Ms. Marvel: a tale of two boyfriends

Kind of.  It’s complicated.  But in Mighty Avengers #6, this happened:

And thus began their relationship.

Ms. Marvel’s history (real name Carol Danvers) I covered in a previous article, but I’ve never before brought up Wonder Man (real name Simon Williams).  I know he’s not terribly well-known or popular, but he’s been around since 1964 and was created by Stan Lee himself.  So that has some cred, right?

Nazi supervillain Baron Zemo experimented on Wonder Man, originally a rich businessman, infusing him with a bunch of ionic energy treatments.  I don’t know what that is either. But now he has super strength equal to Thor, can fly and has glowing red eyes.  Good deal.  Most importantly, he likes Ms. Marvel in that emotionally gushy way.

Today we’re taking a look at some select scenes from Ms. Marvel #6-27, volume 2, written by Brian Reed and drawn mainly by Roberto De La Torre and Aaron Lopresti.  Now, the two superheroes are dating.  Still, when Ms. Marvel crashes into a local restaurant after a fight with her clone (y’know, comics), she takes the responsible action and goes to meet with the incredibly good-looking owner, William Wagner.

Don’t forget that last line.  Because when you have to sum up the two relationships, Ms. Marvel’s dating Wonder Man but Carol’s dating William.

Y’see, Ms. Marvel, currently a high-level SHIELD operative and leader of the Mighty Avengers, commands an immense amount of power and responsibility, but every failure (and she’s not very good her job) weighs down on her mentally and emotionally.  Whereas out of her superhero garb, she’s just another attractive blonde walking down the street where the pressure remains far more manageable. Essentially, as Ms. Marvel/Carol decides which of the men she wants to pursue, it’s also a reflection on her two different lifestyles.  Also, no one can fault her for wanting to date two good-looking fellas.

Well, shall we see how their date goes?  Spoiler alert: delightfully.

Unfortunately, because superheroes also have super-timing, their inevitable fling gets interrupted by Ms. Marvel’s teenage sidekick/trainee (and eventual Spider-girl).

Y’know the whole great responsibility comes great power spiel.  Poor Carol’s libido has to be put aside so they can do the whole save-the-city stuff.  And best of all, dear civilian William totally understands as he goes back home and takes a very cold shower.

Oh, but where there’s punching, there’s Wonder Man, as he’s the other side of that superhero coin.

Ms. Marvel’s secret date is safe from the helpful eyes of Simon.  And if you’re hoping for a big reveal and Wonder Man crashing into William’s apartment, it’s not going to happen.  They never find out about each other, because that’s not what this story is about.  It’s Ms. Marvel and her preferred lifestyle vs. her super-powered duties.  And trust me, Carol and William are progressing quite well.

Chemistry!  The only showers taken that night were warm and steamy.  But this can’t last.  Tragedy and conspiracy define a superhero, and in this case, it’s the latter.  After all, happiness is fleeting in the lives of crime fighters.  Makes stories boring if it’s all giggles and puppies.

Tough love, I guess?  Immediately after this secret meeting, the supervillain MODOK brainwashes Wonder Man, which forces Ms. Marvel to take drastic measures.

And the aftermath, where a public smooch will force her to make her romantic choice:

Can you feel that sharp pain of rejection?  The worst part?  He’s on her superhero team, so once he pieces his shattered heart back together, they have to remain friends.  I mean, they were before they dated, but now his love has to be more, I guess, brotherly.  Plus, as you know and Carol doesn’t, choosing William over Simon means everyone loses.

We advance to our final act.  Ms. Marvel lands smack dab in the middle of Marvel’s Secret Invasion event, where the shapeshifting alien species Skrulls invade Earth.  The same Skrulls who have warred with the alien species Kree for decades, making Earth their battleground on more than one occasion.

Well, that sucks.  Though my favorite two parts of comics just so happen to be angry superheroes and shocking twists, and luckily, this story has both.

