web stats

CSBG Archive

Another View: Age of Ultron #10 Part 08

The Vision appears only in the background of the Hank Pym timequake panel in Age of Ultron #10, but this issue sets him free and proves one of Tony Stark’s theories wrong. Or, it proves how futile all efforts to stop Ultron truly are. Or, both. So many possibilities! How I love time travel!

Earlier in Age of Ultron, after the Vision is revealed as a pawn of Ultron and the being responsible for controlling the Ultron army that’s decimating the world, Tony Stark thinks back to how he was revived post-Fear Itself. Stark remembers failing to revive the Vision despite help from Reed Richards and Hank Pym and the android simply waking up for no reason. In retrospect, Stark believes that Ultron woke up the Vision from the future to set into motion his plan to conquer the world and defeat his enemies. Stark feels stupid, because the Vision was so welcomed into the Avengers when he clearly could be used as a pawn by Ultron, because Ultron created the Vision. (One interesting note about this theory is how it foreshadows how Pym takes down Ultron in issue 10. Stark thinks the Vision was primed for Ultron to access some backdoor control he’s had since the Vision’s creation and that’s exactly what Pym sets into motion to save the world. Lovely.) Thus, it becomes accepted that the Vision was revived thanks to Ultron.

Except, in Age of Ultron #10, Ultron is destroyed before the Vision is revived. And the Vision is still revived. He still fights alongside the Avengers against Norman Osborn, tells the Scarlet Witch that she isn’t welcome in his home, and… does… stuff… in Avengers vs. X-Men. If Ultron was destroyed, then he couldn’t possibly have revived the Vision, so the Vision was never revived by Ultron. He simply woke up on his own somehow just like we always thought. Clearly, Ultron figured out a way to control the Vision that didn’t involve reviving him. Tony Stark was wrong. (Aside from smacking himself for letting the Vision so close to the Avengers when he was somewhat vulnerable to Ultron’s control. That still holds true.)

Unless, Ultron isn’t destroyed in Age of Ultron #10 and he actually is responsible for the Vision waking up. Maybe the events of Age of Ultron altered his plans without him knowing it. He still revived the Vision, but didn’t put into action the plan we saw in Age of Ultron. Instead, something else is coming.

I guess that’s more likely since Ultron is clearly not dead forever. What’s left to see is if the next writer to use the character (or the writer after that…) has him use the Vision as a pawn in a similar way to what we saw in Age of Ultron. While issue 10 seems to redeem the android Avenger, to show that he’s not simply a long dormant bomb waiting to go off at the push of a button, he is a trustworthy member of the family, it does nothing more than tease that. Ultron will return and, odds are, at some point, he will use the Vision to hurt the Avengers.

…god, I’m depressed now.

8 Comments

tom fitzpatrick

January 8, 2014 at 7:17 pm

After reading 8 different views of the AGE of ULTRON by none other than the CHAD NEVETT ….

My brain hurts. :-(

But Chad Nevett, people! Is he back or what!?! :-)

Or maybe Ultron programed the Vision to wake up at a certain point, and it still triggered regardless of whether future-Ultron sent him that signal or not.

Though you do have to enjoy how the Vision’s waking up completely ignored the fact that he was dead and a ghost in CHAOS WAR…which I’m sure Bendis felt no need to reference.

Eight parts on Age of Ultron #10?! I think you’re spending more time thinking about it than it took Bendis to write it!

I dislike the idea of the Vision being in any way more susceptible to Ultron’s control than any other character. The Vision’s original storyline has him break free so definitively and prove himself to be so human that he deserves to not have that weakness. It makes him seem less human and more artificial, and the whole point of “Even an Android Can Cry” is to show that in his way, he’s as human as anyone.

Making him more vulnerable to Ultron’s control feels like it undoes that concept and makes him more robotic.

Then again, all that is said with my “sense of ownership” of the classic Vision character!

I haven’t read AoU 10, nor have I read all of Chad’s posts on the book here, but I find it fascinating that Chad can keep circling around different elements of the book and extrapolate things and find interesting tidbits to keep discussing. Kudos, sir, and keep up the good work. Keep it up for a month and I’ll contribute a dollar (American OR Canadian) to the little dude’s college fund ;)

I dislike the idea of the Vision being in any way more susceptible to Ultron’s control than any other character. The Vision’s original storyline has him break free so definitively and prove himself to be so human that he deserves to not have that weakness.

The “Unlimited Vision” storyline in Roger Stern’s Avengers explicitly removed the “control crystal” in the Vision’s body that originally enabled Ultron to control himback in his very first appearance. It’s why the Vision stopped speaking in his spoo-hoo-hooky voice for a while in the 1980s.

More to the point, Bendis doesn’t generally give anyone the kind of long-range, er, vision that enables this sort of planning. He’s much more about showing villains and heroes succeeding partway through luck and hard work. His Kingpin, remember, isn’t much of a thinker; he just uses force to intimidate his way into power, and he gets trumped by anyone who can bring more force to bear, whether it’s Daredevil beating him up or the FBI simply throwing him in jail rather than honoring their deal because Fisk can’t stop them from doing that. Even Ultron is basically a cipher whose main threat is his overwhelming physical power, and that turns out to be either self-defeating — SAvengers v.4 #1-6 — or secretly deeply vulnerable — Age of Ultron #10 — because Ultron, even with his computer mind, can’t possibly know enough to avoid the unintended consequences of his own actions.

The central theme of nearly all of Bendis’s Marvel work is that innate human frailty does not mesh well with superhuman or governmental power. The Bendisverse is a world where there’s a real ceiling on competence and or effectiveness; the guy who achieves most of his goals in Bendis stories, Luke Cage, is the epitome of the “act locally, act humbly” concept, a guy who simply rejects the notion that he can reshape the world and sees it as a constant struggle just to keep his local community — his neighborhood, as a solo hero; NYC or his team, as a New Avenger — together.

Anyone with greater ambition tends to fall apart, largely on their own, whether it’s Tony Stark getting taken down by alien malware at the height of his political and physical power and dragging SHIELD with him, Norman Osborn’s mental problems making him easy prey for Loki’s manipulations and his Cabal’s betrayals, Loki himself failing to keep control over the anti-Asgard forces he unleashes, or the Sentry’s infinite (possibly divine) power only serving his depressive desire for self-destruction in the end. You can’t really conquer the world or save it in a Bendis story; the world is just too damned complicated and you’re just one dude, no matter who you are. Trying to do huge, ambitious things just breaks stuff in ways you can’t predict.

The “Unlimited Vision” storyline in Roger Stern’s Avengers explicitly removed the “control crystal” in the Vision’s body that originally enabled Ultron to control himback in his very first appearance.

I had forgotten that story, but that even takes the concept of his humanization further. I feel it’s an even bigger step back for the character – and my love of those Roger Stern issues of “The Avengers” are definitely part of that feeling!

The central theme of nearly all of Bendis’s Marvel work is that innate human frailty does not mesh well with superhuman or governmental power.

That’s an excellent way of putting it. That’s certainly what “Powers” often focused on – which gets back to the idea that writers carry their themes with them. I hadn’t considered how it applies to his Marvel work.

Give Omar Karindu a column!

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives