Avengers Spotlight #40
Issue(s): Avengers Spotlight #40
We start with Vision running a self-diagnostic check.
It's worth noting that the Vision has less hard drive space than the drive i use to keep my laptop backed up. He does have better RAM, though.
The key point of the scan is that his emotion emulator is missing...
...and that his unit's purpose is undefined.
After running the scan, the Vision tries to talk to someone about his current state of being, but Captain America and Sersi are running off to a charity auction, Quasar has gone fishing, Thor is busy installing a new reactor core, and even Jarvis gives him the bum's rush. So the Vision notices a letter to Ann Landers in the paper from a guy that is feeling directionless after a traumatic accident, and he decides to go visit him.
The guy, Miles Lipton, turns out to be a computer expert who is trying to hack into Roxxon's network when the Vision shows up. While the Vision is explaining his problem, he starts to glitch.
Miles gives Vision an image inducer and tells him to go out and experience life as a human.
"One week later", the Vision approaches Miles in Central Park where Miles' daughter-in-law, Nancy and/or Laura, is pushing his wheelchair. Miles' son Alex is deceased, and Miles blames Roxxon for the death.
Vision, using the identity "Victor Shade", did spend some time among humans, and the Vision tells Miles about them before he starts to glitch again. Miles investigates, and confirms that the fact that the Vision does not have an imprint of a human brain pattern is the problem.
Originally, Wonder Man's brain pattern was used, but when the Vision was rebuilt, Wonder Man hesitated to allow his pattern to be used again. Miles now has another brain pattern ready: that of his son. But while he's beginning the process, Miles is kidnapped by Roxxon goons in retaliation for his accessing their system. They take the disabled Vision, too. The Roxxon goons try to make Miles reprogram the Vision to work for them, and Miles therefore has an opportunity to continue with the brain pattern imprinting. The Vision wakes up thinking "I think therefore I am on line".
The Vision easily dispatches the thugs and also gets them to confess to the death of Alex, allowing them (but obviously not all of Roxxon) to be brought to justice.
In the end, the Vision is still not acting entirely like his old self, but he's a little more human.
As someone that has known the Vision since the beginning, the idea that he's going to a baseball game shouldn't be that odd to Jarvis. The Vision's time as a pure robot has been relatively short in the grand scheme of things. It would have made more sense for Jarvis to think to himself that the Vision seems to be starting to recover.
Beyond that, i never liked the way that Steve Englehart, in his Vision & the Scarlet Witch maxi-series, emphasized the idea that the Vision and Wonder Man were "brothers" with similar tastes. I would have liked to see this story restore the Vision to his Vision & the Scarlet Witch personality, basically returning him to the status quo that he had for most of his existence and allowing the Vision to be a complete "person" on his own without the need for a human brain imprint. Instead this issue introduces a new personality for the Vision, and this issue ends with the Vision going on social events with his brain pattern's father and wife. Instead of fixing the character, this issue adds another layer of complication. But at least it moves the Vision past his pure robot phase and allows him to have some personality again.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Quasar and Thor aren't shown on panel, but Sersi says that she saw Quasar just a few minutes ago, and Thor seems to be actively working on the reactor at Avengers Mansion, so i've listed them as Characters Appearing. The change in the Vision doesn't seem to result in anything immediately noticeable, so i've placed this at publication date without any special considerations regarding his appearances in other books. This story takes place over a period of at least a week.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I do find it amusing how mundane Quasar is compared to the rest of the Avengers. All the others are doing charity stuff or problems and tasks related to their lifestyle as superpeople, Qusar is spending his downtime doing fishing. The man is literally given the title of Protector of the Universe and has an office job, talking to his cosmic mentor without even leaving said office. His company isn't even particularly out of the ordinary like Stark's or anything. Its not a criticism, just something that amuses me.
Posted by: Max_Spider | September 9, 2015 9:02 PM
I enjoyed these last four issues. I always wondered though...how exactly does one record a person's brain patterns? The technology is available and easy enough that Hank did it to Simon without any particular reason or plan in mind, and that this guy has his son's brain pattern lying around. It kind of reminds me of the movie Face/Off, but with minds... As in, it makes absolutely no sense.
Posted by: Andrew F | September 9, 2015 11:28 PM
Interestingly, Gruenwald had an essay this issue in which he said that the majority of stories in this series were exactly the way he liked them. REALLY?
Posted by: Michael | September 9, 2015 11:52 PM
The alias "Victor Shade" is probably a Ditko nod - the civilian identities of two of his notable creations were "Vic Sage"(Question) and "Rac Shade"(Shade the Changing Man).
Posted by: cullen | September 11, 2015 1:12 AM
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