Avengers Fridays

Earth's Mightiest Costumes: Wonder Man

Simon Williams goes from villain to corpse to Avenger and back with numerous unique looks!

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"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"

As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!

So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!

 
By TJ Dietsch

Wonder Man's the rare Avenger who went through a series of looks before settling on two that he bounces back and forth between as a classic look: the tight black suit with the red "W" on the chest and the red jacket with shades. Some would argue neither look comes off particularly fashion-forward, but as you'll see, both represent a step in the right direction from some of his previous looks.

 
Original Green Costume
Like many future Avengers, Simon Williams started out as a villain in 1964's AVENGERS #9. To save his crumbling business, Williams agreed to become a test subject for Baron Zemo's experiments to create a human as strong as Thor. Zemo, fashion-challenged himself some would say, gave Simon the original mostly-green costume with splashes of red to liven things up designed by Jack Kirby. The new Wonder Man does a good job trouncing the Avengers, but ultimately flips on Zemo and the Masters of Evil, seemingly dying in the process.



 
Green, Red and Yellow Costume
Over the next 16 years, Wonder Man would be toyed with, projected through time, regain his mind and join the Avengers for real, but wouldn't change his costume until 1977's AVENGERS #161 after his villainous brother The Grim Reaper screwed up his threads. This costume came from artist George Perez in the real world and Beast in the comic universe. It's something of an improvement, but lacks a distinct touch that screams "I'm Wonder Man," which probably accounts for its limited shelf life.



 
Red Jacket with Turtle Neck
The green, red and yellow costume only lasted seven issues and saw its last panel in AVENGERS #166 after a battle with Count Nefaria. Wonder Man's next outfit remains one of his most iconic, even if it might seem silly to modern readers: the red jacket with matching shades, tight black pants and a turtle neck. This would be Wonder Man's signature look as he moved over to become a member of the West Coast Avengers and lasted until 1985 when his next most look came about.




 
Black Costume
1985's AVENGERS #253 featured the first appearance of Wonder Man's tight black sleeveless look which sported a familiar "W" symbol across the chest with matching boots and belt. For the most part, this would be his signature gear for the next few years









 
Green and Red with Jet Pack
For a year while working with the West Coast Avengers during issues #12-24 of their series, Simon switched to a red and yellow costume similar to his earliest looks, but this time with a jetpack to help him fly. Soon enough, Wondy would return to the black and red that suits him so well.








 
90's Costume
The early 90's remained a good time for Wonder Man as he appeared in both AVENGERS WEST COAST and his own solo book. He even got a power boost in WONDER MAN #25 which allowed him to fly on his own along with a new costume, this time with sleeves and a bigger belt. As the decade came to its midpoint, though, things got bad as the West Coast branch disbanded following Mockingbird's apparent death, leading some members to regroup as Force Works with Wonder Man apparently perishing once more on their first mission.



 
Energy Look
After a four-year period of inactivity, Wonder Man returned thanks to writer Kurt Busiek. This time, Simon didn't have so much of a costume as a brand new body that crackled with purple energy. Eventually he would adopt his classic black costume and keep that through his tenure on the Mighty Avengers, with a brief departure back to the red jacket look. He wore those duds when retired by Norman Osborne during Dark Reign and when he attacked the Avengers in the recent AVENGERS #2.

 

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Comments

6 comments
bbrant5925
bbrant5925

i agree. I actually stopped buying comics when they changed his costume

tommy1965
tommy1965

When I was 12 or so I made a Original WM costume(tights and all)..My dad spray painted goggles, and some boots my mom had(ugg)..I used stryrophone(?) cups painted red for wristbands.Glued a felt red W on chest,and Black marker for the squiggly lines.a Green beanie cap..A spray painted army utility belt..Cant believe I didnt get beat up, but thats the Original Wonder man, and they shoulda left him be.

bigmarvelufan
bigmarvelufan

I always liked Wonder Man and felt he was underated as an Avenger.He deserves better and a costume upgrade.

taylorcurtis
taylorcurtis

I always liked the Red jacket with turtle neck look... and the Black sleeve less costume

chachiman
chachiman

I always thought Wonder-man was an very under-rated Avenger. He was one of the strongest and he was always cool to have around as comic-relief.

rasx
rasx

Yeah the black costume is the best, the worst is the Jetpack one, Yuck!