Who Is Vision? Meet the Newest Avenger

Who is Vision? Avengers: Age of Ultron

At the end of the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, we got a glimpse at the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Vision. But who is Vision? Is he hero or villain, or both?

Read on to learn about Vision and figure out how he might fit into the Avengers of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Paul Bettany

The Actor

Paul Bettany plays Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but despite the fact that the character has been a major part of Avengers stories in Marvel Comics for decades, the studio has been secretive about just who the guy is, and how he fits into the story. That shot above is the first time he’s shown up in a trailer, and that’s all we really see. We’ve got a pretty good idea about what’s going on with Vision in the film, however, based on his comics history and what Bettany has said in the past.

Who Is Vision?

Who Is Vision? The Brief

If you’re new to Vision overall, here’s a quick rundown. Paul Bettany also voiced Tony Stark’s helper artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S in the Iron Man films and The Avengers, which is your first big clue about the character’s nature. Vision is an android created by Ultron himself in an effort to parallel Ultron’s own creation at the hands of Tony Stark. Many months ago, Age of Ultron writer/director Joss Whedon was asked about the relationship between J.A.R.V.I.S. and Vision.

[Is] that casting coincidental, or can we assume that Ultron uses J.A.R.V.I.S.’ consciousness for spare parts in the Vision-ary experiment? Whedon takes a deep breath. We’re in spoiler territory. “It’s not coincidence,” he says, then declines to elaborate.

Bettany told me last year “Vision feels paternal to a number of people,” and described the character as “someone who is learning about the world at an exponential rate. He becomes more sassy as the movie continues.” So we know that the newly-created Vision does a lot of growing up very quickly, and that much of it will occur in this film.

Because Vision has been a hero in Marvel comics for so long, the assumption has been that his on-screen incarnation will work with the Avengers rather than fighting against them. But could he actually be a villain for most of the movie?

But we know a lot more than that. We’re going to spoil or semi-spoil a lot of old comics lore here, so if you’ve been meaning to read the first few decades of Avengers comics and haven’t yet gotten around to it, hopefully the Internet, and this page, will still be waiting for you when you’re done.



Who, or What Is Vision?

There was a Vision who appeared in a Marvel book in the ’40s, but that guy isn’t even the great-grandfather of the Vision we know and love. There is another old Marvel character who is directly related to the Vision, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

The Vision as we know him — red, yellow and green, with that jewel in his forehead and the giant cape — sprung fully formed from the pages of The Avengers #57. He was a “synthezoid” created by Ultron, with a personality taken in part from a then-dead character called Wonder Man, and pitted against the Avengers. First to encounter him was Wasp, who gasped that the mechanical man was “some sort of unearthly, inhuman vision!” The name stuck, and despite the fact that Vision was initially a bad guy he quickly came around to work with the Avengers.

In part that’s because he’s a badass. For one, he’s a synthezoid (ok, I’m just going to say android from here on out, because “synthezoid” is Ultron’s term and screw that guy) and so he’s not vulnerable to some harm that might come to regular humans. More importantly he can manipulate his density, becoming insubstantial enough to pass through walls, or fly, or dense enough to fall through floors and deliver a punch that can make Thor think twice. (Getting old-school Thor to even think once was a big deal; twice is impressive.) He’ll also stick his arm right through your body to deliver a shocking blow, which is something no one wants to experience.

Oh, and that jewel in his head is a solar power collector — different universes, but he and Superman run on the same juice —  and also emits “beams of infrared and microwave radiation, with temperatures ranging from 500 to 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit.” So he can cook a pizza just as well as a legit brick oven, or pose a threat to some of Marvel’s most imposing creatures.


After the break: personal and family histories are pretty weird with this guy.

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