MCU Character Study, Issue #1: Vision

Written by Allison Martin

Everyone’s favorite android

Within the MCU, you would have a hard time finding a character more powerful than Vision. Born from a multitude of sources, he was introduced in Age of Ultron (2015) and has since reappeared in the first of the Disney+ MCU shows, Wandavision. One of the best ways to understand Vision is to piece apart where he came from, and how all of that makes him much more than just an android. All of these parts to this powerful, yet emotional, character come together to make someone just as complicated as a human.

Ultimately, Vision was constructed from five influences: JARVIS, Ultron, Banner, the Mind Stone, and Stark. Each of these influences are characters in and of themselves, but it is possible to trace what makes each character important in creating this being that is Vision.

JARVIS represents a large part of Vision, in that both of them are artificial yet intelligent. One of Tonys AIs, JARVIS was programmed to think independently and anticipate needs, just in the same way that Vision does. During Civil War, Vision makes the conscious decision to keep Wanda safe at the base, and even goes as far as to try and stop her from leaving. Visions goal in this decision is to keep Wanda safe, and in order to do that, he sees locking her up as the best course of action. He understands that “if A, then B,” and applies that to this decision even though it’s the exact opposite of what the person he cares for wants. 

He is not as hostile as his father though

Likewise, Ultrons hand in Vision could represent the coldness in his logical decision making. Ultron was willing to do what it took to execute his interpretation of his programming, which of course included annihilation of the biological race. Vision has parts of him that balance out this level of apathy about other life, but this boldness of Ultrons can be seen in some of Visions last moments. He knew the mind stone needed to be destroyed, even though it would mean he would need to go with it. What would be a difficult choice to make as events unfolded was made with ease upon the first realization the stone needed to be destroyed.

On a more human side, Vision does have some of Dr. Bruce Banner inside of him. The first emotion that comes to mind when you think of Banner is, of course, anger, but very close to anger is passion. Vision is put together as a machine, and has capabilities beyond most mutated humans, but even he feels passion for Wanda. Their fight at the airport pained him, and he pushed himself past his limits to protect her at the train station. Even so far, we can all tell one thing about Wandavision: Vision loves Wanda, dearly, in a way that we can recognize in ourselves. 

Two people who are beyond everyday humans that could not be any more human

Wanda and Visions connection could also be attributed to the Mind Stone. It gives him his life force, and it was also instrumental in Wanda obtaining her own abilities as an “enhanced” individual. Aside from its life-giving properties, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume these two are connected by the stone. She was also the only one able to destroy it, at least in that moment. Steve Rogers and his team in Wakanda did try to unravel Vision from the stone, but it proved to be just as much a part of him as anything else. 

Last, we have maybe the most influential part of Vision: Tony Stark. He was the building blocks for two of the aforementioned characters. Some could even say that Vision was Starks, well, vision. We never did get to see “peace in our time,” as Tony first thought, but Visions creation changed the game. Vision was the powerful protection Tony had always envisioned, and it was also able to love and see value in protecting these humans. It also introduced fear and doubt to the rest of the world, and set into motion a series of events (via the Sokovia Accords) that snowballs all the way into their initial loss to Thanos. In his quest to create something greater than man, Tony accidentally created something greater than man.

It would seem that an android made with vibranium should be almost godlike, but in spite of Visions abilities, he is every bit the person we all are. He feels and thinks not unlike we do, especially when it comes to relationships. He’s far more complicated than even just this breakdown, and through Wandavision I look forward to seeing even more dimensions.

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