In the annals of Avengers history, there was once an alternate version of the Vision that nearly usurped the android’s place on the team.
The current Disney+ show, WandaVision has been an incredible success so far and serves as a glorious return after the universe altering events of Avengers: Endgame in 2019. The show has given fans a look into the future of the MCU through the lens of the fan-favorite characters Scarlet Witch and Vision. The show delves deep into the lore of Wanda Maximoff and her android husband, but Vision is a much more complex character than even the show has hinted at. In fact, an alternate timeline depicted in classic Avengers issues introduces a character that demonstrates just how much evil The Vision really is capable of.
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The Vision first appeared in Roy Thomas and John Buscema’s Avengers #57 in 1968. In 1993, Bob Harras and Steve Epting added to the lore of the character by introducing an evil doppelganger appropriately named “Anti-Vision.” Debuting in Bob Harris and Steve Epting’s Avengers #359, the story of Anti-Vision involves a team of former Avengers from Earth-374 called The Gatherers, established by an alternate version of Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. While the Earth-616 version of Whitman became the brave hero known as Black Knight, the Earth-374 version fell madly in love with the young Eternal, Sersi, but was cast aside after she grew bored with him. As a result, Whitman took up the name, Proctor, and began assembling his team with only one goal in mind: taking revenge on Sersi.
Anti-Vision was one of the original members of the Gatherers, and in issue #360, Proctor’s diabolical plan goes into effect. Anti-Vision resembles Vision’s original design with a red face, green cloak, and yellow torso. He also has all the powers of the Earth-616 character including flight and molecular control. In the issue, Vision is captured by The Gatherers and Proctor explains that he intends to place Anti-Vision’s mind into Vision’s pure white-colored body and infiltrate the Avengers. Vision shows his strength by fighting against Proctor, but it ends up being pointless as Proctor overpowers Vision and successfully takes over his body. Anti-Vision then infiltrates the Avengers, posing as his 616 counterpart.
However, Anti-Vision’s plans get halted when Sersi returns as well and — seemingly driven mad by an altercation she had with her universe’s Black Knight — attacks the Avengers. Anti-Vision puts a stop to this by phasing his fist into her skull that most likely would have killed her if not for the intervention of Captain America, who questions his actions. Afterwards, the Avengers become suspicious of their android teammate, and in issue #362 Anti-Vision revels himself after killing Swordsman and attempting to kill Crystal. However, just before he can continue his slaughter, Sersi appears and captures him.
Later, Anti-Vision escapes during the Avengers’ final battle against the Gatherers. After this issue, Anti-Vision would remain mostly unheard of until Vision would get his own 4-part mini-series created by Harras, Manny Clark, and Epting in 1994. This series is a sequel to the events of The Gatherers, as evident by Vision still wearing Anti-Vision’s multi-colored design. Vision travels the world attempting to uncover pieces of his life, but is thrust into a plot involving Anti-Vision after the doppelganger kidnaps the former Gatherers Jocasta and Tabula, as well as Ultron, and sends them to terrorize the android hero. Anti-Vision puts up a good fight in an attempt to get his old body back, but Vision succeeds in the end, electing to capture his doppelganger instead of killing him.
With Anti-Vision still alive it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the pure white doppelganger will return in some form to wreak more havoc in the lives of Vision and the Avengers in either the comics or the ever expanding world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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