West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #2

Issue Date: 
November 1985
Story Title: 

Steve Englehart (Writer), Al Milgrom (Penciller), Kim DeMulder (Inker), Tom Orzechowski (Letterer), Petra Scotese (Colorist), Mark Gruenwald (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Hawkeye, Iron Man and Tigra meet with Wanda and the Vision in Leonia, where they go over each go over their versions of recent events. At the Grim Reaper’s hideout, Wonder Man and Hank Pym are kept the prisoners of the Reaper, Ultron, Nekra, Goliath, Man-Ape and the Black Talon, and soon learn that the Reaper’s plan is to transfer the common elements from Wonder Man and the Vision’s memories into the lifeless zombie that resembles a pre-Wonder Man Simon Williams. Wanda and co travel to Patterson, New Jersey, the home of the Williams’ and the location of Williams Manufacturing Incorporated. Iron Man retells Simon Williams’ early days for those who are unaware, including his first meeting with the Avengers which resulted in his death. The group then go to meet Martha Williams - Simon’s mother - who gives them insight into how the Grim Reaper works, and his obsession with his brother. The Vision then explains to Martha how he is related to her, which works out well for both of them. The Grim Reaper reveals his fascination with Nekra and his racist nature when it comes to Man-Ape and the Black Talon. Hank Pym and Wonder Man recall how Wonder Man came back to life, and Hank gives Simon some encouraging words as to how to deal with his problems. After leaving New Jersey, Wanda and company are attacked by Ultron, who has managed to get onboard their Quinjet.

Full Summary: 

New Jersey, in a motel, five very special individuals have gathered, in what some might consider very strange circumstances, but for these five, it’s just another day-in-the-life of being a super hero. Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the mighty Scarlet Witch, the synthezoid Vision, the avenging archer Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye, the invincible Iron Man and Green Grant Nelson the were-woman Tigra - the Avengers!

Clint greets his dear friend Wanda and her husband the Vision and remarks that it is too bad they couldn’t be meeting under more congenial circumstances, but if what he suspects is true, then they are all in grave danger. The Vision welcomes Hawkeye, Iron Man and Tigra to New Jersey, and Wanda apologizes that they have to meet in a motel, but they have still not got a house yet. Clint just says that the middle of the Turnpike would be fine with him right now.

The Vision approaches Iron Man and informs Tony Stark, the man in the armor, that it is going to take him a while to get used to his new armor. ‘It’s going to take me longer to get used to your new voice, Vizh!’ Iron Man replies. Wanda asks Clint if coming to New Jersey will get he and the West Coast Avengers in trouble, to which Clint replies that the New Yorkers think that the world ends at the Hudson River, so everything west of that should belong to the West Coast team anyway! ‘Yeah? You tell that to the Wasp!’ jokes Iron Man.

Wanda informs her friends that to get the government off the Vision’s back, they had to quit, so they won’t be telling the Wasp anything, before asking Clint where his wife is. Clint looks at Tigra and explains to Wanda that Mockingbird is minding the Palos Verde Compound, because he cannot pick favorites. Clint recalls that Tigra was furious she was told to stay behind, as she felt she was getting all the stay at home jobs, despite the fact he is the chairman and can give out orders as he sees fit, but eventually Mockingbird volunteered to stay behind, because she thought that Tigra needed a confidence boost.

Wanda pats Hawkeye on the back and congratulates him, pointing out that she knows how hard it is to be away from her husband. Clint looks over at Tigra again and remembers being told that she walked out on the Avengers once before saying she wasn’t good enough, so he feels he has reason to be leery of her in a situation like this, for his team is just getting started and he doesn’t want to lose anybody. Iron Man suggests that they get down to business.

(Shown with Flashback images)
Clint announces that he called this meeting because yesterday, Hank Pym showed up at their Palos Verde Compound to have a look at the new Goliath they had captured, and adds that it is too bad Hank didn’t want to join their team, because they could have really used him when that crazy robot that Hank himself invented, Ultron, attacked the rest of them. Naturally, they figured Ultron was making another attempt to trash some Avengers - but then he showed up with the Man-Ape of all people and freed Goliath while he was capturing Wonder Man and Hank. Hawkeye remarks that what is strange about the whole situation is that Ultron had never worked with those people before, nor has he cared about Simon.

