When he’s not being blown up, disassembled, or rebooted, Avengers robotic mainstay Vision is probably doing what he does best: trying to kill his teammates. Whether it’s being controlled by his creator, Ultron (okay, usually it’s that), magic, or some glitch in his advanced wiring, Vision is what happens when an emotionally unstable scientist (that would be Hank Pym) creates a murderous android (that would be Ultron), which in turn, makes its own robotic “son.”
With last week’s announcement that Marvel’s answer to what would happen if Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter had a baby would be coming to The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the many ways that the see-through synthezoid is the worst of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
7. His Evil Master’s Probably Making Him Lead the Team Into a Death Trap
We touched on Vision’s… complicated… parentage in the introduction, but as a refresher, he was created way back in Avengers #57 in 1968. There, the spectral ‘bot established his creep status by sneaking and peeping around the Avengers Mansion, earning his name because the Wasp, struggling for the right word to describe the emotionless horror stalking her workplace, called him some kind of “unearthly, inhuman vision.”
It wasn’t enough that he showed up as a walking freak-out to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – he was also skulking around Avenger’s HQ in order to lure them into a trap of his creator, Ultron’s, devising.
It was only after old Vizzy caught a touch of hu-man emotions, that he went from kill-bot to friend-bot, earning a set of keys to the mansion. And he was never a threat to his own team ag-
6. Or He Might Give Said Evil Master a Shiny New Indestructible Body
Apparently no one bothered to do some kind of virus scan for Ultron.exe, because it was less than a year later that Vision was under the control of his creator, seeking out materials to construct a new body for him.
This took place between issues 66 and 68 of Avengers, as Ultron, feeling not-quite-deadly-enough, compelled his creation to upgrade him to Ultron 6.0 with a body made of Marvel’s indestructible alloy, Adamantium.
This is strike two, Avengers. We get that Vision was created to be a cape-wearing honey trap, you action weirdos. But at no point did anyone think to keep a keen eye on him, just in case he decided to rebuild one of your worst enemies using one of the most powerful materials on Earth.
Maybe in the future, give him some kind of responsibility that doesn’t involve the possibility of global human annihilation.
Like flying the QuinJet.
5. He Might Crash the Company Jet Into Avengers HQ
Alright, this one is on the Scarlet Witch, the other ticking time bomb on the Avengers. As part of the “Avengers Disassembled” storyline which shook up the status quo for the team up to the present day, killing or driving the team crazy because, you know, magic.
The whole shebang started in Avengers #500: after the then-current Ant-Man was blown up (along with half of the mansion), Vision, flying the team home from a mission was seized by a compulsion to crash to QuinJet into the remaining other half.
This whole mess, by the way, was the result of Wanda’s second bout of magical insanity, following her grief over the non-existence of hers and Vision’s sons who were chunks of Marvel’s Satan stand-in Mephisto’s soul and probably more headache than it’s worth to explain. Anyway, the Scarlet Witch’s probability powers went mad (along with the Scarlet Witch), causing all sorts of random, terrible things to happen to the team, including her synthetic ex.
Having destroyed his team’s base of operations and pretty much wrecked everyone’s day, Vision had pretty much exhausted his team-killing crappiness for the day, right?
4. He Might Be Full of Tiny Ultrons
Of course, he could just start spawning Ultrons immediately after crashing the QuinJet.
Minutes after the crash, Vision begins melting into the creepy horror above, spitting out little death orbs filled with Ultrons which then began attacking the survivors.
For those of you keeping score, Vision was now under double, super-secret control of his magic mutant ex-wife and evil, evolving creator. And at this point, you have to think someone on the team is considering retiring his membership in the Avengers entirely.
A raged-out She-Hulk decided to do one better, retiring Vision by ripping him in two. While we’d later learn Shulkie was also under the subtle influence of the Scarlet Witch, honestly, who wouldn’t have reached their limit and decided the only good Ultron-spitting synthezoid is a dead Ultron-spewing synthezoid.
Of course, it’s the Vision you don’t see that could potentially kill you.
3. …And What About His Evil Twin? (Anti-Vision)
Okay, not quite his evil twin, but his alternate universe counterpart. Folks, meet Anti-Vision.
Hailing from Earth-932, you’d think that an opposite version of Vision would be a sythezoid not prone to screwing over his own team, but nope: he sucks no matter which dimension made him.
Making his debut in Avengers #359, Anti-Vision was used to infiltrate the Earth-616 Avengers on behalf of the multiversal killer Proctor in a plot to kill the Eternal and sometime Avenger, Sersi.
Well, that all went sideways: not only did Anti-Vision fail to kill Sersi, but he drove 616 Vision insane (which is apparently really, really easy to do).
Sure, Anti-Vision wasn’t “our” Vision’s fault, but you have to imagine that as you spin further and further out of the multiverse, you’re just going to get worse versions of Vision out there looking to kill Avengers.
2. …Or His Legion of Evil Duplicates?
If you think one Vision is a pain, imagine a legion of them, created only for killing.
In the alternate universe follow-up to “Avengers Disassembled,” the Scarlet Witch casts a spell which makes mutants the dominant race in a regime controlled by her father, Magneto.
And what place did the love of her life have in this new utopia? Why, he was a security experiment by Stark Industries. The sad part, here, is that in this new universe where nearly every character is given precisely what they want, Vision is shunted off to being a robot security.
Which makes us wonder: is that what Vision’s secret wish of wishes is? To be a joyless, personality-free android experiment? In any event, this version of Vision wasn’t an immediate threat to his fellow Avengers, but really, we can chalk that up to House of M not running long enough for him to show his true, terrible colors.
1. Forget Ultron – Vision Might Go Skynet On Us All!
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: a rogue AI, convinced that it has the key to world peace, takes over global defense networks.
That’s what happened in the late ’80s when Vision’s control crystal went a little wonky, causing the synthezoid to flip out and seize control of the world’s computers and defense networks, making the Vision’s dickery global.
Putting aside the fact that it was yet another case of Vision being driven mad by external factors (this time, contact with the Titan supercomputer, ISAAC), this development creates so many questions: after a couple of decades of Vision screw-ups, who thought it was a good idea to let him network with anything more complex than the Avengers Mansion home entertainment center? And after this, why wasn’t there an immediate U.N. resolution calling for the melting down and shooting into the sun of Vision’s remains?
There was some fallout, of course: a team called “Vigilance” was formed for the express purpose of wiping Vision’s memory in the hopes that it was just a software glitch causing him to go crazy – their plan ultimately led to all traces of Vision being wiped from the world’s computer networks.
So look out, movie Avengers: no matter how soothing that calm, robotic voice sounds, it’s attached to a nutty AI that will – in time – flip out and totally try to kill you.
Previously by Charles Webb