Simon Williams alias Wonder Man is a fictional comic superhero published under Marvel Comics. He was first featured in The Avengers issue #9 in October 1964 and was created by the writer Stan Lee and artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. Wonder Man has initially been introduced as a supervillain, that was later on, reborn as a superhero and a member of the Avengers.
Wonder Man’s Comic Biography
Simon Williams was the youngest among the two sons of Sanford Williams, a businessman who had founded a successful munitions factory, the Williams Innovations. When his brother, Eric Williams, rejected his father’s offer to join the family’s business, Simon was readily welcomed. At the age of twenty-two, Simon inherited complete power over the company when his father died. However, under the new management of Simon, Williams Innovations started losing its competitive edge in the marketplace to such fast-growing firms such as Stark Industries. Simon then urgently sought support from his brother, and the elder Williams decided to give his advice.Eric proposed that Simon should steal some of the company’s money. Also, Eric suggested investing in certain business activities from which he had acquired capital, including the illegal racketeering run by the criminal Maggia families.Desperate to save the business of his father, Simon did as suggested by his brother. Consequently, the board of directors of his company uncovered what Simon did and his relation to Maggia. He was then sent to trial after what he had done.
Meanwhile, Baron Zemo, a scientist in the Nazi party, had assumed that Stark was his enemy’s boss. Unbeknownst to him, Stark himself is Iron Man, secretly. He then became intrigued by the newspapers’ claim that Simon blamed Tony Stark for his downfall. Zemo had read Williams ‘case and dispatched the Enchantress to recruit Williams for the Masters of Evil. Found guilty and serving a jail term, Williams was freed when an enchantress named Amora enchanted the authorities. Simon Williams, disoriented by the upheavals of his life, decided to follow the Enchantress to Zemo’s base in South America.
Simon agreed to become a test subject for Zemo’s ‘ionic ray’ treatment, a process that would give him extraordinary strength and endurance. He emerged with the qualities he had expected, after undertaking the arduous chemical and radiation treatments. Following the procedure, Zemo gave him a costume and named him Wonder Man. Zemo also revealed his plan of using him to defeat his enemies, the Avengers. To ensure the cooperation of Wonder Man, Zemo warned him about the side effect of the medication that gave him his superhuman powers. Simon was told that due to the treatment, his metabolism was changed and that a daily antidote that Zemo will provide is needed so he wouldn’t die.
Not wanting to die, Wonder Man agreed to Zemo’s scheme and gained the trust of the Avengers in a staged fight with the Masters of Evil. The Avengers accepted Wonder Man into their ranks but unsuccessfully tried every means of science to cure him. Soon Wonder Man led the Avengers to an ambush by the Evil Masters. In the middle of the battle, Wonder Man was attacked by his conscience and knew he could not compromise the goodness of the Avengers towards him, even though it cost him his life. Deprived of Zemo’s antidote, Wonder Man suffered from the mysterious side effect of his power.Telling the Avengers that he was pleased that his final act was honorable, Wonder Man fell, showing no signs of vitality.
Wonder Man was never seen again until The Avengers issue #102 released in August 1972, in which he made a cameo appearance. In the subsequent series, Wonder Man was resurrected by the antagonist named Kang, in the comic series of The Avengers issue #131 to #132 that runs from January to February 1975. In The Avengers series issue #152 in October 1976, he was revived by Black Talon. Aside from Black Talon and Kang, he was also revived by Living Laser in the Avengers Annual issue #6 in 1976. Since this last confrontation, Wonder Man fully recovers his senses and joins the Avengers in Avengers issue #160 in 1977.
Superpowers and Abilities
Superhuman Speed: Wonder Man can run and travel at speeds beyond the physical limits of a human athlete.
Superhuman Strength: Williams also possesses tremendous superhuman power. However, the extent of his powers is still unknown.
Superhuman Stamina: The ionic body of Wonder Man gives him infinite endurance, and is thus resistant to exhaustion.
Superhuman Reflexes: The reflexes of Wonder Man are equally improved and beyond compared to the ordinary athlete’s reflexes.
Superhuman Senses: His powers attune him to a higher field of perception than the typical human. He was also taught to feel the ambient energies and by plain focus, interact with it.
Flight: Originally, he uses a sophisticated and specialized rocket pack attached to his flying costume. However, after Williams’s resurrection, he can travel through the air at high speeds.
Immortality: Williams is technically immortal. He is no longer aging due to the ionic energy that empowers him and is also immune to disease and infection. The same energy also sustains his physical vitality much more than the biochemical process that maintains ordinary human life.
Invulnerability: Wonder Man’s body tissues are far tougher because they are made of ionized organic matter rather than natural skin. He is immune to physical damage and is particularly resistant to penetration wounds, including high caliber machine gun bullets. He can also withstand enormous impact such as falling from great heights, repeatedly being hit by superhumanly powerful opponents, entering planetary orbit, and making re-entry without being injured. He also exhibits high tolerance to sudden extreme temperature changes.