(Shown with Flashback images)
The Vision reveals his and Wanda’s half of the story, explaining that they were attacked by an army of zombies commanded by the Black Talon and Nekra, who were seeking him, but instead captured Wanda. The Vision explains that he infiltrated the crypt where they were holding Wanda, and he discovered a very special zombie - one who looked very much like the original Simon Williams - the ordinary man who became Wonder Man and whose brain patterns were the basis for the Vision’s own synthetic mind. The Vision adds that the man who hates both he and Simon above all made his presence known too - for he was the one behind their opponents, and is certain behind Clint’s opponents too.

Clint informs everyone that Goliath and the Man-Ape worked for the Grim Reaper before, and remarks that with the Grim Reaper sporting a group of allies like that, the only way he sees that they can beat him is to take the battle to him - but firstly, they need information….

But the West Coast Avengers are not the only team mapping out it’s strategy in New Jersey today…for elsewhere, ‘Face up to it, Reaper - you’re insane!’ exclaims Simon Williams a.k.a. the handsome Wonder Man from behind an energy net where he and Hank Pym are being held captive, surrounded by the Grim Reaper, Ultron-12, Nekra, Man-Ape, Black Talon and Goliath. Wonder Man exclaims that Grim Reaper claims he wants Simon Williams “back”, but that he is Simon Williams.

‘You’re not Simon! You’re a mutation - a freak!’ Eric Williams replies, pointing his deadly scythe at Wonder Man. ‘Tell him, my love!’ the Albino Nekra exclaims in support of her lover. ‘Do not worry, Nekra - he will!’ exclaims the Man-Ape, to which Ultron mutters ‘I think she knew that, Man-Ape! His brother is all your master ever thinks about!’ The Grim Reaper doesn’t take his eyes of Wonder Man as he exclaims that his brother was a saint and he therefore he will never rest until he destroys both Wonder Man and the Vision for desecrating his memory. Wonder Man tells the Grim Reaper to listen to him when he says that nothing can reverse the process that made him become Wonder Man, and declares that he is the only Simon Williams there ever was or ever will be. With Nekra at his side, the Grim Reaper asks Wonder Man if he thinks he will accept that - ‘When I have the power to change it?’

Eric Williams explains that if the Black Talon hadn’t failed him already, then he would have both Wonder Man and the Vision already, but when he does have them both, he plans to scan both their brains and feed the information through one of Ultron’s computers. They will automatically erase any thought not common to both minds, and he will be left with pure Simon Williams consciousness - untouched by later corruptions - which the Talon will then implant in a zombie which replicates his brother as he truly was!

Simon is furious, and angrily asks the Grim Reaper if he would prefer a reconstituted corpse to his own real flesh and blood. ‘Blast it, you’re my brother too, you scum!’ exclaims Simon before he hit’s the energy barrier keeping him imprisoned, despite Hank’s warning not to touch it. Both men are suddenly knocked to the ground, and Hank tells Simon that the Reaper won’t be the only one who’s crazy if he tries that again.

‘Ever the solicitous parental figure, eh, Pym?’ Ultron exclaims, before assuring his “father” that as soon as the Grim Reaper has what he wants from the Vision, then he will destroy his synthetic “son” - with the very same power blast that will kill his “father”. ‘Fathers - sons - brothers - you all sound like a soap opera!’ Hank Pym exclaims before asking him if he is sure he doesn’t want Blake Carrington too. Ultron remarks that Pym’s divorce and disgrace has hardened him, which he thinks is good. ‘You were much too weak in your costumed identities to provide me any challenge!’

Hank asks his “son” what has happened to him, reminding him that he used to be a threat all by himself, but now he is working for others. ‘Ultron Twelve works for no one, Dad! The Reaper and I are allies, that’s all!’ Ultron snaps back, to which Hank realizes he hit a nerve in his “son”. The Black Talon exclaims that he and the Reaper are allies, and is about to comment on his horde of zombies, when Ultron tells him that the zombies have yet to do their job, reminding the Talon he promised to get the Vision for him.

