Wonder Man #9

Issue Date: 
May 1992
Story Title: 
Operation Galactic Storm part 18, Big Decisions

Gerard Jones (writer), Jeff Johnson with Stephen B Jones (pencilers), Dan Panosian with Bud Larosa (inkers), Joe Rosas (colorist), Pat Brosseau (letterer), Evan Skolnick (assistant editor), Fabian Nicieza (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Aboard the nega-bomb, currently being towed by the Skrulls, the Vision and Wonder Man are confronted by two Skrull officers. They battle for some time, before Wonder Man and the Vision head deeper into the nega-bomb, arguing as they go, for the Vision believes the bomb should be detonated to end the war between the Kree and the Shi’ar. In the Shi’ar Empire, the Scarlet Witch, the new Thor, Captain Marvel, Starfox and the Living Lightning are informed that the bomb has passed into the Kree galaxy, and they prepare to go after it, despite Lilandra warning them that they will die if it is detonated. Some of the Avengers tend to agree with her, but the Scarlet Witch is adamant that they must go in search of Wonder Man and the Vision. At he same time, in Kree space, another squad of Avengers - Iron Man, Hercules, the Black Knight, Hawkeye, Sersi and Crystal - follow the trail that the nega-bomb has left as it was taken through space. The Vision and Wonder Man continue their fight against each other, while Wonder Man recalls his previous death, and decides wants to live. He tries to talk the Vision down, but they continue to fight, which results in them bursting into the heart of the nega-bomb. The Vision appears to have a change of heart when he sees the pure destructive power of the nega-bomb, before they are attacked by several Skrull officers. The Vision and Wonder Man unite to fight the Skrull army. Outside though, both teams of Aveners have arrived, and some of the heroes have already engaged the Skrulls in battle. The Scarlet Witch is determined to rescue Wonder Man and the Vision, alive, while one of the Skrulls orders the nega-bomb be detonated - and horror spreads over the faces of all the Avengers as the nega-bomb starts to explode….

Full Summary: 

On the fringe of the Kree Empire, Simon “Wonder Man” Williams and the android Avenger known as the Vision are inside the Shi’ar nega-bomb, while several Skrull officers approach them stealthy from behind. ‘Then you persist in attempting to deactivate the nega-bomb, Wonder Man?’ the Vision asks. ‘I will deactivate it!’ Simon replies as he examines some wiring, mumbling that he hopes he can figure out this alien technology, as all his years in munitions didn’t prepare him for this. ‘NOW!’ one of the Skrull officers shouts, and fires a weapon towards the Avengers. Simon and the Vision turn to the aliens, while the blast simply passes through the Vision as he becomes intangible, while Simon slams his elbow into the other Skrull’s stomach. Wonder Man points out that if the Skrulls have discovered them, then these two won’t be the only ones they will have to deal with.

Wonder Man takes his opponent out, but the other Skrull raises his weapon to Wonder Man. The Vision sees this, and leaps forward, phasing his hand into the Skrull’s head then solidifying, causing the Skrull pain. Wonder Man remarks that there could be thousands of these uglies crawling towards them right now, and possibly changing shape, too. Simon frowns and tells the Vision that for all they know, the walls around them and the conduits over their heads could be Skrulls in disguise. He turns his attention back to the wiring and declares that there may no time to waste if they are going to stop the bomb. ‘Yes. If’ the Vision replies, before Wonder Man exclaims that he has got it, and that he is getting the hang of this wiring.

There is a loud VZZZZ sound, as a door slides open within the nega-bomb. Wonder Man tells the Vision that he doesn’t know where the portal leads, except deeper into the vessel. ‘And if I were trying to keep a nega-bomb safe inside a metal shell…deeper is where I’d put it. Let’s go!’ Simon tells the Vision. But, as they walk down the corridor, the Vision tells Wonder Man that they have gone far enough. ‘Don’t be stupid. There’s nothing here but power supports, alarm systems, and -’ Wonder Man begins to reply, when the Vision grabs his arm and declares that they have gone far enough - because they will not deactivate the bomb. ‘What? Billions will die if we don’t!’ Simon points out.

The Vision states that billions will die because they must, that war between the Kree and Shi’ar imperils all. He adds that if the Shi’ar can end the war by destroying the Kree galaxy, it is efficient for them to let the Shi’ar use the bomb. ‘Forget it! I’ve told you - I won’t be party to genocide!’ Simon exclaims, brushing the Vision away from himself. The Vision declares that logic must prevail over emotion, and adds ‘As I must prevail over you’ as he punches Simon in the face.

