Android Love, or the Lack Thereof.
The Vision has made a handful of appearances in Tales of Adequacy, mostly over the past year or so. He was featured in the recent film “Avengers 2: Age of Ultron,” which pretty much had a significant portion of the film a lead up to him being created. The “Silver Age” Vision is an android and a member of the Avengers that first appeared in The Avengers No. 57 (October 1968) by Roy Thomas, Stan Lee and John Buscema. This version of the Vision (roughly) was portrayed by Paul Bettany in the 2015 film “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and he will reprise the role in the 2016 film “Captain America: Civil War.”
The first Vision was a “Golden Age” character created by the writer-artist team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in Marvel Mystery Comics No. 13 (Nov. 1940), published Timely Comics. Decades later, editor Stan Lee and writer Roy Thomas decided to add a new team member to the superhero-team series The Avengers. Thomas wanted to bring back the Golden Age Vision, but Lee was set on introducing an android member. Thomas ultimately compromised by using a new, android Vision.
This second (and far more widely known) Vision first appeared in The Avengers in October of 1968. Roy Thomas wanted the character to be completely white as befitting his ghostly name, but the printing at the time would have rendered the page transparent. Interestingly, this was later done in the late 80’s in West Coat Avengers by John Byrne, and then later abandoned in favor of his more familiar color scheme. Thomas apparently settled on red as a skin tone, because he did not want Vision to be green like the Hulk or blue like the Atlanteans. The character has been compared with Spock from Star Trek, but Thomas said that he was barely aware of the TV series at the time.
In The Avengers No. 75 (April 1970), the Scarlet Witch is reintroduced to the team and soon becomes a love interest for the Vision. Thomas recounted, “I felt that a romance of some sort would help the character development in The Avengers, and the Vision was a prime candidate because he appeared only in that mag… as did Wanda, for that matter. So they became a pair, for just such practical considerations. It would also, I felt, add to the development I was doing on the Vision’s attempting to become ‘human.’”
Well…fine. The two characters eventually get married…that plot line becomes hugely complex, and the Vision is taken apart at least twice. Once, the She-Hulk tears him in half, as a direct result of the Scarlet Witch’s actions…talk about a mean ex-wife!
So…what’s this guy all about? The Solar Jewel on the Vision’s forehead absorbs solar energy to provide the needed power for him to function, and he is also capable of discharging this energy as optic beams; with this, he can fire serious eye lasers. Sometimes he can use the same power through the Solar Jewel itself which make it way rougher, but runs his battery down. The Vision also possesses the ability to manipulate his density, which is the biggest deal of his power set. At its lowest density he can fly and has a ghostly, phasing intangibility; at its heaviest he has superhuman strength, immovability, and a diamond-hard near invulnerability. The Vision is capable of reaching a density ten times greater than that of depleted uranium.
Lets be clear…the Vision is a robot, who has the superpower to get really, really hard.
Ummm…yeah. He’s pretty useful to have around, as a superhero, I guess. That’s why our protagonist puts up with his weepy robot nature…because he’s very effective at what he does. Yep.
Still…in the last calendar year, Disney has introduced a whole lot of robots that are in print over at Marvel Comics. Let’s take a look at how they stack up:
The new Star Wars movie hasn’t even come out yet, and the BB-8 droid is sold out nationally. Good luck finding even a reasonable eBay auction for one. Baymax from “Big Hero Six” has a profound adorability quotient, and is highly merchandised by the Disney Machine. I have a talking plush Baymax sitting next to me RIGHT NOW. The Vision, on the other hand, is presented as a dry, uninteresting, virtually emotionless robot with little to no merchandising push behind him.
What happened there? Half the point of the last Avengers film was making the Vision happen, and I can’t seem to find a decent action figure of him as he appears in the film. He’s a superhero with the ability to carry around Thor’s sledge, and has rock hard abs of his own. Why isn’t there any merch to speak of? Star Wars fans get a new astromech, Baymax is a cuddly and friendly robot appealing to kids and the princess crowd…where was the market fail for the poor Vision?
At least our hero doesn’t need to worry about emotional attachments. The Vision is, after all, just a robot.
Clearly, she isn’t all that interested in the idea that the android can cry. I think that the Vision is important that along with the Silver Surfer, he was one of the first emo people…in comics, or anywhere else. Clearly his dialogue captures that, as he realizes he is not as beloved at BB-8 or Baymax. Our hero dodges the question well enough, by agreeing with him.
How could she not? At least Comic Con in Sand Diego gave me a Skottie Young “baby style” Vision pin….one of the only pieces of merch available, and still not as adorable as the other two.
So there…an entire post about adorable, and not so adorable robots. I promised more action this week, and it has been some serious time since the protagonist has has any romance, so that’s action. It’s still action even if her paramour is solar powered, and incapable of real feelings.
Don’t be a hater.
Next Issue: Homecomings!