Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Wonder Man – Issue #4 – December 1991 (Marvel Comics)

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TITLE: Wonder Man – Issue #4

YEAR: December 1991

COMPANY: Marvel Comics

Writer: Gerard Jones

Penciler: Jeff Johnson

Inker: Jan Anton Harps

Colorist: Joe Rosas

Letterer: Pat Brosseau

Editor: Fabian Nicieza 

Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco

Simon Williams, the son of rich industrialist Sanford Williams (owner of Williams Innovations), became wealthy after his father’s debt and competed against Stark Industries.  But after his brother Eric gets Simon to embezzle funds from the company, he is incarcerated.

With the help of villain Baron Zemo and the Enchantress, to use him to infiltrate the Avengers, he is transformed into an ion-powered human being with superhuman powers.  But the downside, he is poisoned by this and the only way to survive is by taking serum given to him by Baron Zemo, thus he must remain loyal to him.

And in a heroic decision, Wonder Man decides to save the Avengers and sacrificing his life.  But in reality, his remains are kept in suspended animation and while used by evil, when he eventually is restored to life, he decides to help the Avengers and eventually becomes a member of The Avengers.

But there is one thing that Simon Williams has always wanted, other than being known for his strength and special abilities, he wants to be an actor.  And with the help of Hercules, he gets an in to the industry and wanting to focus on being an actor, he helps form the West Coast Avengers in order to be near Hollywood.

With issue #4 of his solo title, Simon is getting upset that his roles are bit parts, being a stuntman but not getting any meaty roles that he fires his agent.

When he gets home, he hears a message from his agent that he has a meaty role for him but in truth, it’s a setup by gang bosses Neal Saroyan and Lotus Newmark who hire an assassin named Splice to kill Wonder Man.

What happens when Wonder Man goes to the audition and waiting for him is Splice?  As one can expect, all heck breaks loose!

But while I like the look of antagonist, Splice, which sort of reminds me of Firefly from “G.I. Joe”, what I didn’t like is how whiny Simon is about wanting to be an actor.  Granted, not everyone is going to be as cool and collected like Steve Rogers or suave like Tony Stark but yes, we know Simon wants to become an actor and just wants that big break.  It’s something that has been long played out since the early ’80s in “The Avengers”.

It’s just that his whiny nature was much to evident in this issue…but the fact that I own nearly every issue in the series must mean something.  Or perhaps the “’90s me” was much more tolerant of whiny Simon and this comic book series than the “2017 me”.


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