Here’s the thing.  William Wagner, the secret Kree spy, never shows up again.  Yes, he’s alive somewhere, but neither his name nor his face pops up in this or any other comic series.  And unfortunately, I don’t know the reason why.  I hope he does one day, because I like the idea of superheroes dating normal civilians.  Wolverine recently did it.  Iron Man’s dated hundreds.  Adds a layer of normality and character development writers can switch to when there’s a lull in the punching. C’mon, you saw how charming Ms. Marvel was when on her date when she wasn’t talking about Skrull battleships or wrestling sewer monsters, right?

For now and probably forever, just assume William Wagner has disappeared, another tragic moment in the fairly tragic life of Carol Danvers.  Though, his abduction does lead to one final moment, the culmination of Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man’s failed relationship.  Y’know, going full circle and all.

Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel will never date again.  But on bed made of tears and regret, Wonder Man gets one night to express his lingering feelings of love.  And that counts, sort of?

9 Comments on “Ms. Marvel: a tale of two boyfriends”

  1. AlexDenton says:

    Well that’s … that’s not a great moment for Carol. So she dates two guys at the same time, and then breaks up with Simon, and immediately after that she practically begs him to f$%k her?
    Maybe I’m missing some context here … I’m gonna track down that issue. Nice article though 🙂

    • Js says:

      No, you didn’t miss anything, you hit it on the head.

      Carol is an amazing character, but sadly, she is so often so very poorly written. I like that under the pen/typing fingers of Kelly Sue Deconnick they are trying to elevate her somewhat. Turn her into a role model. She still has flaws, and is far from perfect, but they are making her into a character that people can look up to. Marvel needs a “Wonder Woman”, someone that girls can aspire to be like. Princess Sparkle Fists isn’t quite there yet, but she’s working on it.

      It reminds me of a quote: ““Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”― C.S. Lewis

      Carol has had a horrifying past because of terrible writing, but she has so much potential to be amazing.

    • bookslide says:

      She doesn’t date Simon. He’s her best friend, not someone she shows any interest in, until the scene where she’s so miserable she asks him to help her stop dwelling on what’s going on in her life (by having sex with her). She’s using him, but that’s the only time she does. Earlier in the series, he’s referred to as basically her “brother.”

    • Cooperdale says:

      I don’t see it that way. This is not bad writing or a bad moment for Carol. It’s just her being human.

    • Caleb says:

      She didn’t date simon in the Ms. Marvel book, the person here is mixing details.

      In bendis’ Mighty avengers run they broke up immediately after the kiss shown in this post because she couldn’t show him any preference while she’s leading the avengers and that was on Simon’s own idea/insistence

      The moment in this post framed as the “break up” isn’t that at all, it’s just a place where she couldn’t make any personal time because of the insane amount of responsibility she had and they weren’t even dating

      The kree spy boyfriend is dead as was revealed later.

      She slept with Wonder man because basically her whole life came crashing down and needed something to cope with with all the pain and her answer was sex.

  2. Tim Pervious says:

    “Civil War 2” really put me off of her. I remember the image of her kissing Simon years before, but I didn’t follow Reed’s time on the series consistently. I like Wonder Man, though. Another sorely underused and underrated character. Her dishonestly with him and the Wagner guy was low. She used, or misused Simon. Her own narration reads like she preferred Wagner. She should have told Simon before she pursued Wagner.

    Sometime later, Simon went nuts and led his “Revengers” against the Avengers, and he decked Carol. Then he went MIA for a time. Returned in “Uncanny Avengers”, and I guess has been accepted back into the fold, just currently on reserve,

    But did he and Carol ever resolve their issues? I’d think Carol would still resent that Revengers fight. And I imagine she wouldn’t want to serve on the same active roster with him. Writers come and go, and either don’t remember as well as readers, or they (or editors) just choose to ignore certain events.

    I have a story in my head where a current active roster is away and incommunicado for longer than the charter allows, and reserve members are responding to Avengers alarms. Wasp decides to activate several reserve members temporarily. And Carol object to Simon. We get to see some interworkings of the team.

    • JS says:

      Kelly Sue DeConic worked hard to rebuild Carol in her run… and Marvel has been doing their best to make us all hate the character ever since. They keep throwing away great opportunities. CWII was horrible for Carol. It was supposed to be a big push, but it buried her.

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