‘Just watch me, Dad! Just watch!’ Ultron whispers to Hank, before going up to the Reaper and declaring that he will capture the Vision, his own son, adding that he wanted his father the most, but that he hates the Vision almost as much. ‘You begin to sound like me, Ultron!’ Nekra remarks, before the Grim Reaper tells Ultron to go and get the Vision, but that he wants him alive. ‘So shall you have him, ally!’ Ultron exclaims as he leaves, while thinking to himself ‘Mad-man! Truly a mad-man!’

Meanwhile, in Patterson, New Jersey, eight miles from Leonia, the once and future home of Wanda and the Vision - but what a difference eight miles makes! Leonia is small and forested, residential, while Patterson is yet another monument to chemicals and smoke. Once men here dreamed dreams of commerce, but that dream went west some ten years ago. Now though, an Avengers Quinjet lands at Williams Manufacturing Incorporated, a large building fenced off from public access, with a CLOSED sign on the gate. The Vision remarks that if they are going to find Eric Williams, this is where they start. Wanda points out that it is deserted, before Clint reminds everyone that it all belonged to Simon once, which surprises Tigra. ‘This place? Simon was a business man?’ she asks.

Iron Man informs Tigra that Simon was more like an inventor, but he was pretty much a failure when it came to running things. Clint reminds everyone that Iron Man was the only Avenger there at the time. Tony remarks that it was a long time ago, but that it seems like only yesterday to him. ‘Yeah, it was in the days of the original team - me, Giant-Man, Captain America, the Wasp and Thor - that we thought we found out sixth member!’

(Flashback, Avengers (1st series) #9)
Simon Williams and Tony Stark were competitors for a time, but in advancing Stark Industries, Tony seemed to make Simon’s patents obsolete - and it sent Williams MFG into a tailspin. When Simon was arrested for embezzlement, Tony Stark did not attend his trial where he was said to be suffused with guilt - but someone else did. ’I’ll pay Mr. Williams’ bail bond!’ a blonde woman declared. ’Why? I don’t know you!’ Simon replied. ’Ah, but you will, Mr. Williams!’ the blonde woman told him ominously.

Later, the woman introduced herself to Simon as the Enchantress, and introduced her burly companion as the Executioner. She informed Simon that Iron Man - Tony Stark’s bodyguard - is an enemy of theirs, and asked Simon if he wanted revenge. After Simon asked them what it matters to them, the Executioner tried to sweeten the offer by reminding Simon that he is penniless and has been accused of a crime - while they can offer him power. ‘You’re right! What am I asking questions for?’ Simon exclaimed.

So, twenty-four hours later, Simon lay in the hidden jungle laboratory of Baron Heinrich Zemo, the evil ally of the Enchantress. Simon lied on an operating table in nothing but his briefs, and the Executioner told him not to worry, as he is about to be put to asleep, and when he wakes he shall be Simon Williams no longer. Zemo explained to Simon that he is being bombarded with the most potent ionic rays ever concentrated on one man. ‘The genius Zemo shall create a living engine of destruction!’ he boasted.

Thus, Wonder Man was born! ‘I’ve never felt so alive - so charged with power!’ Simon Williams exclaimed, before the Executioner declared that it is now time to destroy the Avengers. Though the Avengers did not know it at the time, they met Wonder Nan when he appeared to aid them against Zemo, the Enchantress and the Executioner - but that was all part of Zemo’s plan.

Wonder Man told the Avengers that he was from the Amazon Jungle and that he was dying of a rare disease, which is why he has sought them out to ask for their help. Captain America told Wonder Man that after the way he helped them, the Avengers would be glad to help him. Hank Pym began working on Wonder Man’s bios systems, Tony Stark on the life support systems, and the Avengers “ally” Dr. Don Blake studied the steady deterioration in Simon’s cells. However, they got no closer to an answer when Wonder Man summoned them to South America, where he claimed to have found Zemo.

