A Brief History of The VisionMarch 7, 2015
Before Paul Bettany cements his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe history by playing Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, it is time to delve into the character’s history in the great Marvel universe.
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby originally created the character in November 1940. The name of the android first appeared under Timely Comics’ Marvel Mystery Comics # 13, which would later become absorbed by the Marvel brand. It wasn’t until decades later in the 1960’s when Vision would be fully utilized and closely resembles the character as we know today.
In his early beginnings, the Vision was also known as Aarkus, and was not an android. The Vision was an alien law enforcement officer from a place called Smokeworld. He comes into contact with Earth when looking to exile a prisoner, accepting an offer from scientist Markham Erickson to help fight crime on Earth. As Aarkus, he is briefly manipulated into fighting for the Axis against the Allies in World War II. Aarkus changes sides when confronted by the Invaders.
After the Golden Age of comics with Stan Lee and Roy Thomas taking over the helm the decision was made to add an android to the Avengers line-up. Lee was persistent on adding Vision, where he is made out of the body of the Human Torch, a love interest for the Scarlet Witch, and has twin boys named Thomas and William with her via Vision’s magical means.
In the West Coast Avengers of the 1980’s by writer John Byrne, the Vision is depicted as a synthetic humanoid. Byrne wrote Vision as having his brain wiped, having lost his wife, and finding out his children were figments of his imagination.
However, adding some details to Vision’s story throughout the years also helps flesh out the characterization. After joining the Avengers during the Silver Age, Vision is briefly controlled by Ultron. Ultron, set to be the main antagonist in Avengers: Age of Ultron, is thought to be controlling Vision in the upcoming movie as well.
A brief look of Vision was revealed during the most recent Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, in which it looks like an Infinity Stone/Gem is set in his forehead. If it is in fact one of the stones, referred to as gems in the comics, it is primarily part of the six or seven stones that make up the Infinity Gauntlet, to which Thanos lusts after and utilizes in the comics. The Tesseract in the first Thor and Avengers movies is confirmed by Marvel President Kevin Feige to be the Space Stone, Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn confirmed the orb in the movie was in fact the Power Stone. While not wholly confirmed, the Aether in Thor: The Dark World is assumed to be the Reality Stone and the stone embedded in Loki’s scepter is thought to be the Mind Stone. Thanos has also been seen with four out of six stones. Which leaves two stones unaccounted for; one that very well could be encrusted in Vision’s forehead.
The two remaining stones, Soul and Time, have yet to make their appearance. But, the Soul Stone could very well be a part of Vision, as it often appears on characters on their forehead. While Vision does have a solar jewel on his forehead that absorbs and processes solar energy for him, the stone we see in the trailer could be the Soul Stone if the movie takes a nudge from the comics, where Vision, created by Ultron with sentience, switches sides, fights with the Avengers, and gains more and more human properties – the development of a soul.
As the creation of Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron deviates from the comic conception, we can expect Vision to be different from his stories in the pages. But the Vision’s story has changed before, and we’re hoping Paul Bettany and the rest of the Avengers cast, crew, and creators bring Vision into the cinematic universe in a way that it can appease both the strict interpreters of the comics and film fans all over the world.