The Vision And The Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Bizarre Superhero Romance

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

The latest blockbuster Marvel superhero movie features a burgeoning romance between two unlikely characters. Moviegoers new to the world of the Avengers might have seen the Vision's crush on Wanda Maximoff and thought "aw, cute!" Comics readers familiar with the history of the teammates probably reacted with "oh, no..." These two have had some bad times together.

The newest issue of The Vision — written by Tom King with art by Michael Walsh, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles — looks back on the history of the series' lead character and the human woman he used to be married to. In their earliest appearances, he was a synthezoid automaton created by one of the Avengers' greatest enemies, she was a genetic offshoot spellcaster who used to be on the wrong side of the law. The Vision and the Scarlet Witch both joined the Avengers as outsiders with troubled pasts, which is what made their eventual courtship unexpected and sweet. Here was the robot who longed to feel growing into the most human of qualities; here was the mutant in the arms of someone who didn't hate or fear her.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance
The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

They moved to the suburbs, where they endured the hatred of cul-de-sac bigots who didn't want "their kind" as neighbours. Then, despite being a pairing of machine and organism, Vizh and Wanda later became parents to twin boys, after a pregnancy enabled by magic and the Witch's probability-altering hex powers.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

But their unexpected parenthood ended in tragedy when a storyline revealed that the kids were apparitions fuelled by Wanda's subconscious.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

(Those kids wind up existing anyway through another use of the Witch's reality-warping powers and became members of the Young Avengers called Wiccan and Speed.)

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

King's journey back through the various inflection points of the characters' star-crossed relationship showcases one of the best elements about superhero comics.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

Plot points and events can get refracted through different sensibilities as the years go by. The wince-inducing hamminess of the 1985 V&SW series reads differently when it gets recast as a veneer covering psychological trauma. But, that darker turn gets spun around again when subsequent writers make a point of redeeming Wanda. All of the preceding stories still count but readers' understanding of the characters change throughout their publishing history. Has the Vision ever truly been content? Has the Scarlet Witch finally put the havoc wrought by her powers behind her? Only current creators can answer those questions and their truths for the characters under their stewardship will be as fleeting as the ones that preceded them.

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

One of the mysteries of the latest Vision series has been the reason that the main character created an android family in his own image. By looking back at Vizh's most lasting connection with a human being, issue #7 frames his desire to have a family as not that bizarre at all. Vision and Wanda may not be a couple any more but his urge to know what it is to be human hasn't abated. If anything, a simmering, unspoken loneliness may have made it worse. So, in his own fashion, he does the same thing the Scarlet Witch once did and creates up a wife and twin children for himself. They're solid, circuits-and-cable companions who won't fade away when no one's looking. That makes the danger that comes from their very existence exponentially larger. The fallout from Wanda's fake hex-generated kids wound up hurting herself the most while the dysfunction of Vision's family has taken the lives of innocent people (as well as one villain).

The Vision and the Scarlet Witch Have Had Marvel Comics' Most Fucked-Up Superhero Romance

A scene in The Vision #6 foreshadows an eventual reckoning where, spurred on by the concern of a Scarlet Witch who's far healthier emotionally, the Avengers will be coming to grips with the synthezoid weirdness happening in the Washington, D.C suburbs. The Scarlet Witch still loves the Vision but it might not be enough to save him from trying to be human.


Comments

    I don't get that last page, the "he'll kill YOUR families" bit. So because Vision is willing to cover up the fact that his "wife" (who he created solely for the purpose of being his wife, now that's messed up) committed a terrible crime, he's somehow crossed the moral event horizon into being the Joker? What?

    Also, the tone of the warning is really off for me. It's not like she's telling them "your old friend Vision's in a bad place right now, maybe you as his friends should reach out and support him"; the subtext is clearly more like "and that's why the nineteen superheroes in this room should go and Put A Stop To Him."

      probably should read it for it to make sense.

    Moviegoers new to the world of the Avengers might have seen the Vision’s crush on Wanda Maximoff and thought “aw, cute!”
    Woah, wait, what? Man, did I totally misread that or what. I was seeing what felt like a more paternal/fraternal approaches by Vision, received with a very hesitant, lukewarm acceptance by Wanda. I kinda assumed they were just going to completely write out that whole aspect of the comics by going with something a bit more platonic in the relationship.

    My radar... so poorly calibrated.

      The whole Vision / Wanda thing (as someone who hadn't seen AoU) was just incredibly creepy on his part. Very stalker vibes from the scenes they shared.

        Yeah I know they're meant to hook up but in the comics they used share intellectual banter that caused them to bond. Given that Wanda has been labelled "she does weird stuff" in the movies makes sense they would make Vision a weird stalker creep.

        "I must keep you trapped here. I mean only if you want. But still you don't get to have a say" was more or less the vibe in the movies.

    I hope A:IW pt 1 ends up with Thanos shattering Visions' head, pulling out the mind stone and Wanda snaps, bringing about a House of M style start to IW pt 2 where everyone has everything they want, Quicksilver is still alive and only Hawkeye realizes shit be whack.

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