So I re-read Wonder Man #1-6 tonight and I just had to say, I really thought that these were strong excellent issues that introduced Wonder Man, his support cast, his enemies and his place in the Marvel Universe.
I would buy copies of a Wonder Man trade paperback that collected these 6 issues and give one to all my friends.
They are not just Wonder Man but really good Marvel too, ten times better than most of the Marvel that is out on the rack now.
Using Goliath was the perfect transition for readers following Simon from AWC into his own title and introducing new readers. Goliath has the power to give Wonder Man a run for his money, they share history together.
Neal being behind it as a publicity stunt was a great vehicle to carry Simon through the series as he juggled his personal and professional life.
As an old school Thor fan, I loved seeing the Enchantress, plus she has a history with Simon that once again was used nicely but not "hammered" (excuse the pun) onto the readers.
Establishing Simon's tie the AWC in this issue was great and while last issue we were given Ginger this issue we are given Alex a nice contrast, allowing Simon options. I also like that the writer, while not bogging down the issue with unnecessary Thor trivia was able to acknowledge the state of affairs in Asgard with Enchantress jumping from Thor (the same month as this issue she took control of Quasar to test the new Thunder God, Eric Masterson) here she is continuing to look for "bodyguards" knowing she is in hot water with the Asgardians.
If this is the weakest issue of the bunch, thats ok as while not as great as the previous 2 or the 3 to come, this issue went a long way to grounding Simon's place in his series and fleshing out his support cast more. It also had lasting effects as to defeat Gamma Burn he has to sacrifice his jet belt which now forces him to make like the Hulk from this point on. Again, Neal's meddling brings us Spider who while a distraction to Simon ends up showing he can be useful as well.
Great new character in Splice. A character with one foot in Simon's life and the other in Wonder Man's. Plus we see a shadowy threat to Simon surfacing who go hand in hand with the problems Neal gives him.
Wonder Man and Beast. The Blue/Gold team of Marvel. Always a good time when these guys get together and once again the writer is smart enough to bring in Beast as someone for the past readers but also a great read for the newbies.
First time reading through these issues I had never heard of the Champions and had no idea who Rampage was, but it wasnt necessary as he was very much a present threat regardless of what he had done in the past.
#6: The conclusion of the Rampage two parter, bringing several support cast into the same circle, Simon/Wonder Man's circle and you really feel Wonder Man come into his own in this issue as he puts to good use his training from Captain America during the fight plus some moves of his own. Plus the shadowy threat is revealed, as we find it is Lotus looming on the horizon.
Seriously, this set of 6 is A++ in my opinion.
As much as I love these it is also in contrast to what came next. Around this time we got the Annual that tied in with several other Marvel titles. Plus 7-10 was sucked into Operation Galactic Storm. By the time Simon got back to his own book, #11-12 just didnt have the same great quality as the early issues. Same with Annual #2 even with the inclusion of Beast. Which sadly left us with #13-15 a Marvel Infinity tie in.
When #16 came along, there was it seemed a disconnect in the series. Like #16 was really the direction the writer planned to go from #6 but the series had derailed for a huge chunk of time.
#16-25 worked really hard to get back what the title had going for it in #1-6 and on the one hand it succeeded but on the other, well.. the Star Wars Prequels just are not the same as the originals no matter how you spin them if you get what I mean.
#25 however ended strong and really left the title in a new exciting direction that at least I was excited on the edge of my seat seeing where it would go.
I had that great this title is gonna be great feeling seeing the new Wonder Man in his new costume in those last pages.
#26-29 unfortunatly just didnt do it for me. It was like #16-25 had managed to get all the plates spinning in the air and #26-29 watched them all plummet and smash to the floor. Which honestly left Wonder Man in a place and status with his own book and in the Marvel Universe that it was little surprise that the Force Works writers saw Simon as a character whose death would affect the other members but ultimately was expendable.
I really feel like the place Simon was in at the end of #6 and glimpsed again at the end of #25 was the last time Marvel really got Wonder Man right.
Thats not saying that good Wonder Man material hasnt been put out since but its just hasnt been the same for me.
I say it again, if #1-6 was collected in a trade, I would buy a copy for each of my friends to share how awesome Wonder Man is and the potential Marvel has for great story telling.
Just my thoughts, you have any?
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