Wonder Man Annual #2

Issue Date: 
June 1993
Story Title: 
Hitmaker (first story)

Gerard Jones (writer), Gordon Purcell (penciler), Akin, Boyd & Holdredge (inkers), Kelly Corvese (colorist), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Carlos Lopez (assistant editor), Fabian Nicieza (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

first story: The new Hollywood up-and-coming superstar, Hitmaker, is on the set of his latest film, but he is unimpressed with the script and direction. The director reminds him that Hollywood is wanting him to undo the damage Wonder Man has done to the industry, and Hitmaker has an idea on how to do that - he has to take Wonder Man down. Wonder Man meanwhile is contemplating who is behind his latest trouble - but doesn’t get to think about it long, as Hitmaker confronts him in public, their discussion and subsequent battle filmed from many angles by film crews. Wonder Man is late for a meeting with the Beast, so is unimpressed by Hitmaker accosting him. During the battle Hitmaker reveals his strange armor, which Wonder Man detects is Clarke Technology. Someone fires a grenade at them, and Hitmaker is taken out. Wonder Man sees that it was a gang, and security officers show up, accusing Wonder Man of harming Hitmaker - but Wonder Man just wants to get him to a hospital. He picks the younger man up and flies away. En route, he decides that something strange is going on here. At the hospital, Wonder Man and the Beast watch a one-sided report on the battle, while Wonder Man continues to contemplate what is actually going on here. He demands to see Hitmaker, but the hospital staff decline his request - until a gang appears. Wonder Man and the Beast battle the gang members, until Wonder Man uses the distraction to find Hitmaker. He confronts the younger man, wanting to know what is going on. He pulls him out of the bed, forcing him to stand up - only Hitmaker falls to the ground, revealing he is a quadraplegic. Wonder Man hears more gunshots, and races to find the Beast, who has the gang members apprehended, but more gangbangers have done a runner. Wonder Man instructs the Beast to follow them, while he is then attacked by Hitmaker. Wonder Man notices more cameras, and realizes that Hitmaker has been filming all of these battles to prove that he is crazy, but Hitmaker boasts that he is the new champion of Hollywood. Hitmaker goes to meet with some of the film crew, but Wonder Man follows, and battles Hitmaker again. Hitmaker starts to reveal how he became Hitmaker - taking up the opening that Wonder Man left as the Hollywood stuntman, but Wonder Man asks him if he thinks the studios will still want him when this current gangbanging attacks comes to light. They agree to work together to track the gang down, and meet up with the Beast. Hitmaker then reveals his origin to them - how he was shot by the gang that his brother had linked up with, and how they offered him armor so he could walk in exchange for doing jobs for them - but he took the armor and ran straight to Hollywood - and now the gang has tracked him down. They locate the gang at their “crib”, and another battle ensues - until Hitmaker sees his brother with the gang. Two of Rampage’s “Recession Raiders” appear, and fly off with Hitmaker’s brother. Wonder Man tries to stop them - but Hitmaker stops him, telling him that nobody handles his brother but him. The media have arrived, and Hitmaker puts on a show for them, which Wonder Man plays along with, after coming to an understanding with the new hero.

Full Summary: 

first story:

A man stands on top of a building and grins. He wears an open red jacket and matching red pants. A golden “H” is stuck to his chest and he has golden face paint over his eyes He decides that it is a whole new game, as he played the game their way and lost - played it for years and he lost. But now it is different - now he knows who writes the rules, now he knows how the game is stacked. ‘We play it my way now. Right now’.

