Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Vision Needs to be Restored to Full Avenger Glory

Vision front and centern on Avengers month April 1975 Marvel Calendar

I think the Avengers comics are pretty darn great these days.  Bendis has shaken up the team with one big event after another: Disassembled, House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion, and Dark Reign.  But there's one classic element to the Avengers team that seems lost in all of this.  And that is the Vision.

Fans who loved the 1970s era of the Avengers will know what I am talking about.  The Vision was the standard bearer of the Avengers.  He appeared front and center on many covers as well as the above pic from the 1975 Marvel Calendar.

Avengers 96 cover by Neal Adams

The Vision was popular for a number of reasons.  The design of the character and his costume was out of this world.  He looked spooky and unreal--like DC Comics' Spectre--and his power to control density and transform into near-ghostly intangibility contributed to this effect.  The Vision was also a robot who struggled with emotions, as you can see on the cover to Avengers 96 by Neal Adams.

Vision brooding on splash page to Avengers 106, by Rich Buckler and Dave Cockrum

The Vision, along with the Scarlet Witch and Hawkeye, were characters who made the Avengers' stories exciting.  That was because Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart could actually change them over time--sometime they couldn't do that easily with Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man.

Sure, I know the Vision's been resurrected in Young Avengers, and he's now in Dan Slott's Mighty Avengers team.  But that version sure as heck isn't the Vision I grew up with.  I want the Vision with Simon Williams' brain patterns, the one who remembers his failed marriage to Wanda, and his entire history with the Avengers' team.  It should be a snap to bring all of this back--just find some memory backups somewhere and rebuild his android body according to original specs.

West Coast Avengers 45

Here's the biggest flaw to me in the entire Avengers saga since Bendis took over.  The Vision was destroyed, ripped apart by She-Hulk during Disassembled, yet none of the Avengers made an effort to restore him back to life?  It doesn't compute.  The Vision saved his team-mates and the world countless times since he joined the team.  In West Coast Avengers #45--after the Vision was taken apart by the US government--Hank Pym rebuilds the Vision very quickly (ok, minus a few memory tapes).  You could say that Skrull Pym would have no incentive to rebuild the Vision after Disassembled--but why wouldn't the rest of the Avengers?

I think 2010, which brings Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man back in Siege, is the perfect time to restore the Vision back to full glory.  And maybe the Scarlet Witch as well.  Do you agree?  Nuff said.

Update: Comments from my old MT blog...


Hi Richard
Love the blog. I've always been a big Vision fan myself, but I guess the difference is that I love the new Young/Mighty Avengers version. I was reading the Byrne run on WC Avengers when they started to basically ruin the origin of the Vision, and eventually turned him into the white version. If you remember, Byrne decided he wanted to resurrect the original Human Torch (which was the Vision's body along with Simon's brainwaves) so he pulled one of those "everything you knew is wrong" tricks and changed everything around. We were left with an even more confusing origin story, as well as a barefoot white Vision. Ack!
Just to geek out a bit more, I think the best reason for no one attempting to rebuild the Vision after Disassembled is that there was no one left to even try. At the end of that story, the Pyms were taking off on vacation, which leaves Tony Stark. Stark was dead broke at the end of Disassembled, which is why he had no choice but to crate him up and put him in storage. By the time the Civil War ended and Tony had resources again, the new Vision was already in action. I sort of like the fact that the new vision the Iron lad (Kang)armor with the old Vision's brainwave patterns. It gets us closer to the old Human Torch body/Wonder Man Brainwave version that we loved as kids.
Hey, on a closing note - it is great to read someone who actually likes Bendis' run on Avengers. He gets bashed everywhere I read, and I personally think he's done more for the Avengers than anyone since Roy Thomas.
Kepp up the great work!
Thanks, Yuri! Nice to know that someone else likes the Vision.
I didn't like how Byrne threw out the Human Torch origin of the character.
Did you read Avengers Forever? In that story, Kurt Busiek tried to factor the Human Torch back in, explaining that 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.
I see your point--trying to explain all of that to new readers is too confusing.
// Richard
I've been reading comics for over ten years and never really been exposed to the vision...not much anyway. I've always liked the idea of the character, but hated his appearance. I mean REALLY hated. As much as I hate Martin Manhunter's look. He's in need of a major redesign. Presumably he'll appear in a movie at some stage, and that might prompt marvel to make him look better. Until they sort that out, I'm happy for him not to be in my comics.
Redesign The Vision? I think not! He's already been torn apart and rebuilt too many times--and in not so great ways. Rob I respect that you like the idea of his character, but really--it you weren't into him and then you want him to be different...maybe he's not for you?
/LOVE The Vision!
//And his colorful costume!
Nice entry on the Vision. I'm as much an enthusiast for the Vision and the Vision & Scarlet Witch love affair as anyone is. Heinberg might have meant well with Vision II, but the similarities are superficial. Vision I was a synthetic human man. Vision II is a computer program emulating a human.
If a writer wanted to have the Vision's body rebuilt, doing that would be trivial, since the brain is undeniably functional. Hooked up to a computer, he could oversee his own reconstruction, as in Busiek's AVENGERS.
There's not much of a point in bringing him back, though, in any sort of body, unless it was part of a plan, and I don't see anyone at Marvel who could write such an introspective character well. He requires an "old school" approach.

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