Thursday, September 5, 2013

Avengers Age of Ultron Meet and Greet: Vision

With the announcement of Avengers: Age of Ultron came the beginning of fanboy speculation that will continue right up until 2015.  One of the most prominent questions on the minds of Marvel fans is whether or not the Avenger known as the Vision will also make his MCU debut.  Why might he be there?  Who is he in the first place? What makes him more likely to appear than not?  Let's explore the answers to those questions while we meet and greet the Android Avenger: the Vision.

The Vision is a complex piece of the Marvel universe and one of my favorite characters by a wide margin.  I can tell you that as a kid reading the books, the Vision's appearance was intriguing and his wide array of powers were incredibly cool.  While there may be some restraints placed on what he can do in the MCU, it's safe to say that some of his much cooler abilities will likely be on display as he brings an entirely different element from the heroes already present in the films.

Rumors about the Vision making an appearance in the film have been ongoing and ever-changing.  At one point the hot gossip was the Vin Diesel would be playing the Vision.  More recent rumors have centered on Tony Stark's A.I. program J.A.R.V.I.S. evolving and inhabiting a body that will become the Vision.  So will the Vision, in whatever form, appear and where does he fit in?

The Vision is an android, also referred to as a synthezoid, created by Ultron as a weapon to be used to destroy the Avengers, specifically Hank Pym (Ultron's creator) and Janet van Dyne (Ant-Man and the Wasp).  Needless to say, the Vision does not destroy the Avengers (whoa!!! spoiler alert) and is, eventually, convinced by the team to join them.  Upon joining the Avengers the Vision plays an integral role in many big stories over the years, even leading the team at times.  He's undergone several breakdowns, blow-ups and remodels and is currently part of a team named Avengers A.I., formed in the aftermath of Ultron's most recent attack and defeat.

The Vision's backstory has been retconned a few times, changing bits and pieces to fit the ever-changing flow of the Marvel universe but let's focus on the main points, especially as they MAY apply to his appearance in the MCU.  The Vision is a synthetic android meaning that he has all the same systems as a human but that the organs in those systems are synthetic.  To create the Vision, Ultron used two sources: the recorded brain waves of believed-to-be-deceased Avenger, Wonder Man (Simon Williams) and the body of the original Human Torch (not Johnny Storm), a member of the WW II group, the Invaders.  Again, there have been alterations to that creation story but the important parts are there.  Ultron then implanted a control chip into the Vision and sent him on his way to wipe out Pym and the Avengers.

Due to the synthetic nature of his body, the Vision was capable of some incredible things based on his ability to manipulate his molecular structure.  The Vision could alter his molecular density making himself either impenetrable or entirely intangible (i.e., no objects could pass through him OR he could make himself pass through other objects). This is a skill that the Vision has used to destroy other objects (walls, ships, people, robots) by "phasing" into them while intangible and then reconstituting himself whilst inside the object, disrupting and destroying it at the molecular level. Similarly, the Vision could manipulate his body mass to the extremes of weightlessness and extraordinarily heavy.  He could also fly, which I often attributed to his abilities to become less dense and possess a lower mass thus "defeating" gravity.  He also has a sweet solar gem embedded into his dome that he uses to absorb solar energy and to fire energy blasts either from the gem or from his eyes which can reach temperatures of 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit (what boy, you born on the sun?).  The Vision is both incredibly intelligent and strong and is capable of interfacing with any sort of technology and can repair himself.  Pretty much the Vision is one of THE bigger BAMFs out there.

Rumors have the Vision coming to the aid of the Avengers in Avengers: Age of Ultron but we can be certain that, if he does appear, his origin will be quite different than his comic book counterpart for a few reasons.  We know that Dr. Henry Pym, who created Ultron in the comics, will not be a part of Ultron's origin in the MCU and while this doesn't directly impact the creation of the Vision it does tell us that Marvel Studio's will continue to alter the stories as they see fit to enable the best possible flow of the MCU.  With that in mind, the speculation of how Vision will join the MCU centers on the most notable piece of A.I. in the films: J.A.R.V.I.S.  While it was originally rumored that J.A.R.V.I.S. would become Ultron it is now speculated that he will upload himself into a body, in defense of Tony and the Avengers, and become the Vision.  J.A.R.V.I.S. certainly has evolved quite a personality over the course of the 3 Iron Man films and, in Iron Man 3, was well on his way to being able to do just about anything he wanted to do.  This eliminates the need for an "upload" of brain patterns into a body: J.A.R.V.I.S. is already pretty much a sentient A.I.\

That leaves us with one missing ingredient: a body for J.A.R.V.I.S. to possess.  And, I believe, we've already seen it.  It won't be one of Tony's suits...they gone!  It's very possible that this part of the Vision's origins may not stray far from the comics.  The Original Synthetic Human Torch already exists in the MCU.  We saw him at the first Stark Expo in Captain Amercia: The First Avenger.  This body is in the MCU and could be the final piece J.A.R.V.I.S. needs to become the Vision.  

Of course, in this version, the Vision would skip the whole part of his story that found him originally at odds with the Avengers and that may cause some consternation among some hardcore fans.  Personally, I don't care.  I want to see him in the MCU and see what Joss Whedon can do with his powers and abilities.  I'm also SUPER interested to see if they follow one huge part of the Vision's story that I haven't yet mentioned: his relationship with the Scarlet Witch.  Yep...some android love.  In the comics they fall in love, marry and have twins via some magic conjured up by Wanda.  I'm not sure how that plays to the audience but it'll be interesting to see if it makes it into the MCU.

While I'm doing nothing but connecting dots (and most of those dots don't exist yet) they are logical dots and while none of what I splattered out above may come to fruition, it's just part of the fun of being a nerd.  I've been writing these to get some of the basics out to those who may be new to this stuff.  Of course I leave stuff out and miss some things...pick up a book and read if you want the whole story.  I'm here to help people come in at ground level!  Let me know if you have a favorite you'd like to see me do in a future Meet and Greet.  Thanks for reading friends!!