One of the upcoming Marvel series for Disney+ that has fans most excited is WandaVision, which focuses on the romance between Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s android hero, the Vision. But it’s quite possible that WandaVision could be the way to introduce another classic Marvel hero, one who has been missing from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is long overdue for a proper introduction. I’m talking now about the one and only Wonder Man. You might be asking yourself just who the heck Wonder Man even is. Well, I’m here to help.
Who is Wonder Man?
Despite what the name suggests, Wonder Man is a full on Marvel Comics hero, and not Wonder Woman’s male counterpart. He first appeared way back in Avengers #9 in 1964, with a groovy costume designed by the one and only Jack Kirby. Simon Williams was the heir of a wealthy industrialist whose company fell into bankruptcy due to business rivals, Stark Industries. After losing everything, he blamed Tony Stark for the loss of his fortune and agrees to undergo experiments by Baron Zemo to give him powers, and then infiltrate the Avengers and take them down from within.
But in the end, Simon turns out not to be such a bad guy. He betrays Zemo and decides to help the Avengers, after all. He seemingly dies defending his new team, but actually falls into a deep coma. Iron Man records Wonder Man’s brain patterns and stores them in a computer. Wondy then stays in the hibernating state for the better part of a dozen years. He was meant to be revived much sooner, but rival DC Comics apparently didn’t care for a Wonder Man that might be viewed as being tied into their own Wonder Woman. But after Marvel released Power Man (Luke Cage) and DC followed up with Power Girl, Marvel decided to bring Simon Williams back officially.
From 1977 on, Wonder Man became a mainstay of the Avengers, becoming a part of the team for several different iterations over the next few years. He was most recently a member of the Uncanny Avengers team, which included several mutants. He also became a part time actor and Hollywood star, and world famous lady’s man and a lover of the glamorous nightlife. In fact, he and former X-Man Beast became each other’s wingmen at many a nightclub during this time—a friendship that lasts in the comics to this day.
The History of the Wanda / Vision / Wonder Man Love Triangle
During the 12 years that Wonder Man was in a coma, the Avengers comic had a long running storyline featuring the budding romance between the mutant Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) and the android Vision. It was revealed that the Vision actually had human feelings and emotions because his brain patterns were actually those of Wonder Man’s, which Tony Stark had recorded and saved. So when Wanda fell in love with Vision, she was, in effect, falling for a duplicate of Wonder Man.
When Wonder Man came back from his long convalescence, the Scarlet Witch and the Vision were now married. He began to refer to Vision as his “brother,” since the android’s mind was based on his own. But when the Vision’s systems were wiped, Simon’s personality went with it. Wanda begged him to give his brain patterns back to her husband, but Simon refused. He said when Vision was created he was out of the picture, but now he didn’t want a copy of himself out there. He also revealed that he had also always been in love with Wanda, but out of his respect for Vision, he didn’t interfere.
This caused a rift between Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man for a long time, but eventually the pair got together romantically. After Wonder Man died as a member of the Avengers spin-off team Force Works, she brought him back as a being of pure ionic energy. The two dated for some time, but when Vision returned to his old self—Simon’s brain patterns having now re-emerged—her residual feelings for her android husband resurfaced. This led to Wanda and Simon calling it quits for good. However, this love triangle provided much soap opera fodder to the Avengers books for years.
How WandaVision Could Introduce Simon Into the MCU
In the MCU, the Vision came to have a personality and emotions by way of the Mind Stone implanted in his head. So far, there has been no mention of there being a superhero called Wonder Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, cut scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 feature posters for movies in the “Simon Williams Film Festival.” And the face used for Williams was none other than Firefly’s Nathan Fillion.
While this might just have been a fun Easter egg, Nathan Fillion played an over-the-top egotistical superhero in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog back in the day. Maybe he could bring some of that Captain Hammer magic to Wonder Man, too? At the very least, we know that an actor named Simon Williams exists in the MCU, who could also, by this point, be a superhero. So even if Fillion doesn’t play him, someone else easily could. And maybe he can play a key role in restoring the Vision to life.
With the Mind Stone destroyed along with Vision in Infinity War, how can Wanda bring her android boyfriend back to life without the use of an Infinity Stone? The answer lies right there in pages of those classic Marvel comics. Wanda could use Wonder Man’s brain patterns to bring Vision back to life again. We know WandaVision is bringing in an adult version of Monica Rambeau from Captain Marvel, presumably as a superhero herself. So why not introduce Wonder Man too? This new series is the perfect way to bring in one of Marvel’s longest running heroes into the MCU in a way that’s true to his character. No time like the present.
Images: Marvel Comics