By Jim Beard
In February’s SECRET AVENGERS #22, new series writer Rick Remender begins to reveal the sinister secret that lies at the center of the world: the Descendants. Hyper-evolved from the Marvel Universe’s most famous robots and androids by the enigmatic Father, these new “races” will challenge the Avengers like no foe before them. This series of week-long “sneak-peeks” will reveal for the first time each species of Descendants through extensive notes and Remender’s commentary.
The Vision stands as a singularly unique entity among the various androids and robots that exist on Earth today. Dubbed a “synthezoid” to differentiate it from the other artificial beings, The Vision has operated as both an adversary to humanity and a force for good. Perhaps this schizophrenia may be due to its strange origin and questionable pedigree.
Created by the robot “menace” known as Ultron, The Vision saw its nascent days taken up with attempting to infiltrate and destroy the team of super heroes called the Avengers. Once its programming fell in line with the Avengers’ mode of operations, the synthezoid began to learn of its beginnings, slowly and with many false trails along the way. Connected to both the hero Wonder Man, by copied brain patterns, and to the original android Human Torch, by a co-opted body, The Vision attempted to become a hero alongside the Avengers. This led to many tribulations, including numerous occasions of possession by other entities and an event in which its unbalanced artificial brain wrested control of all of Earth’s computers for its own purposes.
Eventually, The Vision found itself dismantled and rebuilt into a new, colder form sans Wonder Man’s brain patterns to lend it a spark of “humanity.” But, the synthezoid’s matchless drive for survival brought it back to some level of normalcy and it once again conducted a career as a crusader. This abruptly ended when its “wife,” the mutant Scarlet Witch, became mentally unstable and used The Vision to attack the Avengers. In the melee, one of the group, the She-Hulk, completely destroyed the artificial hero.
A new version of The Vision rose from the ashes of the old as a member of the “Young Avengers,” utilizing the first synthezoid’s operating systems and a suit of future-technology armor. Recently, Tony Stark’s attempt at rebuilding the original Vision proved successful and it operates as an Avenger anew.
The Vision claimed many unique abilities and systems, including complete density and mass control, phasing as a molecular disruption weapon, flight, abnormal strength and reflexes, self-repair and regeneration, unparalleled computer interfacing and a solar-powered “jewel” with offensive/defensive capabilities.
Personality-wise, the synthezoid varied widely between cool logic, depressive soul-searching and emotional outbursts. At any given time these traits either served it well or became a detriment to its functionality.
|SECRET AVENGERS #22 preview art by Gabriel Hardman|
“In terms of [the Ultravisions’] lineage, there are obviously connections to [original Human Torch] Jim Hammond, The Vision and Ultron,” notes SECRET AVENGERS writer Rick Remender. “[Real-life scientist] Ray Kurzweil and his research and his theories on the singularity come into play with them the most. Their bodies are less important. The Vision’s body has always been important to him. The Ultravisions are more about consciousness and their consciousness can be saved on a computer the size of a molecule that can then be transferred to another body. They’re un-killable and highly evolved. A lot of my ideas come from what Ray Kurzweil thinks will happen when man bonds with robotics.
“Here’s a small taste of the Ultravisions’ abilities: Ultravisions can phase seconds forward into time and predict what you’re going to do using ‘Tachyon Fu,’ [and] a Vision and a Jocasta can bond/couple to form a bigger, way-more-powerful robot.”
Stay tuned to Marvel.com all week for more of the Father Files to learn the secrets of the Descendants!