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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 332

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!

Today we look at the classic two-part introduction of the Vision in Avengers #57 and 58, courtesy of writer Roy Thomas and artists John Buscema and George Klein!

Enjoy!

The villainous Ultron (the evil robot) had only recently been introduced when he send a new creation to attack the Avengers. Check out this beautiful opening page by Buscema and Klein…

Then see how eerie of a first attack Thomas, Buscema and Klein give the Vision…

Once defeated, the Vision tries to fight his programming but first has a relapse…

Eventually, he recovers and takes the Avengers to Ultron to stop the villainous robot, but they are trapped. It is up to Vision to stop Ultron!!! Check out the little extra pathos Thomas throws in as Vision faces his “father”…

Now defeated, check out the classic ending Thomas gave to what was just a series of panels by Buscema NOT originally intended to be accompanied by poetry…

Beautiful stuff.

So the next issue, the Avengers determine what to do with the Vision…

And eventually, we discover the genesis of Ultron – it was Avenger stalwart Hank Pym who created him!!!

After a series of tests, the Avengers are convinced that the Vision is worthy of being an Avenger (these same series would stop being used when it came to putting Deathcry on the team) and his reaction is legendary…

Well done, Roy, John and George!!!

26 Comments

Great pick, Brian. Some comments:

Buscema-Klein: A fantastic combination. I think that Klein is second only to Tom Palmer when it comes to inking Buscema.

Roy Thomas:Very strong work. The combined origin for the Vision and Ultron in issue 58 was really well-thought out.

Ozymandias: I can’t imagine how groundbreaking that page was in a mainstream superhero comic in the 1960s. For that matter, it still holds up today.

Stan Lee: And a shoutout to Stan for his behind the scenes role in the creation of the Vision. Roy originally planned to simply revive the Golden Age Vision, but Stan told Roy to make the character an android instead.

Anybody know why Henry Pym has red hair in these issues? Was it simply done to differentiate him,when unmasked, from Captain America and Hawkeye?

That was my thinking.

My favourite two issues of the Avengers of all-time, falling quite possibly during what I would suggest was the high water mark for the Avengers. In the span of a year we’d see the introductions of Black Panther, Ultron, the Vision and Yellowjacket, the wedding of Yellowjacket and the Wasp, and see Clint Barton drop his Hawkeye identity in favour of becoming Goliath.
All this, plus it was drawn by John Buscema… of all the greats to draw the Avengers over the years, I’m not sure there is any other who can claim to have drawn as many of the Avengers greatest stories as Buscema did.
Glad to see this story made the list!

Buscema-Klein: A fantastic combination. I think that Klein is second only to Tom Palmer when it comes to inking Buscema.

Strangely enough, I was just thinking the reverse. This Buscema-Klein collaboration seems much better than Buscema-Palmer. I really like Buscema and I really like Palmer, but for some reason I was never that enthused by the two of them working together.

Well, Buscema/Palmer is a lot different because Palmer did more finishes than he did just inking, unlike Klein.

That opening page is one of the coolest things that I have ever seen.

I love Hank Pym’s comment about who is an avenger on the second to last page. Hank got all the good/great dialog.
“we ask merely a man’s worth ….not the accident of his condition.” Priceless,(the whole paragraph of course) we need more heartfelt heavy handed dialog(not an insult btw)

Wow, that puts the class in classic.

I had no idea Ultron’s creation wasn’t revealed until after the Vision showed up. I never knew the ‘Even an android can cry’ was from his initial appearance, either. I always just assumed it was from some later story, after he began his relationship with Wanda or something.

So if the Ozymandias quote wasn’t part of the original story idea, how’d it come about? Was it Stan’s idea? Or was it just a last minute addition from Roy? It really adds a lot.

Years ago, I found #56 in a bargain bin for 50 cents. It’s a pretty lousy story about the Avengers going back in time to witness Bucky’s death. I wonder if Roy just tossed it off quickly while he was working out his plans for this story. I guess it shows you shouldn’t give up on a series just because of one boring story– the next one could be a huge improvement!
Anyway, the next issue blurb in that issue has been teasing me for fifteen years, because I’m certain I’ll never find that one so cheap.
(Oh well. Someday I’ll find a reprint so I can read the whole thing.)

Or was it just a last minute addition from Roy?

That’s it.

I remember how much I enjoyed reading these stories the first time, around 1980, in that reprint series, Marvel Super Action. That last scene with the little kid first kicking around and then discarding Ultron’s head is so perfect – the way it’s drawn, the lines from Shelley’s poem. Great stuff.
By the way Mary, if you’re not specifically looking for the original issues, a big chunk of the Avengers issues from the 1960s were reprinted in Marvel Triple Action (issues 5-47) and then Marvel Super Action (issues 14-37). Nice, full color reprints of Avengers #11 through #76. You can probably find these quite cheaply (at least at online comic shops or on Ebay).

Ronald Kearschner

November 30, 2010 at 3:19 am

I got this in a Marvel Treasury Edition and I loved the over sized art. Buscema always did a great job with Giantman’s different porportions.

"Brian Michael Bendis"

November 30, 2010 at 3:37 am

I don’t get it.

First read these issues reprinted in a little pocket-sized black and white paperback. It was called ‘the Origin of the Vision’ and consisted of these two issues, plus, bizarrely, the debut of the Lady Liberators.

Besides loving the Vision story (and that Ozymandias ending) I’m glad to see these pages in color and in proper proportion. The paperback was so small that many of the panels had to be split so that the image continued in a fresh panel on the following page (I particularly remember that shot of Hawkeye and Black Panther being a two-part image).

Great choice. Hope you’re able to do the follow-up 10 issues later, when Ultron strikes again, and Vision seems to be helping him!

On page 10, the Panther says:

“He seems so massive…solid enough for two men!”

That panel could have been 1000x better if Vision would have just responded ‘That’s what SHE said!”

I never read any stories with Deathcry, but she seems to get a lot of grief not just here but all over the blogosphere. What exactly was so bad about her though? No one ever seems to get specific?

Why do creators keep change the Vision’s costume when the original is perfect?

Mary Warner : “I found #56 in a bargain bin for 50 cents. It’s a pretty lousy story about the Avengers going back in time to witness Bucky’s death.”

> I thought it was a pretty emotional story (slightly undermined by Brubaker’s retcon, though).

Rob Schmidt > So true.

1. Reprints: To my way of thinking, you get the best bang for your buck from THE AVENGERS reprints in the MARVEL ESSENTIALS line. Buscema’s art looks great in black and white. In terms of the color reprints in MARVEL SUPER ACTION, they are marred by deleted panels and pages.

2. Henry Pym hair: As an interesting side note, the MARVEL SUPER ACTION reprint of issue 58 depicts Hank with his standard blond hair.

3. AVENGERS # 56, DEATH BE NOT PROUD:We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one, Mary Warner, as I think that issue 56 is very good: beautiful art (from the Buscema-Klein team, natch), eloquent script (interesting how Roy preceded the OZYMANDIAS page in 57 with a John Donne derived title in 56), and a solid plot.

Big John Buscema is my no. 1 artist. I hope he gets a spot in the top ten on the poll.

Yeah, they used to laugh at me for reading ‘Avengers Weekly’, but who was the only kid in class who could recite the closing lines of ‘Ozymandias’ (a name that would come back to haunt us)? Also, who was the only kid in class who knew what an Oedipus Complex was? “Baby Ultron” seriously creeped me out when I was about ten years old!

Probably my favorite issues ever, and the ones that got me hooked on comics in general. It’s downright tragic how far the Vision has fallen as a character at Marvel through misuse and neglect over the years.

I always think back to the Buscema issues whenever some latter day reader tries to defend emotionless, robotic interpretations of the Vision as what the character was “supposed” to be like. I believe John Byrne made that argument when he did his disastrous revision of the character in West Coast Avengers all those years ago, making him a personality-free, stiff-as-a-board “Data” (from “Star Trek”) rip-off.

Look at all of the character Buscema infuses into every panel! The dark brooding, the seething anger, and finally, the tears. The Vision was never emotionless even from these very first appearances… in fact, he was very much the opposite, always in danger of boiling over, fighting to keep a reserved lid on things. Such a great character that was the heart of the Avengers title through Roy Thomas’ and Steve Englehart’s classic runs.

I do have a few Marvel Super Actions, but they’re a bit later, when Hawkeye was Goliath.

BEST. LAST. PANEL. EVER.

[…] Writer Roy Thomas must have been inspired to stretch himself a bit, as well, juxtaposing The Sorrow of Love by William Butler Yeats with Trimpe’s panels (similar to the way he disposed of Ultron by way of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias at the conclusion of Avengers #58). […]

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