But arriving in South America, what the Avengers found was a traitor - and a trap! However, just when Wonder Man had the Avengers at his mercy, he switched sides, much to Zemo’s fury. As Wonder Man attacked the Executioner, Zemo asked him what he was doing, and ordered him to obey, or else he will never have the antidote to his disease. Wonder Man replied by telling Zemo that he didn’t care, for the Avengers tried to help him and treated him as an equal. ‘Is life so dear that I’d lose all honor for it?’ he asked.

Although Zemo, the Enchantress and the Executioner all escaped, the Avengers found a hero, for Wonder Man sacrificed his life to save the Avengers. After Iron Man asked him why he did this, Wonder Man replied ‘Perhaps - every man dreams of doing one noble thing in his life. Now I can die knowing that I didn’t live in vain’. And so, he was gone.

When Iron Man concludes his story, Tigra points a claw at him and declares that she doesn’t believe it, not the way he tells it. Tigra exclaims that the part about Zemo she might believe, as Simon was under a lot of pressure, but she cannot believe that he would embezzle from his own company. ‘You’d buy beating us all up, but not theft?’ Iron Man asks. Tigra admits that Wonder Man is easily pushed around and that he has never known what to do with his powers, but that the man inside is basically good, as the Avengers found out.

Soon, the Avengers are leaving the factory by breaking through the front gate, and Iron Man thinks to himself that Tigra’s logic is the strangest he has ever heard. He tells Greer that is what they are all here to look into, if they can trace Simon’s life, and his brother - Eric - then they might be able to get a handle on what it is that Eric has done with his captives. Iron Man adds that if they can prove Simon was innocent along the way, then he will be just as pleased as she.

‘Good going, Tigra!’ Hawkeye thinks to himself: ‘Even with his voice muffled by his helmet, Tony’s clearly not thrilled at having his honesty questioned!’ As the five heroes walk along the tidy pavements of the Patterson suburbs, Clint thinks to himself that he has seen all the other teams, even joined up with some of them - but none of them are as tight as the Avengers deep down, but the Avengers always seem to argue after a while. Clint supposes that it is just pride, after all, the Avengers are the best group, so they have got to be the best individuals - something like that. He thinks that it sounds right, and he should know, as he used to be the proudest one of them all! As the heroes approach a quaint two-story home, Clint wishes that Bobbi was here, as he can always talk to her about the “deep stuff“.

Iron Man motions to the house and tells everyone that here they are, at phase two. ‘Phase two?’ Greer asks. Clint informs Tigra that this is Simon’s home, where he and his brother grew up. The Vision asks Iron Man how he knows this place, to which Iron Man hesitates for a minute, before remarking that he wouldn’t have liked to mention it because Tony Stark doesn’t like doing things for credit, but that Stark used to pay Simon’s mother annuity when Simon was apparently dead. ‘Simon’s Mother!?’ exclaims the Vision, to which Tony thinks to himself he cannot believe he didn’t think of this sooner - if the Vision’s brain patterns are based on Simon’s, then she is almost his mother too!

Throughout the recital of Simon Williams’ life as Wonder Man, the Avengers’ thoughts have been focused on their captured comrade, as is only natural - and the Vision has kept characteristically to the back ground. But now, all thoughts are sharply focused on their long-time friend - even as all eyes are scrupulously averted to the elderly woman that answers the door after Iron Man knocks on it.

‘Good gracious! The Avengers!’ exclaims the old woman, before asking if this is about her sons. No one needs reminding that the Vision has recently become more nearly human, and he gapes in awe at the woman who is in part his mother. As the heroes are led into Mrs. Williams’ well kept home, Hawkeye informs her that indeed this is about her sons, but that she has to believe him when he says that they are trying to help them. Mrs. Williams replies by telling Hawkeye that it may surprise him, but she does believe him, and asks them all if they would like to sit down.

