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Superman No. 163. Art by Curt Swan and George Klein.

A mysterious new super-hero who appeared in August 1963 and was seemingly intent on replacing Superman as the champion of Metropolis.

Powers: Wonder-Man possessed super-powers that were identical to those of Superman. Among his abilities were super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability to physical harm, the power of flight, super-breath, super-senses and a number of super-vision abilities that included X-ray, heat, telescopic, microscopic and infrared. Unlike the Man of Steel, Wonder-Man was invulnerable to the effects of Kryptonite radiation.

Biography: Originally, Wonder-Man had been the strongest of Superman's Robots, whom the Man of Steel named Ajax and appointed the guardian of the Fortress of Solitude. On one occassion, while Superman had to prevent a severe earthquake in Canada, the Man of Tomorrow ordered Ajax to deal with a meteor shower that was about to endanger Earth. While dealing with this outer space threat, Ajax assisted a stranded alien spacecraft that was secretly controlled by members of the Superman Revenge Squad, who used their ship's technology to cause a meteor fragment to collide with Ajax and damage his robotic systems. As part of a plot by the Revenger leader Attal, Ajax's robotic consciousness was transferred into an incredibly lifelike chemically-made android body (complete with super-powers identical to Superman's) that had a different appearance than his previous Superman-like robot form, and was renamed Wonder-Man. Although the Revengers attempted to maneuver Wonder-Man into killing Superman and replacing him as Earth's mightiest champion (even going so far as to equip him with a chunk of Green Kryptonite), Wonder-Man discovered the aliens' true intentions and pretended to go along with their plan in order to help his former master. When Wonder-man arrived in Metropolis, he began to perform super-feats that were apparently meant to outshine the Action Ace, all the while displaying ever-increasing signs of intense jealousy of the Caped Kryptonian's fame (all this being part of his secret plan to help Superman against the Revengers). In the process, Wonder-Man became thrilled at the fact that he was able to think and feel exactly like a living human being, even going so far as to express affection for Lois Lane. During a battle between Superman and Wonder-Man for control of the Fortress of Solitude, Wonder-Man pretended to leave the Metropolis Marvel to die from Kryptonite radiation exposure as a plan to flush out the Revengers. Doing away with the Kryptonite, Wonder-Man teamed up with Superman and the two champions made short work of the Revengers by hurling them and their craft into deep space. However, Wonder-Man later died as a result of a failsafe mechanism that the Revengers implanted into his android body, which was designed to cause him to expire not long after he murdered Superman so that he would not turn against them. Wonder-Man was buried on Earth, his gravesite marked by a large tombstone that read "Wonder-Man, formerly called Ajax. He was born a robot ... but he died a man." (S No. 163/1, Aug 1963: "Wonder-Man, the New Hero of Metropolis!").

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