On the street below, a man in a business suit checks his watch, and remarks that he has had so many house calls today, that he is running late. He hopes old Mrs Watkins has not had a relapse, when suddenly, ‘What the -?’ he calls out as he is grabbed from behind and pulled into an alley. Three thugs stand over him, ‘Okay, old fool! We know you’ve got drugs in the case. Hand them over - or consider yourself skragged!’ one of them warns the doctor. Suddenly, though, ‘Consider yourselves skragged - punks!’ the man in the red from the roof declares as he drops down from above, kicking a knife out of one of the thugs’ hands. ‘It’s Hitmaker! Get him!’ one of the punks exclaims, while Hitmaker kicks the other thug, causing him to drop his weapon. The remaining punk lunges for Hitmaker, ‘What the -? His reflexes! Like lightning!’ he exclaims as Hitmaker dodges his attack.

‘There’s one difference between me and lightning, punk! Namely - I strike twice!’ Hitmaker exclaims as he punches the thug in the face. The other two have gathered themselves, ‘Stop him! There’s only one of him!’ one of them calls out. ‘It sure doesn’t seem like it!’ the other points out as both of them are kicked at the same time when Hitmaker does the splits in the air. ‘One crime fighter is worth any dozen of you punks!’ Htimaker declares. ‘And if I’ve gotta prove it to you…’ he begins, while one of the thugs holds a knife to him, when suddenly, ‘Holt it, hold it. Man, I can’t do this caca no more’ Hitmaker declares. He stands up on the movie set, as the director walks over to him, ‘What are you saying? It was going great!’ he tells him. The film crew are busy going about their business, while Hitmaker addresses the director as Gee and tells him that nobody is going to buy this, pointing out that he has his politically correct gang, with one guy from every ethnic group - but that it isn’t like this on the street.

One of the actors portraying the thugs asks if they get paid extra if Hitmaker makes them work late, while Hitmaker points out that these guys are just hanging in the alley, begging the cops to question them. ‘And standing over the money-man with their blades out, talking to him? Not holding him? Saying “Skrag”?’ Hitmaker asks, pointing to one of the thugs, asking the director who wears Mohawks any more except “city college retro-70’s vinyl-collecting Sid-’n’-Nancy poof boys?”. ‘And that star on his face? Oh, man! Nobody who knows the streets is going to believe I’m real’ Hitmaker mutters. The director reminds Hitmaker that he didn’t write this script, that the studio publicity department did, as they want Hitmaker to be the industry-approved “Hollywood super hero”. He adds that they want to undo the damage that nut-case Wonder Man has done to the entertainment industry’s reputation. ‘They think this is how to do it’ he explains. ‘You want to show Wonder Man up? I’m telling you, Budrick, on the streets there’s only one way to do that. I’ve got to kick Wonder Man’s...tuchas’ Hitmaker declares, smirking.

Elsewhere, Simon Williams a.k.a. Wonder Man frowns as he flies through the city, and quotes “I will hold you accountable for your misdeeds”. He decides that he is getting sick of that message, whoever is sending it to him makes sure he wants to get it though, sending it to the Avengers West Coast, his old apartment, his agent and every producer he has worked for. ‘Well, if he wants to “bring me to justice”, now’s his chance. I’m right where he told me to be. If this is another ploy of the Grim Reaper or Blackheart, I’d better be…wait a minute. Do I hear…’ Simon thinks to himself, looking up, he sees a copter with a camera crew, but no station ID. ‘Who is this?’ Simon wonders, noticing another mobile camera in a van down on the street below, and another crew right across the street. ‘Somebody wants a record of whatever’s about to happen’ Simon realizes.

‘I don’t like it. I’ve gotta be -’ Simon starts to think when suddenly, he is kicked in the face. He falls to the roof, and looks up, to see Hitmaker standing over him. ‘Welcome to “The Wonderful World of Justice!” I’m your host, Hitmaker…and for the next several minutes you’ll be treated to a cavalcade of the most exciting punches and kicks in Hollywood history’ he boasts. ‘Great. A freakin’ loon’ Simon mutters, before telling Hitmaker that he has had a week of pure Hades, and is already late for a meeting with a beast. ‘So if you don’t object…I’m gonna cancel this -’ but as Simon lunches forward, Hitmaker leaps over him. ‘Blast it’ Simon mutters. ‘Sorry to cut off your tough-guy dialogue, Wondy. I’m sure it would have been so sharp’ Hitmaker mocks, as he then kicks Simon in the back, forcing the hero to fall onto the building beneath this.