Moments later, Mrs. Williams sits in a rocking chair and goes about her knitting, while Wanda and the Vision sit on a couch together, and Hawkeye takes a chair of his own. Iron Man and Tigra stay standing. Mrs. Williams remarks that she may be an old woman and a mother, but she is still a realist, and adds that Simon inherited that trait from her. Mrs. Williams reveals that she knows what her son Eric has become, and why the Avengers have to pursue him. Clint informs her that this time, Eric has kidnapped Simon, so they are looking for clues into their pasts. ‘Their pasts -!’ exclaims Mrs. Williams as she glances to a pair of photographs on the wall - her sons, Simon and Eric.

(Flashback, predates Avengers (1st series) #9)
In the past - or in the present - no two boys could have been more different. Eric Williams was always the sportsman, always pushing his body to the limit, while Simon Williams pushed his mind - he got top grades in school and would rather have read a book than eaten. If one asked Mrs. Williams long ago which of her sons would grow up to be a hero, she would have said Eric without hesitation.

However, Sanford - the boys father - was a hard-driving man himself - and somehow, nothing they ever did could satisfy him - and he often beat them. Maybe that is what turned Eric bad - no matter how realistic mothers are, their sons can still fool them. Mrs. Williams did not know that Eric started stealing, or that he started harassing Simon for refusing to join him. All she saw was that Simon was tying more and more of his self-esteem to his grades. That bothered his mother, but it seemed to make him successful, so she couldn’t complain to much, and when Simon took over Williams Manufacturing from his father, he made great strides at first - but then Stark Industries passed him by, and he couldn’t seem to get back in the race.

The connections between Simons’ brain and his self-esteem began to work against him then, and he took the firm’s reverses personally - and when he convinced himself he was thoroughly useless, he turned to Eric for help. To Mrs. Williams’ shame, Eric had joined the criminal Maggia, and at that time, he appeared to be the success that Simon wasn’t. But, when you’re dealing with the government and other defense contractors, twisting arms really wasn’t very useful. Stark Industry’s had the products and Williams Manufacturing didn’t - that was the reality of it. Eric being Eric, when he met with failure, he stole what he could from the company and ran away.

‘Eric was the embezzler!?’ exclaims Hawkeye. Mrs. Williams sighs and explains that Simon took the blame for it, for since he had invited Eric in, his feeling of guilt and failure was all-encompassing. Mrs. Williams tells the Avengers that is why she thinks Simon took the offer to become Wonder Man, for it must have seemed like a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Tigra smiles and exclaims that she knew Simon is not a thief.

Clint informs Mrs. Williams that they know what happened to Simon next, but what of Eric? The elderly woman replies that she didn’t know it then, of course, but Eric was transferred - if that is the word - to the Maggia’s “family” in Las Vegas, where he stayed until he became the Grim Reaper. Clint smiles at exclaims that Vegas sounds good, as they need a place to start looking for Simon and Eric. He thinks to himself that it is West of the Rockies, so he doesn’t have to worry about arguing with the Wasp.

Clint promises Mrs. Williams that the Avengers will do their best to see that no one gets hurt when they find Simon and Eric. Mrs. Williams replies that she knows they will, before adding that she won’t blame them for whatever they have to do, and that Eric blamed the Avengers for Simon’s death - but that is only because it is easier than admitting the part he played in it. Mrs. Williams begins sobbing as she points out that she is an old woman now, and her one prayer - her only prayer - is that they put an end to this insane vendetta - ‘And give me back my sons!’

Suddenly, the Vision stands up from the couch and exclaims ‘Mother!’ The old woman stops sobbing and reveals she knows he is the one they call the Vision - an artificial man. The Vision replies that he is indeed artificial, but he is a man nonetheless, and while his arms and legs are synthetic, his mind is very real. With that, he reveals that his mind is derived from Simon’s. ‘What? What did you -?’ Mrs. Williams exclaims. The Vision apologizes, before calling her mother once more and stating that he is a part of her son.

‘You have Simon’s mind?’ Mrs. Williams asks, crying once more. The Vision explains that he is what Simon would be had he been transformed into a synthezoid instead of a - Wonder Man! The Vision remarks that he is no Simon, and will never be Simon, ‘But I love you, mother! Forgive me!’ he exclaims. The old woman puts her arms around her artificial son and exclaims ‘Forgive you? Oh, Vision! You’re giving me back the gentle boy I thought I’d lost forever!’