Aboard the Skrull vessel towing the nega-bomb, a Skrull is pleased with himself and remarks to his comrades ‘Ah, the look on Quasar’s face when I placed him un such an untenable position! Earth’s protector -? Fah - the fool sacrificed the Kree Empire for the sake of his own solar system!’ the Skrull remarks, adding that Quasar’s threat to seal their return access through Earth’s stargate is inconsequential, as there are other stargates available to them for their escape. He adds that it is a pity poor Super Skrull was sacrificed for the greater good of the Skrull Empire. One of the other Skrulls turns to their captain and informs him that they have lost contact with the two scouts who were trying to locate the intruders. ‘Have we now?’ the captain asks, before ordering a force to be sent out to find the intruders and obliterate them.

Meantime, somewhere in Imperial Shi’ar space, five Avengers rush towards their Quinjet. ‘Quasar said what?’ asks Starfox. ‘The bomb got through the stargate!’ Eric Masterton a.k.a. the new Thor declares. Wanda Maximoff a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch points out that it could destroy the Kree galaxy any moment now, while Captain Marvel a.k.a. Monica Rambeau reminds everyone that the rest of the Avengers will be trapped in the blast. Miguel Santos a.k.a. the Living Lightning remains silent, while the Shi’ar ruler, Lilandra announces that if the Skrulls have control of the bomb, nothing will stop them from detonating it. ‘Do you wish to die with your comrades?’ she asks the Avengers. Starfox looks back at Lilandra and tells the Avengers that Lilandra does have a point.

‘Will you let them die, Starfox?’ the Scarlet Witch asks, pointing out hat Captain America, Iron Man, Sersi, Hawkeye, the Black Knight, Hercules and Crystal are all trapped there. ‘I didn’t say -’ Starfox begins, while the Scarlet Witch adds that the Vision and Wonder Man are also trapped in the bomb. ‘Will you let them die?’ Wanda asks, while Captain Marvel adds ‘Could you live with yourself if you survived - by abandoning them?’ Starfox quickly replies that hew never said anything about abandoning. He climbs into the Quinjet behind his teammates, and mutters that he just said Lilandra has a point.

Somewhere in Kree space, inside another Quinjet, ‘Something out there’ Tony “Iron Man” Stark reports when he sees a blip appear on a monitor. He decides to check it out, and alters their course. ‘There…dead ahead now’ someone remarks. ‘Deathbird was right. It’s the nega-bomb!’ one of the other Avengers exclaims. Aboard the Quinjet with Iron Man are Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye, currently using his Goliath persona, Crystal, Sersi, Hercules and Dane Whitman the Black Knight. ‘Fine. But now that we’ve found it…’ Sersi begins. ‘…how do we stop it?’ the Black Knight enquires.

Back inside the nega-bomb, the Vision and Wonder Man are locked in a struggle, as the Vision states that the destruction of the Kree is the best solution to the tensions that imperil the universe, particularly their own solar system. ‘Genocide is never the “best solution”!’ Wonder Man retorts, adding that whatever saves the most lives is the best solution. The Vision snarls at Wonder Man and tells him that he sentimentalizes the sacredness of life. He adds that one must examine one’s chosen aims and choose what best serves them. ‘Since the Avengers’ aim is to protect Earth…then whatever removes a possible threat to Earth…must be!’ the Vision declares as he shoves his intangible fist into Wonder Man’s chest. ‘No! NO!’ Wonder Man exclaims, as ionic energy bursts from his eyes, and the Vision tells him ‘One day you will see the rightness of my -’ but the Vision cries out in pain as he solidifies his hand, and Wonder Man is plunged into darkness.

‘Where…? Falling, but…Lord, not here again! Not death again! Been here before - and escaped!’ Simon thinks to himself, as he sees a vision of his dead body with several Avengers standing over him. His form falls towards his dead body, but he decides that he won’t be trapped here, that he wants to live. ‘I WANT TO LIVE!’ he cries out. ‘I WANT TO LIVE!’ he shouts again, and wakes up, alive, and turns to the Vision who is keeled over on the floor of the nega-bomb. The Vision states that the feedback from Wonder Man’s ionic energy seems to have slowed his electro-synapses. ‘You forget, Vision? That’s I’m not human? That I may not even be alive?’ Simon asks. He gets up and goes over to the Vision, grabbing him by the cape Simon declares ‘I never forget! Not death - nor humanity’.

Simon continues, reminding the Vision that he has heard his kind of “logic” too often, that nothing matters except how many guys their side loses. ‘That’s how you get people into wars. Tell ‘em “I won’t kill your boy, Mr Smith” and no matter how many “enemies” die, you can sell it as a victory…’. ‘NO’ the Vision begins, but Simon continues: ‘As long as you can give Mr Smith back his boy. But what about the others? What about all those Kree who’re just trying to survive - dragged into this by their “Supreme Intelligence”? What do you tell them?’ Simon asks. ‘You will not confuse me’ the Vision replies, pushing Simon back against a wall. He adds that empathy is the downfall of reason. They fall through the wall, and Simon exclaims ‘Blast you - if all you understand is destruction - oh jeez’ he interrupts himself, as they fall towards a large globe, contained within pink beams of energy.

