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Everything Is Wonderful

Season One, Episode 10

Director(s) Vinton Heuck 
Writer(s) Brandon Auman
Summary  A man lies prone within an experimental chamber, somewhere deep within an A.I.M. facility. Above him, a battle rages between Thor and M.O.D.O.C. and A.I.M. scientist-agents. The man is bathed in strange energies...

Three hours earlier, Simon Williams is meeting with Tony Stark. Stark Industries has come out with the Arc Reactor technology, leaving Williams Innovations in a shambles, technically and financially. Meanwhile, Tony Stark has been buying up Williams Innovations' stock. Simon Williams pleads with Stark to stop his takeover bid, but its too late; as of fifteen minutes before the meeting, Stark has become the majority shareholder in Williams Innovations. Simon storms out uttering theats, without giving Tony Stark a chance to explain.

Ant-Man remonstrates with Stark for being a cut-throat businessman, but Stark retorts that while he has a plan, Hank wouldn't understand it... perhaps Stark should have dinner with Jan, and then Jan could explain it to Hank.

Wasp and Thor are in hot pursuit of A.I.M. scientists, having interrupted a high-tech arms sale (to the Maggia, as it turns out). Thor disrupts the mini-black-hole of negative energy with a thunder-clap, and disables the A.I.M. aircraft with a hammer strike. Thor is about to engage them, when the Wasp stops him.; the A.I.M. scientists think they're escaping, but Wasp and Thor will be following them to their base.

Back in the Avengers Mansion, an introspective Captain America has a visitor - Nick Fury, who introduces himself only as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Simon Williams is meeting with his brother Eric; Simon is gambling that Eric - the HYDRA agent, the Grim Reaper - will have a way to help him. The Grim Reaper takes Simon to A.I.M. and M.O.D.O.C. While Simon listens, M.O.D.O.C. explains that the Zeta Beam will suffuse Simon with ionic energy, rendering him powerful enough to defeat Iron Man.

M.O.D.O.C. orders his Drones to prep Simon - hey, so that's what they're called! - and while they prepare Simon, M.O.D.O.C. comments to the Grim Reaper that M.O.D.O.C. trusts that the Grim Reaper understands that no test subject has actually survived the process to date. The Grim Reaper comments "That's life..." and then asks for an update on the unnamed weapon Von Strucker is paying A.I.M. to create (while unnamed, they do show the weapon, which appears to be the Cosmic Cube). M.O.D.O.C. says when he has an update for Von Strucker, he'll deliver it himself. As the Grim Reaper departs, the A.I.M. aircraft wounded by the Thunder God as seen to be arriving.

Nick Fury has brought Captain America to the secret Barber Shop. They both descend to the sub-surface level, where Fury gives Captain America his motorcycle from WWII; Nick's father, Jack Fury (who commanded the Howling Commandos) kept it in pristine condition and passed it down to Nick. Nick declares that anything Captain America needs, S.H.I.E.L.D will be happy to provide, and the two shake hands.

Stark and Pym argue over the Ultron technology of grafting human minds onto machines, and that Stark was trying to sell that technology to the military. Stark tells Pym that Stark has changed, but Pym remains skeptical.

The damaged A.I.M. ship lands at the A.I.M. base. The two A.I.M. Drones from the ship claim to have lost the Avengers... just before Wasp and Thor lay them flat.

In another part of the A.I.M. facility, the procedure to bombard Simon Williams with ionic energy has begun. Simon screams in agony just as Thor attacks, and we get another view of the battle we saw from Simon Williams' POV in the beginning. During the battle, M.O.D.O.C.'s mental enegy bolt changes the frequency of the ionic energy, creating... Wonder Man! Wonder Man flies away while M.O.D.O.C. boasts.

Pym and Stark are still at each others' throats, with Pym claiming that the reason Stark is trying to help people now is to "clean up the mess" Stark made as a weapons designer. Stark dons the Iron Man armor as the Stark Industries building is attacked. Wonder Man attacks Iron Man at Stark Industries, tearing away parts of the armor. Ant-Man tries to intervene, to have a peaceful conversation, but is knocked away. Ant-Man tells Stark to get away, that Ant-Man will deal with Simon - as Giant Man. Giant Man sends out the call "Avengers Assemble!" just before Wonder Man knocks them both out of the building.

Thor and Wasp are knocking down A.I.M. drones while fighting M.O.D.O.C., whose mental bolts are giving Thor a headache, when Wasp shatters the projection crystal. M.O.D.O.C. orders a retreat, and the lab complex - apparently one giant rocket ship - blasts off. Thor shields Wasp from the engine blasts with his own body, and the two of them survive - singed, but alive and well.

Wonder Man and Giant Man battle while Pym tries to talk Simon out of being a criminal, with Wonder Man growing to giant-size to fight on a size-even basis. Wonder Man starts to calm down... until Iron Man returns, in a giant-sized armor set. Newly enraged, Wonder Man and Iron Man fight, with Iron Man's new armor getting the worst of it. Wonder Man sends a blast of ionic energy through his eyes, to destroy Stark, but a red-white-and-blue blur on a motorcycle blocks it with his Shield; Captain America has arrived.

The fight continues, with Iron Man and Captain America fighting Wonder Man, and Giant Man asking both sides to stand down. Wonder Man's ionic energy begins to dangerously destabilize, and begins to go critical. Giant Man and Iron Man do their best to contain his ionic form in the Arc Reactor, but they're too late. Wonder Man's ionic form dissolves with a tormented wail.

Stark explains that he had bought up Simon's company to save it; that Simon had brilliant ideas that Stark was going to bankroll, working with Simon to bring them to fruition.

Later, Simon's ionic energy re-corporiates, thanks to the Enchantress' sorcery. The Enchantress, the Executioner, and Baron Zemo want Wonder Man to join them in destroying the Avengers, and in exchange she will keep his ionic form cohesive.
Commentary   Once more, the writers of the series change the facts of what happened in the MU-616 comic universe, while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original stories. Once more, this show is remarkable for the sheer density of storytelling in every bloody scene. Once more, my admiration knows no bounds!

The drama of the show is predictable to anyone whose read Avengers v.1 #9; once more, Simon Williams wants revenge on Tony Stark for ruining Williams' high-tech company, and submits himself to an experimental process - but thats where the resemblence ends. Simon Williams is still the broither of the Grim Reaper; but since the Grim Reaper was introduced before Simon, he plays a part in connecting Simon and A.I.M, who does the experiment instead of Zemo. Williams, in his V.3 Busiek-era ionic energy form, gives the Avengers a good fight, but really, for me, the minor character developments were the highlight of the episode.

* Nick Fury is revealed to the the son of the Sgt. Fury who commanded the Howling Commandos. No infinity forumla!

* The Fury family preserved and restored Captain America's motorcycle, which Nick gave back to the Captain this episode.

* Thor gets all the good lines, and shows himself to be neigh-indestructable, and benefits the Son of Odin!

* Hank Pym gets a lot of character developmewnt here, and is a much more interesting character so far than the MU 616 or the Ultimate Avengers (Lionsgate) version. I like that Hank kept trying to defuse Wonder Man through dialogue.

* S.H.I.E.L.D.uses the Barber Shop entrance!

* Iron Man gets another set of armor when Wonder Man shreds the Mark VII arrmor.

And... the Masters of Evil continue recruitment of only the best!
Notes Youtube:
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