Avengers #57 Homage Covers

Avengers #57 (October 1968)

Writer: Roy Thomas
Cover Artist: John Buscema and George Klein
Interior Artist: John Buscema

Avengers #57, published by Marvel Comics in October 1968, features the 1st Silver Age (1956-1975) appearance of the Vision, an android who becomes a member of the Avengers. The Vision is loosely based on a character of the same name created by writer Joe Simon and artist Jack Kirby during the Golden Age of Comics (1938-1956). Simon and Kirby’s Golden Age prototype, also known as Aarkus, first appeared in Marvel Mystery Comics #13, published by Timely Comics — the predecessor to Marvel Comics — in November 1940. The Golden Age Vision continued to appear in Marvel Mystery Comics through issue #48 (Oct. 1943). The Golden Age Vision also starred in an eight-page story in Kid Comics #3 (no date: previous issue dated Summer 1943).

In the late 1960s, Stan Lee, the Editor of Marvel Comics, and Roy Thomas, writer of the Avengers series, decided to add a new team member to the superhero-team, The Avengers. Thomas wanted to bring back the Golden Age Vision (Aarkus) but Lee’s mind had been made up to introduce an android member. Thomas compromised by using a new android Vision. This second Vision first appeared in Avengers #57 in late 1968. Thomas originally wanted the character to be white, befitting his ghostly name, but printing limitations of the period would have rendered him colorless, with un-inked newsprint where his skin should be. He decided to make the new Vision red to avoid colors already in use, such as green for the Incredible Hulk or blue for Atlanteans. The Vision has since appeared regularly in the Avengers comic series, clearly evolving more as a synthetic man and three-dimensional character than a simple android, developing a love interest in the Scarlet Witch when she was re-introduced to the Avengers team in issue #75.

The Vision and Scarlet Witch were married in Giant-Size Avengers #4 (June 1975), and the couple starred in the 4-issue limited series The Vision and the Scarlet Witch (November 1982 – February 1983). A second mini-series followed (12 issues; October 1985 – September 1986), in which the Scarlet Witch gives birth to twin boys conceived with the Vision through magical means.

The Vision as a synthetic man, however, comes to an end in West Coast Avengers #42–45 (March – June 1989). Written and pencilled by John Byrne, this storyline wiped out the Vision’s memory and human brain patterns, severed his relationship with the Scarlet Witch, his wife, revealed their children to be essentially imaginary, and finally dismantled his synthetic body in a dramatic two-page spread, to this day underscoring the Vision’s mechanical nature.

The Vision, portrayed by actor Paul Bettany, has appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the films Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015); Captain America: Civil War (2016); Avengers: Infinity War (2018); and WandaVision, the Disney+ series.