Within the globe are strange objects that appear to be plants, asteroids and stars. ‘Keep your footing! Stay out of it!’ Simon tells the Vision, before announcing that it is the Negative Zone. Wonder Man asks the Vision if he wants to unleash that power - if he wants to hurl that at a civilization. ‘I’ve encountered something you never can, Vision. Something you never will. Death’ Simon reminds the Vision, who turns to Simon and replies that death seems to be the defining element of human existence. He adds ‘It might be argued that I can never understand the decisions life poses, if I do not know death’. Wonder Man points out that that is what he has been arguing about. ‘My electronic consciousness may not be suited to making such decisions. I will…let you decide’ the Vision announces. ‘Good boy’ Wonder Man smiles, adding ‘I may be able to reinstall my soul in you yet’.

Wonder Man suggests they try to find a way to turn the nega-bomb around, when suddenly, several Kree soldiers rush into the chamber. ‘FIRE!’ one of them booms, and a weapon is shot at Wonder Man, striking him in the back. ‘No! Not now!’ Simon mutters, and he spins around and leaps towards the Skrulls, while telling the Vision to shut the bomb down. ‘Fire! Fire!’ another Skrull orders. ‘But I do not -’ the Vision begins. ‘Just do it!’ Wonder Man orders as he punches his way through the Skrulls. The Vision begins tearing the chamber apart and remarks ‘Surely the Skrulls do not wish this detonated just yet. If enough damage is done to the containment mechanism, then they will be forced to -’ the Vision is interrupted when a Skrull fires their weapon at him, striking him in the back. The Vision decides that he cannot leave himself vulnerable to attack, and announces that he must contain their attackers He turns to the Skrulls, as Wonder Man continues to tear through the Skrulls.

Suddenly, one of the Skrulls receives a message via a communicator and asks ‘What? Repat that!’, before informing another Skrull that they are needed back at the ship - as the Avengers are attacking! Indeed, an Avengers Quinjet hovers over the nega-bomb, while Hercules, wearing a breathing-apparatus, and Iron Man have engaged Skrulls in battle as they float through space outside the bomb. ‘Now, vermillion-pelted-vermin - feel the fistic frenzy of Hercules!’ Hercules calls out, but Iron Man tells him to save it, as in space, no one can hear him pontificate. ‘Let’s go through these boys and into the Skrull ship’ Iron Man suggests to Hercules via their communicators. Inside the Quinjet, Sersi tells Hawkeye that they are driving the Skrulls back, and suggests that they will have the Skrull ship disabled in minutes. ‘All right, then. Time for our move…right into the heart of the bomb!’

Nearby, another Quinjet approaches, ‘Is that…?’ the new Thor asks as he and the Scarlet Witch stare out the screen, and see Iron Man and Hercules, and assume that their teammates are in the ship. Thor asks Captain Marvel to take them in closer, which she does. ‘Closer to the bomb’ Starfox points out. ‘Just give us time. Just time enough to get them out of there, alive’ the Scarlet Witch declares.

However, inside the Skrull ship, ‘Captain, they’re breaking through! Should we detonate the bomb now?’ a Skrull officer asks. ‘Detonate it? Are you insane? I never volunteered for a suicide mission,. I gave a family to think of!’ the captain replies, adding that the bomb stays damped until they are safely away. Another officer informs the captain that something is wrong, that his readings are showing a strange energy surge from the bomb. The captain, and his crew, look shocked.

Inside the bomb chamber, ‘This is the last of them, now let’s -’ Wonder Man begins as he takes out the last Skrull, when suddenly, there is an explosion and he and the Vision are knocked over. ‘Now what in the - no. Not the detonator’ Wonder Man realizes as energies start to spiral out of control. The other Avengers see this from their current positions. ‘Oh…’ Iron Man utters from outside the ship. The Black Knight shields his eyes from the energy, while Captain Marvel closes her eyes. Living Lightning frowns, while Sersi turns her head away. Hawkeye looks shocked, as Starfox slaps his hand to his forehead, and Crystal’s jaw drops. Hercules narrows his eyes, while the Scarlet Witch looks anguished. The new Thor appears shocked, and the Vision grimaces. ‘…God’ Wonder Man utters as the Negative Zone spills out into space….

Characters Involved: 

Goliath II / Hawkeye, Iron Man, Living Lightning, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man (all Avengers West Coast)
Black Knight IV, Crystal, Hercules, Sersi, Thor II, Vision (all Avengers)
Captain Marvel II, Starfox (both inactive Avengers)



Story Notes: 

This issue follows Quasar #34 and continues in Avengers (1st series) #347, which concludes the main part of the “Galactic Storm“ crossover.

The Skrull officers encountered Quasar in Quasar #34.

Written By: