welcomed by the Avengers in Avengers Two: Wonder Man and Beast #1-3.
Wonder Man makes his comic debut in his rather tacky Red and Green outfit. Clearly his outfit and its design stick out like a sore thumb in comparison to the other Avengers, however, there is a reason behind this all. Baron Zemo has sent Wonder Man to infiltrate the Avengers. Although Wonder Man is inherently good, he has to make bad decisions and ultimately betrays the Avengers as Wonder Man is dying and only Zemo holds the antidote. To prove his worth, Wonder Man sacrifices himself in order to save the Avengers. The next two arcs presented in this book deal with his resurrection… not once, but twice. Wonder Man faces an internal battle.
The movie star, business man and superhero gifted with some of the most extraordinary powers in the Marvel Universe cannot help but think that he does not deserve all of this. He doesn’t deserve Wanda, The Avengers, his fans; despite the fact that he has more than redeemed himself for his past sins. The final Arc Avengers Two: Wonder Man and Beast shows us that Simon wants to split from the Avengers for a bit in order to escape his reality, but Mephisto and Lotus have other plans as they aim to crush Wonder Man once and for all. With the help of Beast, we get treated to a short arc that delves into the mind of Simon Williams whilst showcasing his strengths.
If we were to compare the art from the past to the present; the present definitely wins. The black and red costume of Wonder Man is definitely iconic and his ability to transform himself into pure Ionic energy looks Wonderful. Wonder Man is a powerhouse and this art put this on display, whilst being detailed enough for the reader to follow his emotional turmoil with ease.
This was a great issue, however, the one thing about Wonder Man solo arcs is that you never feel that he is truly threatened. The action tends to revolve around his business ventures at times. A man this powerful serves a better purpose in the Avengers arcs where he needs to protect the world from threats to the Galaxy. It is a great read but it will not leave you on the edge of your seat like some of the previous issues.