Wonder Man seems hell bent on making all the Avengers dirty laundry public knowledge and claims they are a threat to mankind and wants them disbanded and held accountable for their past sins or else heís going to do it for them.
He forms the Revengers, defeats the New Avengers and destroys their mansion and then heads off to Avengers Tower so smash it (New Avengers Annual #1)
(Avengers Annual #1) The Revengers attack Avengers Tower but stop suddenly to give a press conference on the steps of the tower which provokes the assembled Avengers from both teams to attack the Revengers and Iron Man captures Wonder Manís ionic energy form in a containment bubble. When the rest of the Revengers refuse to surrender the Avengers teleport them to Citi Field and quickly defeat them.
When heís confronted in his holding cell by his best friend Beast, Wonder Man claims he did what he did because of the Avengers ignoring what a danger the Scarlet Witch was and still is. Wonder Man also speculates that thereís a good chance heís not real because he was killed (way back in Force Works #1) and the Scarlet Witch brought him back to life on a whim because she missed him as some sort of figment of her imagination.
The Beast is visibly shaken by Wonder Manís accusations and speculations as well as his demand that Beast watch the Avengers for signs that Simon is right about them being a danger and that when he sees that Wonder Man is right about them that Beast should do whatever he can to shut the Avengers down.
Beast, Steve Rogers, Iron Man and Thor leave Wonder Man in his containment cell inside an energy bubble. Once they leave Wonder Man is satisfied that the media outside heard what he said and fades away leaving the cell empty.
Despite himself and his team being captured Wonder Manís plan of getting the public to question and doubt the Avengers as a force for good succeeds as the media runs wild with the story speculating about what secrets the Avengers are holding back from the public.
While I initially liked this storyline I felt there was too long a wait between the story beginning in New Avengers Annual #1 and the conclusion in Avengers Annual # 1. Personally it really made the anticipation of the second half greater on my part and when I finally read and reread the second half of the story in this Annual I just felt disappointed by it.
It just seemed like a huge build up to something that could have been epic but then weíre treated with an all too swift defeat of the Revengers and an ambiguous ending regarding Wonder Man which really just left me unsatisfied.
In my opinion this wasnít Wonder Man at all and if it was, heís clearly under the influence of someone else or heís gone insane again, which seems to be a popular theme with Bendis. If you had a nervous breakdown once in your life, according to Bendis you are by definition an incurable, fragile maniac who will eventually snap again at the drop of a hat and seek revenge on anyone who was ever nice to you. Also when all else fails blame the Scarlet Witch. XD
This insanity thing seems to be the perfect excuse to also make someone like Wonder Man not only act out of character but also not have his already established powers working without any sort of consistency. Wonder Man attacking Avengers Mansion while it is surrounded by a park filled with civilians as well as a street full of civilians in front of Avengers Tower proves to me that if it is indeed Simon heís gone totally insane. But then again it also supports my theory that this really isnít Wonder Man at all but an imposter posing as him.
Wonder Manís powers have been shown to be in flux since this particular Avengers series started so heís randomly leaking ionic energy when emotional and in one instance seemed to be in pain from it. When Iron Man offered to help him he refused and vanished.
During this issue his eyes become normal for no reason while heís talking to Beast and before he fades away at the end. While Wonder Man can make his eyes appear normal it is something that is extremely difficult for him to do unless he really concentrates but any distraction, emotional or otherwise makes them revert to their normal glowing red orb state.
When they are normal Wonder Man has blue eyes. When they turn normal in the Annual they look dark brownish/red. The Beast who is blue furred with blue eyes and is in the same light as Wonder Man shows up as light blue/purple.
Instead of enveloping his still organic body in ionic energy Wonder Man suddenly becomes a being of pure ionic energy like he did when he was a bodiless wraith and he now claims to be made entirely up of that energy. This is a long standing falsehood that some writers throughout the years have mistakenly thrown out there instead of researching how his powers actually work.
When Simon was brought back to life he was given back his flesh and blood physical form, same as his brother the Grim Reaper who he dragged with him back to reality.
On top of this Wonder Man seems to have the ability to either fade away or teleport at random when the mood suits him. He vanished when he first attacked the Avengers in an earlier issue of the main series and now in the annual he fades/teleports out of a bubble designed to hold his specific energy signature. If the bubble was made to hold his specific energy signature Simon wouldnít have been able to escape on his own so this makes me think it is another ion powered individual with a slightly different energy signiture posing as him or someone who is manipulating him teleported him away.
This isnít impossible since ionic energy has been shown to mutate people in individual ways the same way gamma radiation does. So it is possible it gave the imposter teleportation powers much like it gave the members of the ionic powered Crazy 8 different powers.
So my hypothesis is this person isnít Simon Williams/Wonder Man. And if he is this is piss poor writing of a character that is a supposed favorite of the writer and weíll probably have to wait for someone to come in and fix this like Kurt Busiek fixed the continuity of Wonder Manís solo series with the Avengers Two: Wonder Man & The Beast limited series.
My best advice is if you love Wonder Man, make it known to the people in charge with letters, posts or e-mails and then just wait it out.
On a personal note, I know I never get back here as much as I want because of things going on in my life but I felt the need to review this issue the way we used to on the original WM board as well as throw my theory out there about this not being Wonder Man. I hope it provokes some interesting discussions and debates.
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