Elsewhere, The Grim Reaper lies back on some cushions, with Nekra lying into him. ‘You’re an animal, Eric, my love!’ the Albino woman exclaims, comparing him to the savage mandrills of her jungle. ‘Wrong, baby! I used to be wild - but since the Avengers killed my brother, I’ve been more like an irresistible force!’ Eric boasts. Eric admits that he has never beaten the Avengers, but claims that they have never really beaten him either, and he is just one-man against their ever-changing hordes! ‘They’re a group worth hating, yes!’ Nekra exclaims.

Eric declares that he does hate the Avengers, for they killed his brother, who was a saint - but they killed him, then made a synthezoid out of him - and then something that doesn’t even have a name - ‘some energy freak‘! Eric tells Nekra that he is going to kill both of the walking insults. ‘This time, I’ll wipe them both off the face of the Earth!’ Nekra smiles and tells Eric that she loves it when he talks like that. Nekra then reminds Eric that as she is his woman, she must know one thing about his plans, and asks why he doesn’t hate Ultron, after all, he is the one who made the Vision.

The Grim Reaper explains that Ultron is useful - for now, and asks Nekra if that answers her question. Suddenly, the Man-Ape enters and excuses himself, before announcing that Wonder Man is awakening at last, and he thought that the Grim Reaper might - ‘You thought? You thought?’ exclaims Eric, before making a racist comment at the Man-Ape and declaring ‘I do the thinking in this group! Get your stinking, hairy costume out of here!’

The Man-Ape begins to tell the Grim Reaper to wait, when Eric leaps to his feet and asks the Man-Ape if he is disputing his orders. The Man-Ape replies that he has known of the Reaper’s bigotry for many months, but that he has not let it affect his opinion of the Reaper’s leadership abilities. ‘But he who wears the felt of the sacred white gorilla will never accept -’ Man-Ape is interrupted by the Grim Reaper who shouts ‘SHUT UP! Shut up! Nobody ever argues with me - especially not you! and blasts at the Man-Ape, who hurriedly makes his exit from the chamber, calling the Reaper a madman and threatening to make him pay for this.

‘Oh, do I hate spades!’ the Reaper exclaims, to which Nekra points out that she is black, but she senses no hatred in him for her. Eric grabs Nekra by the chin and tells her not to say that, as she is not black, she is a white woman. ‘I’m an Albino -’ Nekra begins, but Eric tells her once more that she is white, which is all that counts. ‘You’re unique - the purest white I’ve ever known!’ he exclaims as they kiss.

Storming through the complex, the Man-Ape thinks to himself that at last, the crisis has come. The Man-Ape had told himself that the Grim Reaper would learn, but he knows that “his kind” never learns. The Man-Ape decides that if he was no an exile, banned from the Black Panther’s Wakanda, then he would never be involved with the Grim Reaper’s twisted obsessions - but even an exile has a choice of asylums, he thinks. Entering the main chamber, the Man-Ape sees the Black Talon and exclaims ‘Black Talon! My Creole brother - I can no longer work for a man who hates black skins! You and I must talk!’

Addressing the Man-Ape by his real name, M’Baku, the Black Talon asks him what the Reaper has done. Man-Ape exclaims that it was the Grim Reaper’s tone, that there is no doubt he is using them, not as allies or even hirelings, but as slaves! ‘Who does he think he is?’ exclaims the Black Talon, who would like to see how the Grim Reaper gets on without his zombie hordes.

In the containment field, Hank gets Simon’s attention onto the two villains and remarks that this might be the break that they need. ‘Break? What kind of break can there be for me?’ mutters Simon. Hank is surprised by Wonder Man’s solemn tone, to which Wonder Man exclaims that the Grim Reaper - his own brother is going to kill him, if not this time, then the next. ‘I don’t want to die, Hank!’ he exclaims, to which Hank replies that the Avengers said he got over that. Simon replies that he thought he had, but that fighting Michael, when everything depended on him, he came through - but then, he had no time to think about it - about oblivion.

