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Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Wonder Man

Out of the Avengers and in prison, Wonder Man seeks out a little therapy



By Tim Stevens

Simon Williams, also known as the sometimes hero, sometimes villain, sometimes actor Wonder Man, is an adult male who appears to be in above average physical condition. However, his unique physical chemistry, which renders him a being of purely ionic energy, makes it difficult to assess his true physical fitness purely on the basis of appearance.

The client is currently serving a prison sentence stemming from a recent attack on Norman Osborn in which he collaborated with super powered criminals, including his brother Eric Williams (the Grim Reaper), his brother's girlfriend Nekra Sinclair (Nekra), and several others. He is held in solitary confinement for both his safety (although the danger to himself is questionable given how powerful he is) and to prevent widespread rioting with former enemies attempting to gain revenge. The client was referred to the writer as part of his treatment.

In session, Williams is typically distant and closed off. While he is never rude, he is largely resistant to collaboration with the writer and will often refuse to answer questions with little explanation as to why. He has expressed zero remorse for his actions, claiming that as bad as the people he was working with are, Osborn is worse than all of them combined by a large margin. He also insists that he has little interest in leaving the prison and therefore sees no reason to work with myself, his attorney, or anyone else for that matter. However, he is never violent or threatening and at times "loses" himself and becomes quite the conversationalist.

Given the client's resistance, it has been difficult to assess him. However, despite his best efforts at obfuscation, a couple of themes do continue to manifest themselves. He is a man most comfortable with being a "super hero." Denied that opportunity by Osborn taking over (or co-opting, if you believe the client) the Avengers, Williams felt rudderless and, as he often does in such situations, made poor choices leading to his ostracization from the other community where he feels comfortable, acting. In the end, this led him back to his decidedly unhealthy relationship with his brother, the only means of support he perceived that he had left.

The client is deeply motivated by guilt, guilt over embezzling from his company many years ago, guilt over denying fellow hero Vision brain waves to live again because they loved the same woman, guilt over what happened to his brother in the wake of his apparent death, and so on. This guilt is especially problematic when it comes to his brother as the two already shared a poor attachment style with one another. They hate and try to destroy each other more often than not, but they also feel an incredible bond to each other and are deeply concerned about one another. It is almost the old adage, "No one picks on my brother, but me," taken to the Nth, entirely illogical degree.

To the client's credit, he has been able to acknowledge these facts. However, he remains opposed to doing anything about them. He essentially has shrugged his shoulders and accepted that this is the way things are.

Given this is court ordered therapy and such therapy often fails to yield results, the writer is not optimistic of being able to overcome this resistance. However, it is not impossible. The state the client finds himself in right now is very difficult and his resistance may be less of a reaction to the idea of therapy and more of reaction to accepting that he is in prison. If this is the case, eventually, he may lower the walls, acknowledge his reality as a prisoner, and begin to work with the writer.

In the meantime, this writer will continue to attempt to educate the client about his maladaptive behavior patterns and what he can do to deal with them.

Simon Williams next appointment is set for September 23 with Doctors Frank Tieri and Mateus Santolouco. Please see the DARK REIGN: LETHAL LEGION #3 for further details.

Tim Stevens is a Mental Health Supervisor currently pursuing his Psy D. who has experience working with individuals with PTSD.


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