CHICAGO
02/07/2013 05:38 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2013

Wesley Willis Wonder Woman: Iconic Artist Appears In New DC Comic As Heroine's Half-Brother

Wesley Willis's ties to the DC Comics universe were previously limited to which superheroes' asses he whupped, but the late cult singer and visual artist from Chicago is now in DC's very family—or rather, Wonder Woman's family.

Though DC hasn't come out and explicitly said so, Wonder Woman #15 features a new character that has some uncannily similar characteristics (and nearly identical physical appearance) to Willis.

wesley willis wonder woman

The issue introduces Milan, a half-mortal son of Zeus; in the 2011 relaunch "The New 52," Wonder Woman went from being an Amazonian warrior princess to the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, making Milan the heroine's half-brother.

Comic Alliance was the first to notice the similarities between the head-butting DC character and the Chicago artist who died in 2003 from chronic myelogenous leukemia, according to WBEZ.

Willis was a fixture in Chicago's music scene in the '90s, creating both visual art and foul-mouthed songs that were simple, hilarious, and wholly unique. After he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1989, Willis claimed to have "schizophrenia demons" in his head that took him off of his "harmony joy rides" to put him on "torture hell rides," according to his bio.

In addition to the fondness for head-butting (Willis had a callus on his head from repeatedly head-butting fans), the Milan comic character speaks much like the real-life Willis, as WBEZ notes:

"[Milan] characterizes good experiences as 'joy rides' and bad ones as 'hell rides'; is tortured by demons in a way that recalls the suffering of many schizophrenics and shouts “Rock on!” in celebratory moments."

The issue's writer is another good indication that Milan is really a Willis surrogate: as the the AV Club points out, Wonder Woman #15 was written by the Chicago-based Brian Azzarello.

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