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As Wonder Man, Simon Williams is a costumed champion for good and respected and admired by many of the residents of the Marvel Universe, but this wasn’t always so. When Williams began his costumed career, he did so as an employee of the super villain Baron Zemo, but with a little help from the Avengers Williams wrestled his personal demons and found the path of righteousness. Beginning this December, in the pages of “Wonder Man: My Fair Supervillain,” a five issue mini-series by writer Peter David and artist Andrew Currie, Wonder Man hopes to give a supervillain the same chances he received. CBR News spoke with David about the mini-series.
Wonder Man’s origins involve fantastic powers and a resurrection, but the origin of his latest mini-series isn’t quite as extraordinary. “They approached me,” David told CBR News. “I’m sorry I don’t have a sexier answer for that. I’d love to be able to tell you that I suddenly woke up one night with this idea fully formed and I said, ‘Eureka! I must immediately contact the guys at Marvel!’ Quite simply I was contacted by Marvel and they said that they were interested in doing a ‘Wonder Man’ limited series and they were interested in having me do it. I, honest to God, don’t remember whether the basic concept was mine or theirs.”
The Concept of “Wonder Man: My Fair Super Villain” has Simon Williams making like Rex Harrison’s Professor Henry Higgins. “The concept is that Wonder Man takes, pretty much on a bet, which is really the same reason that Higgins did it; he takes on this super villainess, who seems completely irredeemable, a total wild woman and he endeavors to make her into a superhero,” David explained. “Why Not? If there’s anything that Wonder Man has experienced himself, it’s the concept of someone coming from a negative background, overcoming that and becoming a positive, contributing member of society.”
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David wanted to remain cryptic in his description of the super villain that Wonder Man is trying to turn into a contributing member of society, Ladykiller. “I’d rather not go into too much detail about her because we reveal things about her over the course of the series,” David said. “So all I can tell you is that she comes across as Wolverine without table manners.”
Simon’s personality has traits that could both aid and hinder his attempt to rehabilitate Ladykiller. “Actually his best trait and his character flaw could pretty much be considered one and the same,” David stated. “He has an irrefutable and unshakeable belief in the concept that people can be fundamentally good; that the default attitude of mankind is to do good rather than evil and that if someone is doing evil it’s because they have simply gone off the rails somewhere and with time, care and nurturing they can be brought back to the side of the angels, as it were. So, that’s a very positive aspect to have, but it’s also a weakness in that it could set him up for disappointment and it can also prompt him to put trust where it should not be placed.”
Readers will see the effects that Wonder Man’s ability to hope and trust have on him in two different settings. “It’s in the current continuity of Wonder Man where he’s got the power to transform into this purple energy being and he can fly and that sort of thing. We don’t have him in the safari jacket where he’s flying with those little jets,” David said. “What’s really interesting is it’s actually set in two different time periods. On the one hand, it’s set in the current day. On the other hand it’s set in the far-flung future because Wonder Man is essentially immortal. So, we play with the notion that Wonder Man is in the future and he’s essentially just wondering, which seems somehow appropriate to me if you’ve got a character named Wonder Man.
“The future sequences merely serve as something to cut away to if nothing else,” David continued. “We don’t have this major, major future storyline going. It’s just that he’s walking around the landscape of the Earth in an indeterminate future and thinking about the past. One of the things he’s wondering about is, what’s the purpose of doing anything? Because nothing lasts. He walks around in the future where all the things he knew in the past are long gone and just wonders what’s the purpose of it all. In thinking back to his time with Ladykiller he tries to come to terms with why anybody should aspire to greatness if nothing lasts.”
When Wonder Man reflects back on his time with Ladykiller, he will remember that he didn’t try to reform her by himself. Simon Williams’s long time agent is one of the supporting cast members of the book and David revealed that the Avengers would make a guest appearance in issue five. Assisting Simon directly in his task will be two of his friends and former Avengers team mates. “We’ve got Hank McCoy; the Beast and Carol Danvers,” David said. “What can I say? I’m a sucker for blonde females named Danvers. Because really you’ve got to give Simon somebody to bounce off of besides Ladykiller. Certainly, both the Beast and Carol have a sufficient background, a sufficient history with Simon that it makes perfect sense for him to pull them into this as back up. And they are certainly willing to come.”
“Wonder Man: My Fair Supervillain” is a stand alone story that’s not connected to Marvel’s current “Civil War” storyline and David highly recommends the series to anyone looking for a good self contained story. “It seems quaint now days,” he said. “On the one hand people protest and complain about crossovers and to a certain degree I’m giving them what they say they want. ‘Wonder Man’ is a good self-contained storyline that is character driven and not connected to crossovers. Same thing with ‘Marvel 1602: The Fantastick Four,’ which I’m working on. So, hey gang lets see fans come out and support what they say they want rather than the opposite. Oh and buy ‘Fallen Angel.'”