Super heroes die and come back to life all the time, but Wonder Man's revolving door relationship with the afterlife puts pretty much every other character to shame!
The ionic Avenger's stretches as one of the planet's most powerful do-gooders have often been punctuated with tragedy—the most recent of which can be seen playing out right now in the pages of UNCANNY AVENGERS. Aside from his numerous deaths, Wonder Man's become best known for his relationships with his fellow heroes—most notably his friendship with the Beast and romance with Scarlet Witch.
Wonder Man first appeared 50 years ago this month in AVENGERS #9 by Stan Lee and Don Heck. Simon Williams first appeared inside a courtroom after being arrested on accusations of embezzling. There on those courthouse steps, a disguised Enchantress and Executioner made a struggling Simon an offer that would change his life.
They took Williams back to Baron Zemo's hidden fortress in the Amazon, where the diabolical mastermind baked the human in ionic rays to give him super powers.
Zemo revealed his plan to the transformed Williams; he would infiltrate the Avengers' ranks and allow for Zemo and his associates to destroy the super team from the inside out. Of course to get in good with the Avengers, Simon would need a super suit.
Okay, so…"wonderful" might not be the first word to come to mind after seeing Wonder Man's original look. Stomach squiggles aside, Wonder Man still managed to impress the villains with his phenomenal power set. Of course Zemo took out insurance on his plan; his procedure left Wondy with a week to live. In order to receive a serum that would elongate his life, Simon would have to follow Zemo's plans exactly. Thus began phase one of the plan…
After staging a win against Zemo, Enchantress, and Executioner, Wonder Man won over the Avengers' trust. Wonder Man stayed within their midst until the time came to move onto phase two. The "hero" kidnapped the Wasp and took her back to Zemo's base in an attempt to lure the Avengers into a trap.
With the Avengers close to defeat, Wonder Man finally listened to what his conscience had been trying to tell him all along. Instead of allowing Zemo to murder the heroes, Wonder Man fought back and freed the captive team. The Avengers rallied and succeeding in defeating the bad guys, all thanks to Wonder Man's change of heart.
Unfortunately for Simon, the miracle cure he needed escaped along with Zemo. The potential hero died in Iron Man's arms. Of course, he came back and began his journey to becoming a full-fledged Avenger years later in AVENGERS #160. Finding an appropriate super hero look took even longer, as he traded his green and red look in for sunglasses and a safari jacket in AVENGERS #194. Wonder Man has served as a member of the West Coast Avengers, as well as the Mighty Avengers and Uncanny Avengers, proving that not even death can stop a true hero's spirit.