(Shown with various flashback images)
Wonder Man tells Hank that it has been said that he wasn’t dead when he fell in the Amazon Jungle, and maybe that is true - but he was no more than a body. Wonder Man recalls how he was buried, and he lay in the earth for years - until Eric dug him up to taunt the Vision, and carried him around for a while - but he feels that it wasn’t him, for he wasn’t truly there. ‘I was dead! Who cares what they call it? There was no difference - I was dead!’

Simon recalls how when the Black Talon made him a zombie, he shuffled forward at his orders like all the other corpses, and attacked those he had died trying to save in the first place! Simon explains that, in time, he came out of the darkness, but that he wasn’t really “alive” the way he had been before. ‘I was a walking atomic pile!’ Simon exclaims that Eric wanted him to be his brother, but even he rejected what he had become. ’In my own way, I was - I am - as synthetic as the Vision now! Wonder Man declares that while he is here, he is so close to the darkness - the terrible, terrible darkness, and becoming an Avenger at last did not change that.

‘Leaving the Avengers didn’t change that!’ Simon adds, before exclaiming to Hank that he’s been dead, gone, but that he thought he got over it. Simon remarks that it’s like what they say at Alcoholics Anonymous - “You never get cured - you just don’t take another drink!” Simon exclaims that while fighting Michael, he forgot his fear, although anyone can do that for a while, but his fear didn’t forget him. Simon reveals that he kept leaving the Avengers so that he wouldn’t have to face the fact that he wasn’t cured, for there is no cure!

‘I’m deathly afraid - of death!’ Wonder Man exclaims. Hank tells Simon not to take a “drink”, but to stand up and fight this man who wants to kill him. Simon asks what good it will do, as the Grim Reaper will always be after him. He remarks that he has been afraid of Eric since they were boys, and even with all his power, he is still just Eric’s little brother. Sternly, Hank tells Simon to listen to him. ‘Forget your powers!’ he says, before reminding Simon that he had powers once, all sorts of power, but what counts is the man who has the power!

Hank declares that no power and no other person can fix you life for you, he should know. ‘If you want to die, I can’t stop you - but if you don’t want to die, I can’t help you either! It’s up to you, so don’t cry on my shoulder!’ Hank tells Simon that he says he is not a real man, well in that case neither is he a boy. ‘So whatever kind of man you are - be one!’ he shouts at him.

Back in Patterson, ‘It’s a dream come true!’ exclaims Mrs. Williams as she walks out oh her home with Wanda and the Vision at her side. Wanda agrees, and remarks to Mrs. Williams that she has gained something very like a third son today. ‘And a daughter, Wanda - a daughter who should also call me “mother”!’ the old woman adds, before telling the Avengers to go in peace, for she somehow feels that this day will mark the end of their sorrows. The Vision calls Mrs. Williams “Mother” and tells her that, either way, he and Wanda will be back to visit her very soon.

As the heroes arrive back at Williams Manufacturing, they climb into the Quinjet and the Vision exclaims that all of his years with the Avengers, he knew of his relationship to Simon, but that he never thought beyond Simon, never thought to ask where he came from. ‘I think our family trees must be the most convoluted in history, Vision!’ Wanda exclaims. The Vision replies that it does seem that way, but that he welcomes each new revelation.

As the Avengers take off, the Vision remarks that he has been born three times now - as the Human Torch, as the Vision, and now, as Martha Williams’ son. ‘Each time I come closer to humanity!’ He adds that each time, he learns anew why his love was instinctively for a human woman. Iron Man thinks to himself that it is strange how fate works, for when Simon was driven to become Wonder Man, Tony was a rising star, yet he now knows how easily it could have been otherwise. ‘I could have been the failure then that I almost became later!’

Tigra thinks to herself that Simon and the Vision are souls overlaid on other souls - just like she is, before Hawkeye announces that they are on their way to Las Vegas. He radios in to his wife, Mockingbird, back at the West Coast Avengers Compound and asks her how she is doing. Bobbi Morse-Barton smiles and jokes that her mother would be proud, since there is nothing else to do, and they don’t have a “Jarvis”, so she has washed about half of the floors and started on the windows! ‘That’s how exciting it has been since you left!’

