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Marvel Legends
by yo go re

There's nothing new or revolutionary about the idea of a robot who wants to be human. Sure, you can go "back" to early innovators like Isaac Asimov and his Bicentennial Man, but then what's Pinocchio if not the same type of thing? Or ancient Greece's Galatea? I'm sure if you look hard enough, you could find even earlier versions from China or the Middle East. So with a concept that ancient, the strength of the character has to come from the stories you tell.

Assembled at the direction of Ultron, the Vision is an android who mimics virtually every organic function of a human being, including independent thought. Seeking vengeance against the Avengers, Ultron programmed the Vision's neural processors with the brain patterns of Wonder Man, and implanted special synthesized cells permitting him to alter his mass and solidity. Ultron then dispatched the Vision to draw the Avengers into a death trap. Moved by the team's plight though, the Vision overrode his mission parameters and helped the heroes defeat his creator. The Vision served the Avengers faithfully for years, all the while seeking to transcend his original programming as a vehicle of vengeance and become fully "human."

When it came to Vision, writer Brian Michael Bendis really took the title "Avengers Disassembled" literally. Hope you don't mind the spoilers, but the poor guy literally got torn in two. Heck, between this figure and Hawkeye (and the Antman arrow included with him), Marvel Legends 7 might as well be "Parade of Dead Avengers."

Vision stands just over 6" tall and shares his body with the X-Men Classics Archangel, moving at the same 36 points: toes, ankles, boot tops, knees, hips, waist, abs, neck, shoulders, upper biceps, elbows, forearms, wrists and fingers. The angular look of this mold really suits the character's mechanical nature. It was sculpted by Phil Ramirez.

Vision has had two costumes over the years, and ToyBiz chose the worst: an amazing technicolor nightmare of red, green and yellow. Yes, this is the way Vision looked throughout most of his career, but lord is it ever ugly! The apps are very good, with nice crisp edges where the colors meet. There's a bit of very subtle shading all around, but the colors remain vibrant enough to look appropriate.

There is a variant Vision available, cast from translucent plastic to simulate his phasing powers. Really, that's just a ridiculous choice - the character's had two costumes, there are two versions of the toy, but they make a clear variant? Now come on! Mold him in white, paint some ecru shadows on and call it a day! It would have been a simple and logical variant, but no. Instead, clear.

Unlike the rest of the Marvel Legends figures, Vision does not come with a detailed base, but instead the same 7½" tall "floating" stand that Deadpool and HERBIE have. Vision's cape is molded plastic, but it's so thin and flexible that it hugs the stand perfectly.

Vision comes with a reprint of Avengers #135, which recounts his origins, through some kind of weird flashback, intertwined with a bit of a story involving galactic despot Thanos. Go figure. It's not the greatest story ever told, but it serves its purpose.

For a robot who wanted to be real, Vision did okay for himself - he fell in love, got married and even fathered a set of twins. I guess, in the words of another wannabe 'bot, he's fully functional. So he's dead now, but he's been "dead" before - he's a robot, so rebuild him and he's alive again. Maybe when he comes back, he'll have a better costume.

-- 12/29/04

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