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Credit: Marvel Comics, Wonder Man Vol 1. #2

Wonder Man, reality TV star bae

Contributed by
May 26, 2020

If there was a Real Househusbands of the Marvel Universe, Simon Williams would have a spot in all the promo. Wonder Man is one of Marvel’s most reality TV show-ready superheroes on their roster. He's already got those iconic ionic yams and power second only to the Mighty Thor. And on top of that, there is plenty of drama and complicated history.

An embezzling son of an industrialist, a Zemo pawn, a zombie, an Avenger, a Hollywood star — the list goes on and on like that ionic body, and it’s what makes Wonder Man our made-for-reality-TV bae.

Credit: Marvel Comics, Wonder Man Vol 1. #1

Simon Williams enters the Marvel Universe as he's found guilty for embezzling money from the munitions factory he inherited from his late father. The company had lost substantial profits thanks to Tony Stark, which provided an opportunity for Baron Zemo to use a bitter Williams — now facing jail time — as his pawn to use against the Avengers.

Bitter might actually be an understatement because Williams was willing to let Zemo blast his body with supercharged ionic energy. Williams goes from an average-looking trust fund baby to a muscular heartthrob who gives Enchantress hungry eyes and has the Executioner shook.

Credit: Marvel Comics, Avengers Vol. 1 # 9

The plan doesn't exactly run smoothly, because what fun would that be? It turns out Williams actually had a few ions of goodwill within him and saves the Avengers after working against them. Unfortunately for him, this act of heroism is the last thing he does for a while.

As an incentive to destroy the Avengers, Baron Zemo infects Wonder Man with a disease, a cure promised once the deed was done. The Avengers are unable to cure him; instead, they put his body on ice and record his brain waves to bring him back in some capacity. It’s a messy origin story worthy of a Real Househusbands tagline: “Zemo gave me my powers, but I ultimately gave myself the true prize of redemption.”  

Credit: Marvel Comics, Avengers Vol. 1 # 9

Wonder Man’s life turns into a full-blown daytime TV soap opera once he returns to the land of the living. After the Avengers defeat Black Talon, a villain who awakened Wonder Man from his assumed dead state, they learn that Wonder Man wasn’t dead at all. His body was actually going through a transformation caused by the ionic energy Baron Zemo bombarded him with. The reveal throws Wonder Man into a never-ending existential crisis.

In the name of making matters messier, there is a synthetic, sentient Hitachi wand named Vision existing with his recorded brain patterns. Adding some spice to that mess, thanks to Wanda Maximoff’s love for artificial men, we’ve got ourselves one hell of a love triangle. What’s a reality TV show without a good fight with the coworker you’ve fallen in love with and her husband who is also your clone?

Credit: Marvel Comics, Avengers Vol. 1 # 158

Vision’s existence makes Wonder Man question his own and vice versa — and when their feelings for Wanda are added to the mix, all hell breaks loose. The entire Wonder Man/Vision conundrum continues even after the two find common ground when they defeat Simon’s evil brother, Grim Reaper. Yes, Wonder Man absolutely has an evil brother — it's on-brand with his life. 

Before Wanda and Vision leave the Avengers, Vision and Wonder Man make nice with one another. Wonder Man considers him the lost good brother he never had. It’s totally not at all weird that Wonder Man still harbors romantic feelings for his brother’s wife, getting with her romantically sometime after they split. This, of course, leads to yet another fight between the Vision and Wonder Man over Wanda — and that's not even mentioning that Wanda loved Wonder Man so much, she willed him back into existence after he died for the umpteenth time. The side-piece is usually the source of all the drama worth paying attention to.

Wanda isn’t the only person who has found themselves drawn to Wondy’s iconic ionic body and baggage. He had a thing with Carol Danvers as well as Amora the Enchantress and a woman named Alex Florés — for whom he goes to hell and back, literally. It’s a little surprising the man who knocked Prince Namor unconscious didn’t catch more hearts, but that might be due to all his back-and-forth coming to terms with who and what he is. 

Credit: Marvel Comics, Avengers Vol. 1 #155

Wonder Man might struggle with no longer having a normal human body or if he even actually exists, but his humanity is more intact than he realizes. Mentioning he’s died an umpteenth number of times wasn’t hyperbolic; he’s sacrificed himself to save the world and universe about as many times as Ultron has come back to antagonize the Avengers. At one point, Wonder Man questions their ethics and if they did more harm than good, firmly believing the latter.  

 

Credit:Marvel Comics, New Avengers Annual (2011) #1

Wonder Man’s humanity can also be found in his friendship with Beast. It’s a friendship deserving of its own best buddy limited series. They club together, hang out at the Avengers mansion, hook each other up with terrible blind dates, and play floating games of poker with one another. Their relationship is about as close to a healthy relationship Simon Williams ever truly knows, to be honest. 

Credit: Marvel Comics, Uncanny Avengers (2015) #28

Funnily enough, canonically, Wonder Man is approached by his agent to have his own reality show, and he declines. He doesn't want to be a washed-up star trying to stay in the limelight, which is valid reasoning. However, everything about his life screams for a camera crew to follow him around, if not for the drama then for those ionic yams he pulls his costume over as he runs to help someone in need.

Credit: Marvel Comics, Wonder Man Vol 1. #1

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