Friday, September 14, 2012

Avengers Resemble

Dissension In The Ranks

When resentments and disagreements boil over,
even allies can turn against each other in fierce battle that can bring the house down.

(And often does!)


The Vision and Wonder Man

In giving you a little background on where these two characters are at this point in time, it really takes me back--and serves as a somewhat harsh reminder of how much Marvel has evolved since then, and the Avengers in particular.  Here, the Vision and the Scarlet Witch are married. Wanda has completed her tutelage with Agatha Harkness, and her abilities now reflect a decidedly mystic taint, depending on the story (as well as unexpected manifestations which didn't quite make the cut). Wonder Man--whose corpse we hadn't seen since the Grim Reaper presented the Vision with a plan to transfer his mind into Simon Williams' preserved body and make that body live again--has been reanimated by a voodoo priest and reappears at the Avengers' doorstep, mouthing an accusation to the Vision regarding being programmed with the brain patterns of Williams after his death years ago at the hand of Zemo.

In time, Williams' identity reasserts itself--and his continued presence with the Avengers serves to remind the Vision that he is something of a robotic copy of Williams, and not a real person:

Consequently, the Vision's behavior grows more cold, and he becomes more distant from Wanda--who, unfortunately, Williams is becoming attracted to. To the Vision, that's like throwing napalm onto a growing fire. And in the aftermath of a battle which was won by the Vision's android abilities against a foe of animated stone--a being whom the Vision can't help but compare to himself--his growing rage at his circumstances finally reaches the boiling point.

As you've seen here, the Vision makes an all-too-human error in judgment, and decides to forsake a number of his abilities in favor of matching his strength against Wonder Man--a character who held his own with the original Avengers (with the exception of the Hulk), and who was bred specifically for strength and invincibility. Given the Vision's feelings of inadequacy in regard to matching up against Williams in a human sense, you can't exactly blame him for wanting to take on Wonder Man mano-a-mano--but it isn't too long until Wonder Man has him outclassed in that department.

That leaves the Vision with his his optic heat blasts, which cause Wonder Man pain but are too weak at this point in the fight--and then there's the Vision's ability to solidify himself within a flesh-and-blood foe, causing severe disruption and pain. But the Avengers don't yet know that Williams is a being composed of ionic energy now, and the tactic doesn't drop him as it otherwise would:

Had the Vision been thinking more clearly and combined his powers with his ability to remain intangible and thus beyond Wonder Man's power to harm, I think the fight would have eventually swung his way.  Even so, he gave Wonder Man a fairly good run for his money here, though he made the mistake of underestimating him.

Once Iron Man breaks up the fight, he basically tongue-lashes the team for indulging in their personal troubles while there are people who need them. Of course, it was Iron Man's decision to hold back the others and let Wonder Man and the Vision fight it out in the first place--so since his little lecture to the team was delivered off-screen, so to speak, we can only hope that he included himself in whatever he had to say.

As for the Vision, at the time when the Avengers were piecing together his origin and he first learned of his connection with Wonder Man, even then he made the association of resembling Simon Williams in mind but falling short:

A reasonable question. What exactly are "brain patterns"? Iron Man said that their preservation would allow Williams to perhaps "live again ... another day ... in another form!" But his words make an unspoken distinction: we're talking about patterns, not memories. The term is sufficiently vague to be taken by the reader at face value as far as Wonder Man being "alive" again someday--though in his first confrontation with the living, breathing Simon Williams, the Vision seems to have finally concluded that being "basically human" is a mockery of the real thing.

No comments: