The Avengers: Age Of Ultron introduced us to the character of Vision, one of the most thought-provoking and unusual characters in the entire Marvel library. Given his complexity and the fact that he’s been around for a long time in the comic books, it means there are a lot of interesting, and sometimes bizarre, things that you may not know about him.
With the character having made his second onscreen appearance in this past weekend’s Captain America: Civil War, we thought this would be the perfect time to let you in on some of the most intriguing and kind of strange facts about both the character and his relationship with The Avengers.
Here are Screen Rant’s 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Vision:
12. He Was Adapted From A Timely Comics Character
During the Golden Age of Comic Books, writer Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby created a character named Aarkus, a trans-dimensional crime fighter, who was talked into staying on Earth to help keep the bad guys at bay. Nicknamed Vision, he debuted in Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (November 1940). His powers included the ability to fly, teleport to areas where there was smoke, cast illusions of himself and manipulate cold and ice.
The characters really only share a name, and it seems there’s a reason for that. Silver Age Vision creator Roy Thomas was rumored to be afraid of Marvel “stealing” his new material, so he based the android on a character that was already in the Marvel library. No doubt he had no idea how much the character would come to mean to not only The Avengers, but the Marvel brand overall.
11. He Has Two Origin Stories
The Silver Age Vision made his first appearance in Avengers #57 (October 1968). He was created by Roy Thomas on the suggestion of Stan Lee, who was anxious to get an android into the pantheon of Marvel characters. He was originally created by Ultron to be an adversary of the Avengers. This is the most recognizable version of the character, and the one that Paul Bettany’s version in the MCU is based on.
The Modern Age Vision is a combination of the old Vision’s operating system and the body armor of the time-travelling Iron Lad (who himself, is an adolescent time-travelling version of the supervillain, Kang The Conqueror). When Iron Lad leaves, the operating system causes the armor to become sentient, creating the latest version of the character. He made his first appearance in Young Avengers #1-12 (April 2005-August 2006).
10. He Was Originally Created Using Wonder Man’s Brainwaves
The one thing that both the MCU and the comic books have in common is Vision’s origin. Although it might have been for very different reasons, the one thing that remains the same in the fact that the character was created by Ultron. In the comics, he was created as a weapon to defeat the Avengers, while in the MCU, he was going to be Ultron’s final, pretty much indestructible form.
The main differences come into play in regards to how that creation occurred. In the comics, his original form was created when Ultron merged the brainwaves of the deceased Wonder Man and a replica of the original Human Torch (the Jim Hammond android version, as opposed to the Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm). In the MCU, Vision is a product of Dr. Cho’s cradle, vibranium and the mind stone. Mix that combination with the A.I. from J.A.R.V.I.S., and a new hero is born.
9. He Is A Woman In An Alternate Universe
In 1992, Marvel decided to explore the possibilities of one particular future timeline and created the Marvel 2099 imprint. The series mainly showed futuristic stories of already established characters in the Marvel pantheon. The series is thought to be a future of the mainstream Marvel universe, although it has officially been dubbed Earth-928.
The Vision in this universe is very different from the mainstream version that most audiences are familiar with. First off, his time around the character isn’t a male android, but a young woman. She has precognitive abilities which she uses to help 2099 Iron Man discover threats against him and the Alchemax Avengers. In fact, the only characteristic that the two seem to share is the jewel embedded in their respective foreheads. If you’re confused, don’t worry, because you’re not alone. The multi-verse is a complicated place, indeed.
8. He Is Extremely Powerful
Vision’s powers in the comics include the ability to control density, which means he can fly and phase through solid objects, as well as shapeshift. He can also manipulate a wide range of technology and repair and regenerate himself as necessary. As if that’s not enough, he also has superhuman agility, intelligence, strength, and speed. The gem on his forehead can also project solar radiation when he needs it. So, yeah, he’s a pretty powerful foe.
The live-action version of the character seems to have similar powers in the MCU, with the addition of being able to generate synthetic cells, which is first witnessed when he emulates Thor and creates a cape for himself out of nothing in Age Of Ultron. While he is able to use the Mind Stone in a similar fashion as in the comic books, it is definitely more powerful than the one he has there, and is also probably pretty important to his survival as a sentient being.
7. His Humanity Is His Defining Characteristic
Although he is technically a synthezoid, which Marvel defines as “human in every physical way, except he was artificially created,” there are many that don’t consider him a human being at all. It’s understandable, considering that in every iteration, he was created using technology.
One of his most defining characteristics, however, is his humanity and his ability to feel emotions. These are most likely due to the fact that he was originally created using human brain patterns. One of the most powerful, defining moments for the character was in John Buscema’s 1968 full page image of Vision crying (glimpsed above). Since his origins are slightly different in the MCU, his characteristics are going to be different than his comic book counterpart. It will be interesting to see how Marvel handles his evolution personality-wise as the MCU moves along.
6. He Was Married
No one ever said that comic books aren’t soap operas in pencil and ink form, and in a weird twist, Vision was actually married to the Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff. The two had a tumultuous relationship that wasn’t always approved of, seeing as how Vision technically isn’t human. Of course, given whom Wanda and Pietro’s father was thought to be in the comic books, it also means that he and Magneto were possibly related as well, even if it was only through marriage. Quite the family dynamic they’ve got going there. The MCU seems to be paving the way for this possibility, given Wanda and Vision’s apparent connection glimpsed at the end of Age Of Ultron and in Civil War.
But, Wanda wasn’t the only Marvel lady that Vision had a relationship with. Once he and the Scarlet Witch’s relationship ended, he moved on and was romantically linked with Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel and the green skinned Mantis. The modern version of the character in Young Avengers was involved with Stature, aka Cassie Lang, daughter of Ant-Man Scott Lang.
5. He Also Had Children
You would think that an android and a mutant wouldn’t be able to have children, and usually you would be right. But, since we’re talking about comic book story arcs…well, let’s just say that the logical doesn’t always win out in these scenarios.
Yes, that’s right, Vision and the Scarlet Witch became parents in the second volume of Vision And The Scarlet Witch #1-12 (Oct. 1985-Sept. 1986). Through the use of her ‘hex’ powers, Wanda created twin sons, Thomas and William, using fragments of Mephisto’s soul. Unfortunately, Mephisto kind of needed those back, so when he reabsorbed them, the boys were erased from existence. This whole thing drove Wanda insane and ruined her relationship with Vision. Eventually, the souls of the twins were reincarnated and they became the Young Avengers Wiccan and Speed, so there’s a bit of a happy ending there after all.
4. He Was The Leader Of The Avengers
In the Avengers #242-243 (1984), Vision sensed a number of threats headed towards Earth and began issuing orders to the team left and right. Although he wasn’t in a position of authority, The Wasp, who was the head honcho of the Avengers at the time, saw that he was leader material and stepped aside so he could take over the team.
Although his tenure as boss was short, one of the first things he did was split the Avengers into the East and West coast teams. Unfortunately, due to prior events, he became slightly unbalanced and tried to take over the world, using computer networks to access everyone’s important data. While the rest of the Avengers managed to restore him to his former self, things were never the same, and a government coalition was tasked with keeping a close eye on him. It’s kind of hard to be an effective leader when the government is looking over your shoulder (and eventually having you dismantled), so it’s no surprise to learn that his days of heading the team were short-lived.
3. He’s Been On A Number Of Marvel Teams
Throughout his time in Marvel Comics, Vision has gotten around quite a bit. And we’re not just talking about his relationships with the ladies. Although he was originally created to destroy the Avengers, he ultimately became one of them when they convinced him that Ultron was the real bad guy.
But that’s not the only team that the synthezoid has been associated with over the years. The Silver Age version of the character was a member of the West Coast Avengers and Avengers A.I., as well as the Defenders. The Modern Age version has been a member of both the Young Avengers and the Mighty Avengers. Although he and Stature were still members of the main Avengers team while on the Young Avengers, they chose to keep that fact secret while they hunted for the Scarlet Witch, who was really Loki in disguise. Oh, what a tangled web we weave! Both characters were card carrying members of the Young Avengers when they met their untimely demise.
2. He Is The Keeper Of The Mind Stone In The MCU
So, we’ve already gone over the creation of the MCU’s Vision, where his body was created using Helen Cho’s regeneration technology, combining artificial human tissue and vibranium (the same ultra-rare metal Captain America’s shield is made from). While Ultron wanted to upload his own consciousness into the body, the Avengers foiled that plan and instead uploaded JARVIS…or at least his voice. A little magical Thor lightning and voila, we have life.
But probably the most important ingredient in the mix is the Mind Stone, the gem embedded in Vision’s forehead. It is one of the Infinity Stones, those pesky little suckers that Thanos needs to complete the Infinity Gauntlet and rule the universe. How much the stone plays into Vision’s overall being has yet to be determined, but it’s probably safe to say that it’s pretty important. Too bad that the Mad Titan is going to want it back, and will stop at nothing to get it. If that means him physically ripping it out of Vision’s head, then, so be it.
It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out in the Infinity War films. Can Vision survive without that all-powerful gem? We’re guessing not.
1. They Used A 3D Printer To Create His Look
You can imagine that bringing an iconic comic book character to life has many obstacles. But what do you do when you’re dealing with a character that’s not quite human, but not really a robot, either? You break out the 3D printer! At least that’s what Jeremy Woodhead and Nik Williams from Animated Extras did when tasked with bringing the character to the big screen for the first time.
The make-up masters used a cyber scan of Paul Bettany’s head and then printed out the prosthetics in translucent plastic. They felt that this gave the character perfect lines and made him look like he was created by a computer program. Overall, it took two hours to get Bettany into costume every day, which included paint, prosthetics, glue and some blusher. The digital team then went in in post-production and finished off the minute details, such as the striations on the character’s face.
To say that Vision is an interesting character would be an understatement. His long, and illustrious history makes for some great storytelling, and some kind of strange story arcs. While the version of the character in the MCU is slightly different than the comic book one, the character still brings a fascinating dynamic to the movie universe. Do you think the character will follow a similar arc in the films? Do you want him to? Let us know in the comments!