Though Wonder Man numbers among the earliest Avengers, first appearing in avengers #9 in 1964, he’s yet to appear in the MCU. That will soon change now that a wonder-man series is coming from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings Destin director Daniel Cretton. Many powerful Wonder Man variants exist in Marvel Comics, giving the MCU different options in adapting the iconic character.
While most Wonder Man variants in the comics share the same origin and powers, some diverge dramatically. Some derive their powers from connections to the Hulk, giving him even more strength and power than the Earth-616 version. The Vision qualifies as perhaps the most powerful and recognizable variant from the comics, due to his personality being constructed from Wonder Man’s memories of him. This comic book connection likely plays out in the MCU in some form now that The Vision has lost his memories of him.
Wonder Man (Earth-616)
Wonder Man ranks among the most powerful Avengers in Marvel Comics. Thanks to experiments by Baron Zemo involving ionic energy, Simon Williams gained superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and many other abilities. His strength even rivaled Thor’s, an unintended but welcome consequence for Zemo and his plan to use Wonder Man against the Avengers.
Wonder Man’s powers evolved over time, and in the late 1990s, he became a being of pure ionic energy. He shifts back and forth between material and immaterial, and can even transfer his power from him to others.
A powerful Wonder Man variant exists only in one panel in What If? #3. 4. Wonder Woman (not to be confused with the powerful DC Comics Wonder Woman) possessed all the same superpowers as her Earth-616 counterpart. She gained, presumably, superhuman durability, agility, and reflexes from Baron Zemo just as Wonder Man did.
Stan Lee once stated DC Comics sued Marvel over Wonder Man, due to similarities with Wonder Woman, though the story is considered to be apocryphal. Wonder Man and Wonder Woman exist in both franchises in sly ways.
The Lethal Legion
Wonder Man kicks off his Marvel Comics career as a villain associated with the Masters of Evil. In the pocket universe Franklin Richards creates after the onslaught event called Counter-Earth, Wonder Man serves on the Lethal Legion. He shares Earth-616 Wonder Man’s powers and abilities, including the ability to fly unaided via ionic energy.
This Wonder Man never got the chance to become a hero as his primary counterpart did. The Avengers defeated him and Loki absorbed all his ionic energy from him to gain more power for himself.
An older Wonder Man variant appears in the far alternate future that the original Guardians of the Galaxy inhabited. This variant, known as “Hollywood,” first appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy #62 in 1995. He retained all the same powers as his present-day self, including a much slower aging process thanks to his ionic energy powers.
Hollywood quickly became one of the most powerful Guardians of the Galaxy in Marvel Comics and also helped form an off-shoot team, the Galactic Guardians.
Comic book fans know Wonder Man died in avengers #9, only to return much later. In the MC2 alternate future timeline, Wonder Man was never revived. Instead, many robotic androids took his place from him. Each possesses the powers of the original, including the ability to fire ionic energy beams from his hands.
The Wonder Man robots fight the next generation Avengers, overwhelming them with their superhuman strength and endurance. A-Next also fought another Wonder Man variant, Overman, who also possessed the same powers.
Ultimate Wonder Man
Wonder Man from Earth-1610, the Ultimate Comics universe, possessed a completely different powerset. This Wonder Man ranks among the most powerful Hulk variants in Marvel Comics thanks to his using Hulk serum to enhance his strength. As a result, he rivals the Earth-616 Hulk in brute strength.
His impressive strength and stamina came at a cost, though. His routine use of Hulk serum left him mentally unstable and difficult to control, leading to his being kept in a stasis pod when not on duty.
Another Hulk-powered Wonder Man variant emerges in exiles #24 from 2003. This version possesses Wonder Man’s standard ionic abilities, including near-immortality, along with the gamma-infused strength of the Hulk. He gained his powers from him when Iron Man detonated a Gamma Bomb near him, trying to kill Dr. Bruce Banner.
This Wonder Man variant exponentially increased his size when he was angry, growing to the size of a building when a Spider-Man variant threatened the Scarlet Witch.
Wonder Man’s powers evolved to allow him immortality on Earth-616, but on Earth-2149, he gained terrifying new longevity. Wonder Man became a zombie in the Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness mini-series, combining his already impressive powers with an undead hunger for human flesh. Worse, I have retained all his powers and intellect from him.
The Zombie Wonder Man helped overrun the world and eventually participated in the violent attack on Doctor Doom’s stronghold in Latveria, one of the few remaining holdouts from the zombie virus.
Wonder Man (DC Comics)
Just as Marvel Comics presented their own Wonder Woman, DC Comics offered a powerful Wonder Man variant. Dane of Elysium shares all of Wonder Woman’s best powers from her in the comics, including god-like strength, endurance, and longevity. He also possesses her powerful weapons from her, like the Lasso of Truth.
Wonder Man first appeared in Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer – Superwoman/Batwoman #1, a comic set in Earth-11, where all the primary DC heroes’ genders are reversed.
The Vision technically ranks as the most powerful Wonder Man variant in Marvel Comics, thanks to the fact Ultron used Williams’ recorded brain patterns and memories to create the android Vision. The Vision generates powerful solar beams and shields by absorbing solar radiation through the solar gem, and he also can alter his density to increase his strength.
The Vision also capitalizes on his android form through technopathy. This allows him to interact and interface with virtually every computer system, increasing his knowledge and power in nearly limitless ways.
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