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Marvel NOW!

Uncanny Avengers Spotlight: Wonder Man

Rick Remender explains what has brought Simon Williams back to the team and what makes him an Avenger like no other!

Uncanny Avengers #5 cover by John Cassaday

By Ben Morse

He’s a veteran Avenger, a top level powerhouse who can stand fist-to-fist with Thor and a guy you want watching your back in a fight.

So the Uncanny Avengers have to be excited that he’s…writing press releases?

Since he first encountered Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Simon Williams has fought on the side of evil, fallen in love with a woman he can’t have, lost comrades, died more than once himself, and been resurrected under bizarre circumstances. With all that, one almost can’t blame Wonder Man for spending the past couple years trying to bring the Avengers down.

But now while Simon’s trying to atone for his recent actions, he’s also sticking away from his guns as a pacifist and offering his old allies his experience in the public relations realm instead.

UNCANNY AVENGERS writer Rick Remender enlightened us on why he’s a Wonder Man fan and what the ionic Avenger brings to the title if he’s not willing to throw a punch.

Marvel.com: Wonder Man is considered a classic Avenger, but he’s also been inactive not just from the team but really from the Marvel Universe for lengthy periods of time. Where did you first come across him?

Rick Remender: Wonder Man was again, in my childhood; WEST COAST AVENGERS #1 for me. And that was literally one of the first 10 comics that I bought. So WEST COAST AVENGERS #1 gives me a look at him, and then I go back and buy all the AVENGERS back issues. And the Avengers, for a long time, because of the back issues that I first bought, become Wonder Man, Wasp, and Beast. Those three become this clean representation of the Avengers in some way because of their time together. And one thing that I wanted to do was to look at that character and where’s he’s been. I really like the idea that he really loves Wanda, like really loves her. She brought him back to life. He might even have an unhealthy obsession with her. He’s kind of only doing it for Wanda in my mind. He’s only there for Wanda. Everything is Wanda, Wanda, Wanda. It’s a fine motivation. He’s still helping.

I think the hook with him was always hard to get around. I think that the fun angle with Wonder Man is to look at this guy as someone who has Thor level strength, but he’s now a pacifist. He sees that all of the conflict, and all the avenging, and all of the hero-ing that these guys do, and in Wonder Man’s wind, this is drawing more chaos than it’s solving. So I like the idea that you’re in the Avengers Mansion, and you’ve got this team, and Wonder Man is there to help with PR. [He’s] got Thor level strength, but he’s only going to deal with press releases. That stuff is meaty, there’s a lot to be had from that I think.

It’s the same thing as putting Flash Thompson in the Venom symbiote. There’s something nice about putting Wonder Man in a situation of living in Avengers Mansion again and being an Avenger, but saying, “I’m not going to fight or help, I’m a pacifist now.” So when stuff’s going off, and they need Wonder Man, who’s an A-list power house in the Marvel Universe, he’ll go, “no thanks guys, I told you, I’m just the PR guy.” And of course that’ll lead to some very fun things with his relationship with Wanda.

Marvel.com: How does the rest of the team react? I can’t see a lot of them understanding. Well some might understand, but I can’t really see Thor or Wolverine getting this. 

Rick Remender: It’s the same thing as Wanda in some ways. At some point, Wonder Man came to take down the Avengers and to stop it, and he was so adamantly opposed to it. That’s not the kind of beat as a writer that I’m going to wash over, I’m going to hold on that a little bit, and I think that the pacifism angle is a nice direction. As for the rest of the cast, everyone’s got different views on Wonder Man’s involvement, and I think that will reveal itself as the drama and the soap opera percolate a little bit. Rogue and Wonder Man are going to have a very tumultuous relationship. At the end of issue #5 there are events that are going to create a real animosity between them.

Marvel.com: Wonder Man’s a character with a lot of history, a lot of different characterizations and a lot of continuity quirks. You’re not a writer that shies away from that; you kind of embrace every story. How are you going to incorporate all of the complicated stuff? From the Vision, from the Grim Reaper, from he was dead and he’s not dead? How much of that are you going to bring to bear?

Rick Remender: I’m using all of it. It all defines who he is, it defines his obsession with Wanda, it defines his relationship with Rouge, it defines his relationship with his brother, and ultimately it defines him in a lot of ways. When the woman you’re obsessed with and are in love with is also the woman who resurrected you, it’s going to create a very uncomfortable dynamic. So all of those things come into play, as well as the idea that Wanda loves Vision and yet she’s always been conflicted in that she’s never really loved Wonder Man in the same way. And we’ve got a reason for that, there’s a lot of fun stuff to unearth with those relationship.

Marvel.com: Last thing on Wonder Man, and kind of doing back to the mission statement of the whole book, not only is he in love and obsessed with someone that is a mutant, his best friend is also a mutant. Him and Beast were kind of the first human mutant buddy duo, before Wolverine and Spider-Man, before any of that. So I’ve got to imagine that he’s got a different view on what they’re trying to do here than maybe even Cap or Thor.

Rick Remender: Yeah, obviously he’s got friends that are mutants, and first and foremost is Wanda, and since she’s on the team, that’s sort of the focus motivation. But of course Beast is his best friend, and that will also be a motivating factor in why he’s doing this.

Join us again next week when the Uncanny Avengers Spotlight turns on Sunfire!

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Wonder Man representing the Avengers may well start World War 3.