This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’ll be exploring the origin of one of the Avengers greatest heroes The Vision.
And that’s what we’ll be doing on The heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show, we’ll be learning and talking about the origins and backstories of heroes and villains throughout the comic book universe and pop culture. We’ll look at both popular and obscure characters you may have never heard….but I think you’ll dig.
The synthezoid superhero known as Vision was created for Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas back in 1968 and first appeared in The Avengers #57, with a striking cover by John Buscema.
Ultron, the homicidal robot and creation of Dr. Hank Pym, believes he can destroy the Avengers, and to do it he must destroy them from the inside. He decides to create an android, go with what you know right, so he decides to create an android that can infiltrate the Avengers and then destroy them.
But here’s the thing. Ultron just cannot create his ultimate weapon, all he can do, and he seems not to be able to create an android. Ok, so he does the next best thing, he kidnaps the inventor of the Golden Age Human Torch, Professor Phineas Horton. Way back in the 40’s Horton created a synthetic man to be a benefit to all mankind, but there was a wee bit of a flaw in his design. When the Human Torch was exposed to air, he burst into flames.
So using the Golden Age Human Torch as his building block he forces Horton to help him create his weapon, the Android that will be known as Vision. Now Horton could not bring himself to wipe away the memories and essence of the Human Torch and Ultron was not pleased when his creation woke up and remembered who he was, the Human Torch. This does not go well for Horton. Ultron kills Horton and when…well I’m just going to call him Vision, tries to stop him, Ultron pretty much shuts him off so he can hit the reset button.
This time, Ultron makes sure he is working with a clean slate, but his empty husk needs something to drive it, it needs brain patterns as a form of software I guess. Ultron decides to use the mind patterns of deceased Simon Williams , the ionically charged superhero known as Wonder Man. Now I’m not sure why you would put the brain patterns of a superhero into something you are creating for an evil purpose, but who am I. But this time he made sure to implant the Vision with a chip he could use to control the Vision in case things got away from him. And you really wouldn’t want this weapon to get away from you. The Vision is a pretty powerful character with a host of abilities which include:
- Superhuman agility,intelligence, strength and speed
- Density control
- Mass manipulation
- Solar energy projection
With his new weapon reformatted and powered up, Ultron send Vision to the Avengers mansion to lull them into a trap where he can destroy them. The first Avenger that Vision runs into was the Wasp, who looked upon his face in terror and described his a “Vision”.
Now the Avengers battle with Vision and in the end convince him to join them in battling Ultron. They “defeat”…I’m doing air quotes here….and the Vision joins the Avengers.
And this pattern kind of repeats throughout his time in the Avengers, he’s taken over by an evil time traveler or a bad guy or of course there’s that pesky Ultron that just keeps popping up. We also learn that the Vision’s synthetic body was not that of the original Golden Age Human Torch. The Avengers later are told that the time lord Immortus used the power of the Forever Crystal to split the original Human Torch into two entities – one body remained the original Torch while Ultron rebuilt the other as the Vision.To spice things up a bit the writers introduced Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch to be a love interest for the Vision.
They fall in love and marry in Giant-Size Avengers 4 and some time after, using her unpredictable hex powers they are able to conceive twin boys they name Thomas and William. But wedded bliss for the couple is short-lived when their children are revealed to not be flesh and blood children, bit fragments of Mephisto. When they absorbed back into Mephisto, essentially killing them, Wando loses her mind and is driven insane. Both Wanda and the Vision go through some pretty rough times, each losing their minds, trying to take over the world and even destroying the Avengers mansion. When both are brought back from the edge if not total insanity they find they cannot reconcile and the separate.
The Vision goes through many iteration as his story continues through the Marvel U. He is destroyed and rebuilt, he has emotions then he doesn’t…he does not have it easy. But in the end he always comes back to his core concept and is one of the most powerful and interesting characters in the Marvel U. I’m kind of selfish in my choices when decided who I’ll be talking about her on the podcast. And with Vision that holds true. I love this character, his personality, suit, powers and how the writers get to play with the idea of self. Who is Vision, is he just the engrams of Wonder Man, is the the Golden Age Human Torch, is he a blend. Or is he just a touch of circuits and bio matter that mimics humanity really well. Is he just advanced A.I. and nothing else.
What made me really want to talk about the Vision is his latest book written by Tom King. It will be running 13 issues and is one of the most compelling stories I have ever read in comics. The way King builds the characters and structures the story with an unseen and unknown narrator is just incredible. I’m not going to spoil any of the because its just amazing and I want you to be able to go in fresh. But to whet your appetite here’s what Marvel put out about the series, “The Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? He goes to the laboratory where he was created, where Ultron molded him into a weapon, where he first rebelled against his given destiny, where he first imagined that he could be more, that he could be good, that he could be a man, a normal, ordinary man. And he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition or perhaps obsession: the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold The Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong?.
So if you end up enjoying it check out King’s other work which is also just incredible. He’s currently the new writer for Batman and his creator owned series Sheriff of Babylon. Great stuff all the way around.
So this week I’m going to add something new to the show and share some recommended reading that features the Vision.
- Avengers 57 – 58,
- Avengers Disassembled 500
- Giant-Sized Avengers 4
- Vision and Scarlet Witch 1-4
- West Coast Avengers #42–45
- And Vision1-12
Well I want to thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the heroes and villains podcast. Our theme music is by Broke For Free, you can find links to other music from the show on our website, heroesandvillainspodcast.com. There you can listen to the show, subscribe via whichever service you use be it iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher. And if you have the time please leave a rating for us on itunes when you subscribe and download the show. It would really help out. If you’ve listened to the previous show you know I changed the name of the podcast after I royally screwed up, and some positive reviews on the old itunes would be great. And if you have any recommendations on heroes, villains or sidekicks just head over to the site and leave a comment.
We’ll be back next week with more. Take care.
The Birth Of the Vision from the latest Avengers Movie