Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Avengers #57

It's no secret that writer Roy Thomas loves the Golden Age of comic books-specifically the superheroes of the Golden Age.

Back in the Silver Age of comic books when Roy was an up and coming writer for Marvel Comics he reintroduced a number of Marvel Comics Golden Age characters in the pages of many of the comic books he worked on-especially The Avengers.

While many of the Golden Age characters retained their original appearance and powers Thomas would sometimes 'tweak' or 'modify' their overall persona.

Case in point.

With issue #57 of The Avengers Thomas introduced readers to The Vision, albeit a modified version of the Golden Age character.

Originally The Vision was Aarkus, an alien law enforcement officer who came to Earth to fight crime.  Many similarities are shared between Aarkus and the new Vision.  Both wear long flowing capes with a high collar.  Both have odd-pigmented skin and pupil-less eyes.  There is where the similarities end.

The new Vision was a creation of Ultron, the diabolical and infamous robot created by Henry Pym.  Ultron obtained self awareness and became hell-bent on destroying Pym, his fellow Avengers and taking over the world.

In issue #57 Ultron sends The Vision to destroy The Avengers.  After a memorable tussle The Vision is captured and as his lost memory begins to reassert itself he stops his aggression towards The Avengers.

When Ultron attacks The Avengers The Vision stands against him and ultimately Ultron is destroyed-or at least that version of him was.

The Avengers #57 is important for a number of reasons, chief among them the introduction of The Vision.

Artist John Buscema, who was at the height of his creativity, portrays The Vision as noble creature, out of place, isolated and yet longing for companionship.  This issue also proved to Roy Thomas and Marvel that Marvel's entire stable of Golden Age heroes and villains could be recycled and used.

Thomas would later introduce a whole slew of Golden Age heroes in his Kree/Skrull War epic.
Marvel Comic Book readers would later go on to discover that The Vision's body was that of the original Human Torch and much of his personality was swiped from Wonder Man.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch would develop a romantic relationship and eventually marry and have two children.  Sadly, the children would prove to be a manifestation of The Scarlet Witch's hex power since it was impossible for The Vision and the Scarlet Witch to have children on their own.

The recent Avenger movie showcased Ultron and introduced movie goers to The Vision.  Although the cinema Vision's origin is different than his comic book version he does have a striking resemblance to his namesake and similar powers.

The Avengers #57 is considered one of the 'key issues' to collectors of Silver Age comic books.