Wonder Man #22-25 (1993): Hidden Depth

It’s time for a Mephisto fight!

One of Wonder Man’s hangers on gets hurt and Mephisto offers to save him if Wonder Man will go steady with Mephisto and wear his high school pin.

Okay, not a pin.  A “Necklace of Service.”

But then Wonder Man’s dead brother, Grim Reaper, shows up with Blackheart to compete.  Blackheart has Reaper’s soul.  Turns out Reaper also owns some souls: The two humans whose blueprints were patterned for the parents of Wonder Man (and Reaper, of course).  I don’t even understand how an artificial dude has parents, and always thought it was Hank Pym or something.  I don’t know.  My head hurts.

Also, Enchantress and Executioner show up.  I think. (See below.)

So Simon has to pick: A necklace, his brother, or his parents.  Then, Mephisto gives him Grim Reaper’s hand and sends him back to Earth…

…with a spell involving fish sticks, apparently.

Then, he tries to force Wonder Man to touch members of the West Coast Avengers with his hand-that-will-kill-people.

This is not the best possessed hand story.

But it’s still fun.  And it turns out, it reveals more about Wonder Man’s true nature and abilities.

So how does it end?  Well, for one thing…

…Simon finally gets to sleep with Wanda.  Nice!

Simon of course doesn’t accede to any of the evil three’s terms, so we end with a cliffhanger of sorts: His dead parents, along with Grim Reaper, are joining The Legions of the Night.  Wait.  There’s still more of the “Hidden Depth” story.

And it involves Eric Josten and Man Ape, who team up with Black Talon to form a new Masters of Evil, and try to ally with Enchantress, the Executioner, and Baron Zemo. Those three were the original Masters so forming your own reboot and then asking the originals to join is a little insulting.  I mean, Talon doesn’t own the name.  Enchantress does.

And then we get the double-size conclusion to Hidden Depth.  With big fights.

Apparently, when he got his death hand cut off and a new hand installed, it gave him the power to grow.

I will note: He did NOT have this power during his one-night stand with Scarlet Witch.  Maybe if he had, they’d have stayed together?

Anyway, it turns out some (or all) of the people in the story thus far were just illusions cast by Mephisto. I really can’t tell which.  Did he really sleep with Wanda?  Did he really get the power to grow?

I hate these “it was a dream” conclusions.

Anyway, as you can see, Mephisto’s true motivation is that Wonder Man is immortal, which means he has an immortal soul.  (It does???  Why??  The inability to kill the physical body doesn’t mean the soul, too, is immortal. And he’s a fake being anyway—how does he even have a soul?  My head hurts more.)

Now it’s time for the Wonder Man in his Simon Williams human form, as a kid, was abused by his parents and so was Grim Reaper.  But again, is any of this real?  Those weren’t his real parents—they were illusions.  Right?

The books ends promising a new art team and editor and a “new era for Wonder Man.”  But it won’t last long. This book is on the bubble and will be cancelled in less than a year.

Look, this story was really dumb and impossible to understand, but I have to admit: I liked it.  I really like Jeff Johnson’s art, and there was enough fun stuff to outweigh the very difficult-to-follow stuff about souls.  And whether the tagged people below actually appeared.  Because like I said, not sure how much of it was a dream.

Leave a Comment