‘That’s right. Keep your best side to the camera’ Hitmaker calls out as the chopper hovers overhead. ‘You’re not gonna have a best side when I’m through with you, pretty boy. You’re not even gonna have any outsides!’ Wonder Man snarls. Hitmaker holds his hands up and tells Wonder Man not to make this personal. ‘It’s just the game, you know. You had your day, now I got -’ he begins, before Wonder Man tears the upper part of the taller building, causing Hitmaker to fall down to his level. ‘What you got, stupid, is -’ Wonder Man begins, before stopping in his tracks. ‘What…in the…’ he begins, while a camera man zooms in close and calls out to Hitmaker, encouraging him to get up. ‘My public calls!’ Hitmaker declares as he kicks Wonder Man in the face and flips himself up. ‘And you know as well as me that we gotta play to the public!’ Hitmaker exclaims as Wonder Man falls off the edge of the building. Hey, nice fall. Thanks for the visuals’ Hitmaker calls out.

But Wonder Man gathers himself mid-fall, ‘You want to play games, kid? Play this!’ Simon shouts as he flies upwards, and strikes Hitmaker, knocking him aside. ‘Yes! This is the Wonder Man America wants to see!’ Hitmaker declares. Wonder Man knows that Hitmaker is trying to work him up, that his punches don’t scare him much, as long as they’re into his torso where his clothes are. Simon moves forward, deciding that it is time he tried leading Hitmaker with a decoy punch. ‘Your age is showing, Wondy!’ Hitmaker calls out as he starts to duck Wonder Man’s punch, unaware that it was just a trick, as Wonder Man grabs him by his jacket, tearing it off, revealing large metal shoulder pads, one with a “H” and one with an “M” on them, as well as body armor on his sides and arms. ‘Oh, man! I should’ve figured on this!’ Hitmaker realizes, while Wonder Man recognizes the armor as Clarke technology - Rampage technology.

‘All right, pretty boy, now - I want answers!’ Wonder Man shouts, shoving at Hitmaker, when suddenly, a grenade is thrown from the rooftop across the street, it strikes this rooftop, blowing Wonder Man and Hitmaker into the air. ‘If this is part of your blasted game -’ Wonder Man begins after gathering himself. ‘Got him!’ someone on the other rooftop shouts, several men are standing there with weapons. ‘No. They don’t look like they came to play’ Hitmaker replies. ‘I’ve got to - what?’ Wonder Man calls out when he crouches beside the wounded Hitmaker, and security guards of some sort enter the rooftop. ‘Let the young man go, Wonder Man! I know this gun can’t stop you, but if you have any decency left…’ one of them begins. ‘Any decency left?’ Wonder Man replies, annoyed. ‘If you had any decency left you’d be going after those gangbangers instead of playing to the cameras!’ Wonder Man tells the guards.

Hitmaker’s pants were destroyed in the blast, revealing the rest of the armor on his body as Wonder Man picks him up and takes flight, announcing that he is taking this kid to the hospital. ‘And you can shoot us both if you don’t like it!’ he calls back, while the camera crews keep rolling. Racing through the skies, Simon thinks that something weird is going on here, that it was all too controlled, except for the gang-guys with the rocket-launcher, which seemed to catch everybody off guard. ‘But why would the cops - wait a minute. Those weren’t cops. They were hired security guards! From the same company that most of the big movie studios hire! What is this?’ Simon asks himself.

