How Did Marvel Make White Vision Red Again? | CBR

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Today, we see how Vision went from the cold, emotionless “White Vision” back to his more standard Red Vision setup again.

This is “Never Gonna Be the Same Again,” a feature where I look at how bold, seemingly “permanent” changes were ultimately reversed. This is not a criticism, mind you, as obviously things are always going to eventually return to “normal.” That’s just how superhero comic books work. It’s just fun to see how some of these rather major changes are reversed. This is differentiated from “Abandoned Love,” which is when a new writer comes in and drops the plot of the previous writer. Here, we’re talking about the writer who came up with the idea being the same one who resolved the change. This is also differentiated from “Death is Not the End,” which is about how “dead” characters came back to life, since this is about stuff other than death.

Awhile back, I wrote about John Byrne’s ideas about why he introduced the White Vision in the pages of West Coast Avengers.

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In the comic itself, Byrne explained the plot as resolving a bit from Roger Stern’s Avengers run where Vision essentially took over the world by having the world’s governments dismantle Vision and wipe his memories.

The Vision was then rebuilt, only now he was all white (and he no longer had brain patterns based on Wonder Man, so he had no human brain patterns)…

Reader Rob H. reminded me of an interesting interview Byrne did with Dwight Zimmerman for Comics Interview #71 about Byrne’s thoughts behind the changes in the Vision…

Zimmerman: With the Vision you’re making a real radical move, literally you’re taking him apart.

Byrne: Yes, literally. That was fun, I’ve always wanted to do that.

Zimmerman: What’s in store for Wanda –

Byrne: Oh, poor Wanda.

Zimmerman: -now that she’s effectively married to a stranger?

Byrne: Yeah, she’s got this guy that’s programmed to know that he’s her husband. Well, maybe I should go back a little bit and explain why I did what I did. I’ve always been bothered, first of all, by the idea of the Vision marrying the Scarlet Witch. In the issue that just came out I have one of the characters saying that her brother-in-law was very offended when he founds out, he said it was like somebody marrying a toaster or a blender or something. Actually I was the brother-in-law, that was my first reaction. That was a signal issue of THE AVENGERS, you know – the Scarlet Witch marries a toaster and Mantis marries a tree. I don’t know what we’re saying in that issue, so I wanted to get rid of that, that had always sort of bothered me.

I’d also never liked the idea of the Vision being the original Human Torch, that seemed to come out of left field, especially when there were several stories before it that seemed to be the lie to it. Toro attended the Torch’s funeral, for example, and then Ultron is supposed to have found the Torch where the Mad Thinker and the FF left him. So I decided….fifteen years ago it seems, when I first got into comics, I was going, “Can I do a story that puts the lie to that?” They kept saying, “No, you don’t do THE AVENGERS,” And then finally I was doing THE AVENGERS. My whole reason for doing WEST COAST when Howard asked me to do WEST COAST, I said, “If the Vision and Scarlet Witch can become permanent members then I’ll do the book.” Wanda has always been a favorite character of mine. And he said that was fine. Mark Gruenwald’s eyes lit up at that point, he said, “Now you can do that story!” And I go, “Yeah, that’s right, I can!” So we started working on it.

I don’t know when this will be coming out, I don’t know how much I want to give away…not that it really matters, the kids will buy the stuff anyway. We find out that the Vision is not the Human Torch. I am bringing back he original Human Torch, he will be with the West Coast Avengers for about a year. And poor Wanda is going to be going quite nuts, I plan a nervous breakdown for her. It’s terrible to do these things to the characters. Terrible stuff is happening with the Vision, some terrible stuff is going to be happening with her kids – that’s already started – and Wonder Man is now revealing that he’s been in love with her all along. The premise there being that the Vision had Wonder Man’s brain patterns, so if it was logical for the Vision to fall in love with Wanda, it has to have come from there. You don’t program emotions into somebody, where did the Vision’s emotions come from; they must have come from Simon’s brain patterns.

So poor old Simon, he came out of whatever that he was doing being dead for about nine years – real world time, there and a half minutes Marvel time – (laughter). He came out of being dead and here was this woman who was everything he had ever dreamed of, and she was married to a toaster. So he was holding himself back and being a gentleman about it, but now he’s pursuing her. The twist is that he has refused to let them put his brain patterns back into the Vision. He says, “The last time I was dead, this time I have a choice, I don’t want somebody walking around with my head. I had adjusted to it, but I had adjusted to it sort of by force of not having any choice in the matter.”

Thanks to Dwight Zimmerman and John Byrne for the information

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In Avengers Spotlight #40 (the final issue of the series), writers Len Kaminski and Carrie Barre and artists Gavin Curtis and Dan Paonosian had Vision meet a scientist named Miles Tipton, who noticed that Vision was functioning improperly. First, Tipton gave Vision a holographic disguise and he suggested that Vision take on a human identity and just try to observe humans. Vision took the name Vic Slade…

Tipton realized that Vision’s problem was the lack of human brain patterns to work with. Luckily, Tipton had his murdered son Alax’s brain patterns handy…

In the end, Vision helped bring Alex’s killers to justice and also Tipton’s changes helped make the Vision normal again. The issue ended with “Vic” hanging out with Miles and Alex’s widow…

In Avengers #348 (by Bob Harras, Kirk Jarvinen and Tom Palmer), Miles is dying and he comes up with a way to bring out Alex’s personality from the Vision so he can see his son one last time before he dies. It seemingly works and Alex also spends some time with his widow before Vision returns to normal…

However, Crystal, Vision’s Avenger teammate who went along for the ride, could tell that the Vision had just mimicked Alex and that the program never worked. Vision doesn’t outright confirm it, but he starts crying, so obviously that’s precisely what happened and this was the biggest sign yet that the Vision was pretty much back to being “human” again…

At the time, the Avengers were dealing with a villain known as Proctor who had put together a team of alternate reality heroes called the Gatherers. This included a Vision from another timeline who was a total jerk, who we met in Avengers #360 (by Bob Harras, Steve Epting and Tom Palmer)…

The two Visions switched bodies and the other Vision infiltrated the Avengers…

The Avengers eventually figured it out and had their captive Vision bring them to the real Vision in Avengers #363 (by Harras, Epting and Palmer). However, in the process, Proctor destroyed the other Vision who was still in White Vision’s body…

The Avengers escaped with their friend, but he was now in the Red Vision body, which he would remain in ever since…

If you have a suggestion for a future Never Gonna Be the Same Again, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com

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