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Marvel Premiere #55: Review

Aug 1980
David Michelinie, Ron Wilson

Story Name:

A Force of Two!

Review & Comments

3 stars

Marvel Premiere #55 Review by (February 9, 2022)

Review: Wonder Man’s first solo adventure in a try-out comic failed to produce an ongoing series and it’s not hard to see why. Wonder Man isn’t very interesting. He’s a generic superhero, mainly trying to find out who’s doing bad stuff in his old company and leaving his pal to die for some cheap drama. Later, Simon Williams would develop a more easy-going and comic personality and he would venture into the entertainment industry, creating a unique milieu for a Marvel superhero. The adventure is competently done but the hero fails to impress…for now.  

Comments: Story takes place between AVENGERS #198 and 199, a follow up to #193 where Simon learned the Maggia had taken over one of his former companies. Wonder Man first appeared in AVENGERS #9, making him a pretty early entrant into the MU, though it would be years before he returned as a regular and a good guy. Dreadnaughts first appeared in STRANGE TALES #154 as a Hydra weapon against SHIELD. This comic appeared four years before the film SPLASH made Madison a popular name for girls. Plot by Bob Layton and David Michelinie.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Marvel Premiere #55 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Having heard of suspicious doings at his former company, Simon “Wonder Man” Williams bursts into the company boardroom to confront the Director—who turns out to be a voice from a transmitter. The Director tells Simon that the company’s activities are no longer any of his business and orders a couple of goons to escort him off the premises. On the way to the front gate, Simon escapes from the goons, climbs to the top of the building and breaks in from there; a search shows that the company is not manufacturing anything but has been converted to storage. He triggers a trap which sprays him with mace but the gas does not affect his ionized eyeballs. He is then found by a larger number of goons who make sure he’s ejected from the place….

Simon looks up the current address of his company’s former vice president Madison Dash and discovers the old man owns a novelty shop in a poor section of town. Maddy explains that the new owners who took over the company were clearly Maggia and when Maddy refused to go along with them, he was fired and blackballed; eventually his wife left him, taking the kids. Simon intends to uncover evidence of criminal activity at the plant and Maddy begs to come with him; Simon reluctantly agrees….

That night, Simon and Maddy break into the factory, with Simon tearing up the electric fence and punching out a few guards. They discover that the building is being used to stockpile weapons; they are caught by more guards and Simon leaves Maddy to hold them off with automatic weapons while he looks for the Director. He finds her in a secret office, a woman whose identity is obscured by darkness. She sics a Dreadnought on him; after a wild battle, Simon manages to destroy the robot. The Director (later revealed to have been Madame Masque) vows revenge against Wonder Man and sets the place to self-destruct. Simon gets out just in time and finds the mortally wounded Maddy, who leaves him with a message for his wife before dying in Simon’s arms. Simon vows revenge against the Maggia….

Ron Wilson
Joe Sinnott
Glynis Oliver
Ron Wilson (Cover Penciler)
Joe Sinnott (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: John Costanza.


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