Soon, in a hospital waiting room, footage of the battle between Wonder Man and Hitmaker is shown. The voice-over is from Megan McCambridge, a reporter, who states that Hitmaker, the young multi-cultural hero who tried to protect their city from the madness of Wonder Man, learnt too late that great courage and great compassion do not always overcome great power. The footage shows Wonder Man flying at Hitmaker, followed by the explosion, although Megan states that the cause of the explosion is still uncertain, but that Police say the nature of Wonder Man’s ionic power is still frighteningly unknown. The footage shows Wonder Man holding Hitmaker in his arms, and the “Police” arriving. ‘If you have any decency left -’ one of them calls out, while Megan asks what would Wonder Man have done with the injured young hero who was helpless in his grasp? She points out that it is lucky they will never know, thanks to the gutsy law enforcement officers who arrived to plead with Williams for the young man’s life. ‘Indeed, they found a spark of decency, even in Wonder Man’s savage breast. And he brought his broken victim to a hospital’ Megan concludes her report.

‘Now that is one perspicacious bit of editing! They've even got me sold on this “Savage Wonder Man” spin!’ exclaims Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast, one of Wonder Man’s dear friends, and a member of the X-Men. Wonder Man straddles a chair nearby and tells Hank that there has to be some Hollywood pros involved in this. ‘But what are they trying to do?’ he wonders. ‘Launch a line of Hitmaker action figures?’ Hank jokes. ‘Why target me?’ Simon wonders, admitting that he isn’t the nice guy he used to be, which scares a lot of people, but that he has had to keep himself angry to juice up his powers, and now Blackheart is making him do thinks he doesn't like. ‘But this “madness” garbage…’ his voice trails off, as he gets up and starts to leave the waiting area. ‘Whoa, Wondy. Whither go we?’ the Beast calls out. Simon replies that he has had enough of waiting in hospitals lately, and calls out to a nurse, informing her that he wants to see the guy he brought in - Orlando Sinclair.

‘I’ve said it before. He can’t see anyone’ the nurse replies. ‘Trouble here, Penny?’ another hospital staff member asks as he and another approach Wonder Man. ‘None if you let me talk to him’ Wonder Man declares, asking if Hitmaker is still unconscious. The nurse, Penny, replies that he isn’t, ‘No thanks to you’ she adds, revealing that he suffered only a minor concussion. ‘Ah, no wonder my cerulean hackles rose!’ the Beast exclaims as he bounds into the reception area, where the nurse is telling Wonder Man that Mr Sinclair still cannot see any visitors. ‘Listen, this kid jumped me. You tell him if - huh?’ Wonder Man remarks as the Beast tells Wonder Man that it looks like his pal Sinclair is getting some visitors who look like they’d be on intimate terms with a rocket launcher. ‘Why don’t you stop them if you’re so worried about this kid’ Wonder Man tells the hospital staff. ‘Oh, right. We look where you’re pointing and you slip past us. You really expect us to fall for that old trick?’ one of them replies.

‘Now I know why the American health system is going to the dogs’ Simon mutters as he runs past the hospital staff, ‘Hey!’ one of them calls out. ‘Ah, Simon, you’re so impetuous! I’m in love again!’ the Beast remarks, while joining Wonder Man in attacking the thugs who have entered the hospital. ‘Hold it, bud. What’s that you’ve got under your coat?’ Wonder Man asks one of them, punching him, he drops the weapon. ‘A sawed-off shotgun! And all I brought were flowers! I feel so cheap!’ the Beast jokes. Wonder Man asks the thug what he was planning to do with that, to which the thug claims that he is seeing a friend, that is all. ‘What am I supposed to do with my GAT? Leave it at the information booth?’ he asks, pointing out that it is a dangerous world out there. ‘I could drag you to the cops right now, friend’ Wonder Man threatens the gangbanger, who asks ‘What’s the point? Okay, so I violate LA Municipal Code 458267.48, bringing a concealed firearm into a public building’. He remarks that he will be out on bail in two hours and then three months from now will go to court and draw a five hundred dollar fine. ‘Why bother?’ Wonder Man throws the thug towards the Beast, ‘Wise guys. I hate wise guys’ he declares, asking the Beast to hold them and call the cops, as he has a man to see. ‘And no about a horse, I take it?’ the Beast jokes.

‘Sinclair! Get up!’ Wonder Man shouts as he barges into the ward where Hitmaker lies in bed. ‘I can’t’ Hitmaker replies, the yellow face paint still covering the area around his eyes. ‘I want to talk to you, blast it! Eye to eye! So get up!’ Wonder Man declares. Hitmaker smiles and replies that he would love to talk to him, eye-to-red-eye, but that he simply can’t. ‘You don’t fool me, Sinclair. They told me all you got was a concus- what?’ Wonder Man exclaims, surprised as he pulls Hitmaker from the bed, but when he tries to set him down, the young man simply falls to the ground, his legs spread apart, Hitmaker just grins,’ I wish you could see the look on your face, Wondy. Must be funny for a big hero like you, realizing you nearly got your butt kicked… by a quadraplegic!’

Two of the hospital staff rush into the room, ‘Get away from him! Throwing a man like that to the floor! You’re as dangerous as they say!’ one of them calls out. ‘But…wait a minute! This kid…’ Simon’s voice trails off, and suddenly, there is a loud BAM! ‘Hank!’ Simon exclaims, concerned. He races out into the corridor, where someone is running away with a weapon. The Beast has fallen onto the gangbangers. ‘Imagine my chagrin!’ the Beast declares, he explains to Wonder Man that the hospital staff did not want to trifle with mere gangbangers, when they had a a chance to pick up a little media time by tussling with Wonder Man. ‘Oh, how I love LA’ the Beast jokes, adding that he bagged as many as he could, but not all, as Simon saw. ‘So follow them!’ Simon exclaims. ‘With joy and rapture’ the Beast replies as he bounds off after the shooter. Wonder Man tells the Beast to meet him on the Paramount Gate in an hour, or whenever he has their location. ‘Meanwhile, I’m going to get some -’ Simon begins, before a strong punch strikes his face.

Wonder Man falls to the ground, and Hitmaker, wearing his armor, stands over him. ‘Okay, Wondy. You said get up? S I’m up. And I ain’t no cripple anymore. Still want to have that talk?’ he asks. While a film crew records through the window in the building opposite, Simon tells Hitmaker that he doesn’t care what his body is like under that power-suit. He notices the camera crew, and it occurs to Simon that this is just what Hitmker wants - ‘Film of me attacking you in your hospital room - to prove I’m crazy. You can play that game with somebody else’ Simon declares. Hitmaker smirks and tells Wonder Man to have it his way, as he can use this on the evening news, too - footage of Wonder Man walking away from the new champion of Hollywood.

Hitmaker stands on the edge of the window, he thanks the hospital staff for their kind care, adding that the Tylenol was lovely and the female neurologist was very cute. ‘I’ll recommend your establishment to all my friends with head injuries’ he remarks. ‘Just remember my name - Hitmaker - the true hero for the ‘90s!’ he boasts as he leaps from the hospital window, all the way across to the window of the building facing the hospital. ‘How was that?’ he asks the camera man. ‘Great! Just great!’ he exclaims. Perched on the window edge, Hitmaker instructs the crew to make sure thy cut the part where he sucker punches Wonder Man. ‘Then I’ll add some new lines for -’ he begins, before a hand reaches down from above and pulls Hitmaker back out the window, slamming him to the ground below.

‘You know something, kid? You made me mad!’ Wonder Man tells Hitmaker, punching him in the face once more. ‘And in case the news hasn’t hit Entertainment Tonight yet - I should point that when I get mad - I get strong!’ Wonder Man declares, slamming his opponent again and again, thrusting him back through the air. Wonder Man leans over Hitmaker, one hand around his throat, demanding that he talk. ‘There’s movie studio involvement here! Why?’ Simon enquires. ‘Figure it out, gee. You been making a rep as a psycho lately - the way you tore into that gangsta and fought the Avengers and took down a freeway’ he points out. Hitmaker smiles as he adds, ‘At the same time, this Macbeth buzz has been getting you more spotlight as an actor. The anti-violence bunch and this make-nice-movies-for-the-kiddies groups…have been stirring some hit against the entertainment bins for encouraging this locotoe “hero”’ Hitmaker announces.