‘No sign of Ultron, huh?’ asks Clint, when suddenly, ‘Not likely, human!’ exclaims the robot as he appears at the Quinjet’s front window, before punching his way into the ship, taking the Avengers very much by surprise. Suddenly, other robots begin breaking into the Quinjet too. ‘Avengers assemble!’ Hawkeye exclaims as their Quinjet begins to rapidly fall out of the sky.

Characters Involved: 

Scarlet Witch & Vision

Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man (all West Coast Avengers)
Hank Pym

Martha Williams

Grim Reaper
Goliath III
Black Talon II
“Simon Williams”

In Hawkeye’s Flashback relating to West Coast Avengers (2nd series) #1:
Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mockingbird, Tigra, Wonder Man (all West Coast Avengers)
Hank Pym

Goliath III

In Flashback relating to Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1:
Scarlet Witch & Vision

Grim Reaper
“Simon Williams”

In Iron Man’s Flashback relating to Avengers (1st series) #9:
Captain America, Giant Man, Iron Man, Thor, Wasp (all Avengers)
Wonder Man

Baron Zemo

Newspaper seller

In Martha Williams’ Flashback:
Simon Williams
Eric Williams
Sanford Williams

Stark Industries Executive

Police Officers

In Flashback panels relating to Avengers (1st series) #106-108, 152, 160, 194:
Wonder Man
Beast, Captain America, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wasp, Yellowjacket (Pym)

Grim Reaper
Black Talon

In Photographs:
Eric & Simon Williams

Story Notes: 

This issue takes place after Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1, and the storyline concludes in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #2.

The Scarlet Witch and the Vision quit the Avengers in Vision & Scarlet Witch (2nd series) #1.

Tigra originally quit the Avengers in Avengers (1st series) #216.

Wonder Man’s first appearance and heroic sacrifice can be seen in the classic Avengers (1st series) #9.

First appearance of Mrs. Martha Williams.

Wonder Man, along with the rest of the Avengers fought Michael in Avengers (1st series) #177.

Wonder Man was resurrected in Avengers (1st series) #106, and became one of the Black Talon’s zombies in Avengers (1st series) #152 and joined the team officially in Avengers (1st series) #194.

Indeed, both Wanda and the Vision’s family trees are extremely complex and extended. On the Vision’s side, you have Wonder Man and the Grim Reaper as his brothers (it should be noted that Wanda and Wonder Man later have an extended relationship). Martha Williams and the deceased Sanford Williams as their parents. The Vision’s “father” is Ultron. Ultron’s “father” is Hank Pym, whose wife is the Wasp. Ultron once tried to create a wife, Jocasta, and based her brain patterns on the Wasp. He later tried that again with Alkhema, whose brain patterns were based on Mockingbird, Hawkeye’s now-deceased wife. Nekra is also the paramour of the Grim Reaper. On Wanda’s side, you have her father Magneto, and her presumed-deceased mother, Magda Lehnsherr. Wanda’s brother is Quicksilver, and they were raised by Django and Marya Maximoff, a gypsy couple. It was believed for sometime that the Whizzer and Miss America were the twin’s parents. The Golden-Age heroes also had a son, Nuklo. Wanda and Pietro have sister who died before they were born, Anya, and a half sister, Polaris. Polaris has her adopted family including her cousin (perhaps) Zaladane, and was almost married to Havok. Quicksilver is married to Crystal, and they have a daughter, Luna. Crystal is the sister of Medusa, and cousin to the other Royal Inhumans. Finally, Wanda and the Vision had two “children” of their own, William and Thomas.

Mockingbird’s joke about a “Jarvis” is of course a reference to the Avengers loyal butler and housekeeper, Jarvis. While in their early days, the West Coast Avengers had no civilian housekeeper, they later gained some support staff like a groundskeeper, and the nanny for Rachel Carpenter (Spider-Woman II’s daughter) , Consuela, also came to live at the Compound.

Written By: