Vision is the latest mega-powerful character to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Portrayed by Paul Bettany and based on Tony Stark’s JARVIS A.I., who Bettany had previously voiced, the character joined the movie version of the Avengers in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Having been built by the villainous Ultron in the live action franchise (with a body made from a mixture of living tissue and the indestructible metal known as vibranium), the character became a force of good when he was imbued with the aforementioned JARVIS A.I. and the Mind Stone, and brought to life by Thor’s lightning.
But that version of the character is very different from the classic version from Marvel’s comic books. Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of similarities, but there are some things that you might not know about the character Paul Bettany’s version is based on.
With that in mind, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Vision:
10. He Was Adapted From A Timely Comics Character Of The Same Name
During what is generally known as the Golden Age of comic books, the first Vision was created by the writer-artist team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Marvel’s predecessor company Timely Comics.
His first appearance was in Marvel Mystery Comics #13, from November 1940, and this version of the character was a shadow of what he would go on to become. While the basis was clearly there, he was nowhere near as powerful and looked a lot more ghost-like. He did, however, have his own title – which is obviously a big part of the reason he was popular enough to become an Avenger in the later Marvel comic books.
9. He Got Married
In spite of the fact that the Marvel comic book version of the character is still an android, he did in fact manage to find love with a human character; or, more specifically, a human mutant character in the form of Wanda Maximoff (aka the Scarlet Witch). The pair even had a limited series together.
In fact, the two even got married and had a child (albeit through mystical means) and made up one of the most powerful and formidable couples in comic book history. If you watched Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, you may have noticed a couple of moments in which the live action versions of the characters – played by Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen respectively – seemed to express affection towards each other, so watch that space!
8. He’s Magneto’s Son-In-Law
As a result of his marriage to the Scarlet Witch in the comic books, the Vision became the son-in-law of Max Eisenhardt (aka Magneto). This is because, of course, Magneto is the father of both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in the comic books, unlike in the movies (in which Magneto doesn’t even exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Wanda doesn’t even exist in the X-Men franchise).
He couldn’t possibly wish for a worse father-in-law! Fathers-in-law are scary enough to begin with, but when you’re made of metal and your father-in-law can control metal, it must be pretty damn terrifying – even when you’re someone as powerful as the Vision!
7. He Was Made Using Wonder Man’s Brain
Just like he did in the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie, Ultron was the one who created the Vision in the comic books. However, the manner in which he went on to become a key member of the heroic Avengers was very different in the comic books.
Having initially been created as a tool for use against Hank Pym, Pym reprogrammed the Vision using the brainwaves of the then-deceased Wonder Man – resulting in him becoming a definitive member of the Avengers, just like Wonder Man himself had previously been. Wonder Man has since been resurrected and has even encountered the Vision, which is pretty weird when you think about it.
6. He Suffered Greatly In The Marvel Zombies Universe…
In spite of the fact that the Vision is an android (and therefore somebody you’d expect to be safe in a biological zombie outbreak) in the Marvel Zombie universe, Vision really didn’t fair too much better than the other Marvel heroes who were turned into mindless un-dead monsters.
In the Marvel Zombie universe, the Vision was dismantled and was used as a communication device by the zombie version of the Kingpin. Even during this terrible ordeal, the character still managed to maintain a strong love for his wife, the Scarlet Witch, even though she had been turned into a zombie herself.
5. …And In The Age Of Ultron Comic
In major story arcs, the Vision seems to get a really raw deal! In addition to his terrible fate in the Marvel Zombies story, he didn’t get a much better deal in the Age of Ultron arc; an arc that really had absolutely nothing in common with the Avengers movie of the same name, incidentally.
There is a big reveal in the story which shows that a mutilated Vision is being used by Ultron as a conduit through which he is punishing humankind from the future. It’s a truly shocking scene that genuinely makes the reader feel sorry for the helpless android.
4. He’s Sometimes White
The Vision famously has a striking green, yellow and red appearance that has become synonymous with the character – but that colourful combination hasn’t always been what he has looked like in the comic books (and we’re not just referring to the old Timely Comics days in which he looked very different, either).
During the “Vision Quest” storyline, Vision was taken apart and it was up to Hank Pym to put him back together. Pym, however, simply could not get the coloration pigment right on the hero. The result was Vision’s synthetic skin remaining damaged and taking on a very spectral looking white colour.
3. He’s Been A Woman
Although Vision is, in fact, an android, the fact is that he is presented as male and has indeed embarked on a heterosexual relationship with a woman in the form of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch.
However, in the Marvel 2099 continuity, Vision is actually a young woman with precognitive abilities. She puts those powers to good use in order to find threats for Iron Man 2099, a member of Alchemax’s Avengers in that particular timeline. There are some subtle – but still rather obvious – similarities between the classic version of the character and the 2099 version (e.g. the forehead jewel), but they are generally very, very different from each other.
2. He’s Been A Part Of Several Super Teams
Classically, of course, the Vision has become a prominent member of the classic Avengers team, but he has actually been a member of several different teams in the comic books – including various different versions of the Avengers themselves.
The Silver Age version of the character has also been a member of the West Coast Avengers, Avengers A.I. and the Defenders, while the Modern Age version of the character has also been a member of the Young Avengers and the Mighty Avengers. Essentially, the guy gets around a fair bit – probably a lot more than you actually realised, at the very least.
1. He Has Led The Avengers
Not many people know this – especially not those who only know the newborn, naive version of the character from the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie – but the Vision has actually been the leader of the Avengers in the comics (albeit quite briefly).
It happened during Avengers #242-243 in 1984, when the team was celebrating Hawkeye’s marriage. The Vision detected a powerful threat to the Earth and began to act like the team’s leader – much to everyone including the reader’s surprise. As a result, the Wasp turned over her chairmanship to the android and his first act as the leader was to split the Avengers into East and West coast teams.