Hitmaker reveals that he saw an opening and promised himself once that if he ever saw an opening, he was taking t - because that’s how the game is played. He informs Simon that he dropped in on a studio, literally, where he couldn’t even get a pass to get through the gate a week before. He made a nice impression on an executive whose assistant never returned his calls before. The executive called some rival studio honchitos together, and he told them he was the new super hero Hollywood was looking for - young, cool, “multi-ethnic” and “street”. And, most important, he was willing to do watever the studios paid him for.

Simon is furious, ‘You cal that a “hero”? You think heroes sell themselves for a salary?’ he snaps. ‘If you’re trying to send the right image to kids - you’re doing it the wrong way’ he adds. Hitmaker smirks, and replies that he has been hearing “right way” and “wrong way” his entire life from rich old white guys like Simon. ‘I tried to do it. I played the game they taught me in school. And what did it get me? Nothing but a bullet in my spine!’ Hitmaker shouts, lurching upwards, he manages to punch Wonder Man off of him, and get onto his feet. ‘You think the studios will want to hire you after this gang business comes out?’ Wonder Man asks, as Hitmaker turns his back to him. ‘Being attacked by a gang? What could look better for a new hero?’ Hitmaker replies. Wonder Man gets to his feet and tells his foe that it depends on why they are out to get him. ‘What if it has something to do with that armor of yours?’ he enquires, adding ‘And believe me - I know some things about super-powered armor’. Hitmaker frowns and turns back to Wonder Man, asking him what he knows. ‘You think I’d tell you?’ Wonder Man retorts. ‘You’re not as stupid as I’ve heard’ Hitmaker remarks.

Wonder Man replies that stupidity can be a useful camouflage. He tells Hitmaker that they can bust that gang and get off the hook, or he can do some research on him. ‘Why would you want to help me?’ Hitmaker enquires. ‘Because you’re going to help. That’s how my game is played’ Wonder Man declares. Hitmaker just frowns at him, before smirking and replying ‘You’re on’. Suddenly, the two race off, with one of the film crew calling out to Hitmaker, asking how he is supposed to get this on film?

Flying through the air, Wonder Man is ahead of Hitmaker, who tells him to slow down. ‘Think you’re gonna show me up? I’ll put your pink butt in the ground, man!’ he calls out. ‘Dream on, kid’ Wonder Man replies as he lands outside of Paramount Gate. ‘I mean it, man! I’m taking you down!’ Hitmaker boasts, not seeing the Beast perched on the roof of Paramount Pictures. Simon reminds himself that this is where he hold Hank to be, and hopes that he doesn’t take too long. ‘If I have to listen to much more tough-guy banter I’ll go-’ he begins, before the Beast leaps through the air, ‘Put this in the ground, dear boy!’ he tells Hitmaker, striking him. ‘Attack one Avenger and you -’ the Beast begins, as Hitmaker dodges his second attack. ‘Hm, quick, aren’t we?’ the Beast remarks. ‘You don’t know how quick!’ Hitmaker boasts.

‘Well, I may nopt be an Avenger anymore, but I can still -’ Hank begins, moving in for another punch, while Wonder Man calls out to his friend, informing him that Hitmaker is on their side. ‘Lord help us’ Simon adds quietly, before asking Hank if he tracked their gang-buddies. ‘All the way to their wee hidey-hole on 52nd near Normandie’ Hank reports, while Hitmaker takes to the air, ‘That’s Tusant Pratt’s crib! Must behwere they’re cooking the new ‘ware! Let’s move!’ he calls out. Wonder Man flies after hi, with the Beast leaping after him, ‘You know, young man…speaking as one who’s adopted phony speech patterns as a defense mechanism himself…I’d say you aren’t nearly as street as you sound’ the Beast remarks. ‘Yeah? Maybe that’s because I spent my whole life trying not to be street - until the street caught up with me, and said it wouldn’t let me go!’ Hitmaker reveals as he begins his origin story:

flashback images, narrated by Hitmaker:

Hitmaker reveals that he was a good kid, a team player, school spirit, trying to belong. Of course, it is hard to know where you belong when your Dad is black and your Mom is Mexican - and your country is white. Orlando explains that his brother, Mariano decided he was going to belong to a gang, that it gave him the identity he wanted - and it gave him cash to get out of the “hood”. The gang wanted Orlando, too, they knew he could fight, that he had moves, he was tough. So, Orlando tried to be an actor, a singer, a danger - a “Hitmaker”. But he couldn’t afford the right lessons, or the right connections. Not to mention, security guards didn’t like pushy dark-skinned kids, they probably figured he was trying to steal tapes for his ghetto blaster. But, he wanted to belong to something bigger, so he decided to be American and play the official American game. Only America didn’t follow the rules - he was a good student, but there was no money for scholarships, a good worker, but there were no jobs.

Meanwhile, Orlando’s brother, Mariano, was playing his game as hard as he could - stirred up a little trouble with a rival gang. They came ooking for him, but he wasn’t in the “Hood” no more - just bought himself a house in Lincoln Park for cash down. However, Orlando was in the “hood”, waiting for a bus to take him to an audition because he couldn’t afford a car - because he played the game the “right way”. So, the gang took him for a substitute - that’s how their game is played, and he was beaten, badly. Mariano told Orlando that he was sorry he was a cripple on a ccount of him, but that he had a way to make it up to him - and said his gang still wanted him. Orlando had a heart, brains and a clean record. The gang had access to equipment that would not only let him use his arms and legs again, but make him super human. Mariano talked to the other gang members into giving it to him - as long as he was grateful, as long as he worked for them - as a hit-man.

So the gang sent him off to whack the guys who tried to whack him - what they didn’t figure on was that the shooting had taught him - don’t chain yourself with loyalties or belief in right or wrong. Just play your game. So he took the suit and headed straight to movie land.


‘So it’s your brother’s gang that’s after you? Trying to take their suit back?’ the Beast asks. ‘They’re sending me a message. Suits like this probably don’t come cheap’ Hitmaker responds. Wonder Man asks him if he doesn’t know where he got it. Hitmaker reveals that they said a couple of homeboys nobody had seen before dropped off the equipment. ‘Which means -’ Wonder Man begins, when suddenly, ‘Machine guns!’ he shouts as they arrive at the “crib”, and weapons are fired at them. The Beast remarks that it looks like they found the right house - unless this is a typical “hello” in this neighborhood. ‘Get down, Hank!’ Wonder Man shouts, flying to the Beast, he knocks his friend to safety, while breaking a tree in half. ‘They land on the ground, ‘I was about to say “there isn’t time”. I always underestimate those reflexes of yours’ the Beast smiles at Simon, who asks ‘Where’s Hitmaker?’

The Beast reports that the impetuous youth has rushed into the house. Indeed, inside, Hitmaker is fighting the gang members. ‘Thought you could control me just because you gave me this suit, huh? You’re gonna leanr that little Orlando’s not the -’ Hitmaker calls out, when suddenly, a voice calls out ‘Put them down, Orlando’. ‘No!’ Hitmaker exclaims, turning around, he sees his brother, Mariano, aiming a gun at him. ‘You ripped us off, brother. Now I got to do what I got to do’ Mariano announces. Suddenly, ‘Drop the guns!’ Wonder Man booms as he and the Beast smash through the wall of the house. ‘ere. Let me give you a hand’ the Beast declares as he removes a gun from one of the gang members. ‘You, stop!’ Wonder Man calls out to Mariano, who has started to run away. Hitmaker grabs Wonder Man and tells him to keep his hands off that one.

But the Beast has pursued Mariano, ‘Who, lad. It’s dangerous to -’ the Beast begins as he leaps towards Mariano, when suddenly, a large chunk of wall strikes Hank in the back, and he falls to the ground. Wonder Man goes over to his friend while in the gaping hole in the wall, two men in red and yellow armor appear. ‘I was right! The two “Recession Raiders” - who had the brains to run out on Rampage when you were getting over on him’ Simon tells Hank. ‘I have the worst luck with flying chimneys’ Hank jokes, rubbing his head. ‘You had Rampage’s suits - but there’s no way you could adapt the technology into what Hitmaker’s got! You were just a couple of street people!’ Somebody’s got to be helping you!’ Wonder Man declares.

One of the Recession Raiders announces that there is somebody, all right - somebody who is going to make LA’s gangs scarier than their worse nightmare. ‘But right now -’ he declares, as they take flight after Mariano. ‘I ain’t letting you out of this!’ Hitmaker calls out to his brother as he follows him, too. ‘Get me outta here!’ Mariano pleads. ‘Sorry, homey…but we got strategy to talk!’ one of the Raiders remarks, punching Hitmaker backwards, the other Raider grabs Mariano and they take flight, smashing their way through a wall. ‘Not as long as -’ Wonder Man declares, flying after them - until Hitmaker grabs him by the ankle, ‘Uh-uh, Wondy’ Hitmaker calls out slamming Wonder Man into the ground.

Wonder Man gets up and rubs his head, ‘What are you doing?’ he asks Hitmaker. ‘I could’ve nailed those guys with a quick enough jump - but now, with those rockets of theirs, there’s no way to catch them!’ Simon explains. Hitmaker grits his teeth and tells Wonder Man that he wants them caught, too, but that Mariano is his brother, and nobody handles his brother but him. ‘Especially with the media watching’ he grins, and points to the cameras and reports that have gathered. ‘Hitmaker -’ a reporter calls out. ‘Wonder Man -’ another begins, while a third asks if they are allies. ‘- have a fight -’ someone begins. ‘-anybody hurt -’ another asks. ‘-any bodies-’ someone enquires, while another asks for an exclusive interview, and someone even mentions TV movie rights. ‘What, you think I want my whole family story on the evening news? We did our media stunt. We broke up a gang-house. We’ll go after your flying guys later…and make sure CNN knows where the fight’s going to be!’ Hitmaker exclaims.

Wonder Man and the Beast look on, while cameras flash and microphones are shoved in their faces. ‘All right. But remember…you’re playing my game now’ Simon tells Htimaker. ‘I know. I know. Just follow my lead’ Hitmaker replies. He grabs Simon by his wrist and raises their hands into the air, ‘People of Los Angeles…Hitmaker the Hollywood Hero of the ‘90s would like to announce that he’s cleaned up another den of crime…but only with the help of the noblest, bravest, and least savage hero of them all…Wonder Man!’ he calls out. ‘Don’t forget to mention I’m doing Macbeth’ Wonder Man smiles, waving at the cameras. ‘Oh, yes/ How I do love LA’ the Beast mutters.

Characters Involved: 

first story:

Wonder Man


Mariano Sinclair
Recession Raiders
Film crew
Security guards
Camera crew

In Flashback images Hitmaker

In Flashback images Orlando Sinclair / Hitmaker
Mariano Sinclair
Gang members

in photograph: Orlando, Mariano, Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair

Story Notes: 

This annual also contains the following stories:
Second story: Splice In, featuring Wonder Man’s foe, Splice
Third story: It the Living Colossus

This annual came polybagged with a trading card featuring Hitmaker.

first story:

This story probably takes place between Wonder Man#25 and #26, and between X-Men (2nd series) #19 and #20.

Hitmaker has not appeared since this issue, although the Civil War: Battle Damage Report identified him as a potential recruit for the Initiative.

The two Recession Raiders who fled from the Beast were last seen in Wonder Man #6.

Written By: