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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,126
In Reply To
Reverend Meteor

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689
Subj: Re: Thomas and Englehart
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 at 04:53:25 pm EST (Viewed 258 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Thomas and Englehart
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 at 12:36:43 pm EST (Viewed 306 times)



      Also, let's look back to something earlier. In Avengers #93, written by Roy Thomas and edited by Stan Lee, Henry Pym undertakes his journey to the inside of the inert Vision in order to get him going again. In one brief scene he is shown reacting with shock to something that he discovers on the way. Something the readers are not shown. This was later not unsatisfyingly explained as evidence that the Vision's body is that of the original Human Torch. Now here's the question: if it wasn't that, what else could Roy Thomas (the well-known Golden Age aficionado) have intended here?

    I think that's a bit of a reach.

It is not much of a reach if I merely restate what was then the official explanation.
Also, I see it less of a reach to try to accord a story which Roy Thomas wrote (Avengers #93) with a story in the writing of which Roy Thomas clearly had a hand (he edited and co-wrote the set-up, if not the conclusion) than to square Roy Thomas's Avengers #93 with stories written much later by other creators apparently with no input from Thomas.

    Jim's body should have looked more or less human. That's what Horton's plan was for Jim...for all his systems to more or less look organic. When Hank reaches Vision's chest plate he says it looks like Fritz Lang's 1927 movie Metropolis.

The crucial question is of course how much had been shown of the original Human Torch's anatomy and internal organs during the Golden Age (and in the 1950s) and how much of the details Roy Thomas, Neal Adams(1) and Steve Englehart remembered from those stories. I personally have no idea, since I don't own those stories, not even in reprint.

(1) Since they likely were working by the Marvel method it is possible that Neal Adams drew in details into the Vision's anatomy that Roy Thomas had not imagined that way.

    Byrne seized on that when he made his retcon in Avengers West Coast #48 by having Phineas Horton say that Jim's body was made of artificial organs (presumably plastics) and not mechanical parts (Horton said Vision was a mix of artificial organs and mechanical parts). Hank postulates in Avengers West Coast #50 that Ultron used Hortons molds and the chemicals he used to create the Human Torch (and triggered Frankie's powers) to create Vision. The level of complexity Hank saw in Vision's body should be not have been found in Jim's original form. And where's Vision's blood? Jim had something that passed for blood...he donated it to Spitfire.

Well, a mix of artificial organs and mechanical parts could easily be explained by Ultron making alterations to the body built by Horton (he clearly did make alterations as the Vision's powers are nothing like those of the Human Torch), in part replacing organs with more efficient mechanical parts (as a robot himself, Ultron would see no reason to make the Vision human-like, he might in fact want to make him more mechanical, like himself).

Also, I have to wonder. If Horton could make functioning artificial organs, why weren't they more widely applied, e.g. in medicine, to replace diseased, damaged or lost organs in people's bodies? So I have to wonder if this difference wasn't invented by Byrne in order to retcon in "proof" that the Vision wasn't the Human Torch...

Of course all this is a lovely illustration of the paradoxes created by piling retcon upon retcon. Here it is seen as problematic that a story published in 1969 does not feature the blood that apparently was first mentioned and became relevant in a story published in 1976 (cover-dated January 1977), less than two years after the story that established what then was the orthodox doctrine: that the Vision had the original Human Torch's body (Avengers #134, 1975). And it perhaps also illustrates that with every new retcon the writers have to focus on details seen as not that important by the maker of the previous one.(2)

(2) Other examples: a) The return of Captain America - this eventually was fleshed out to the point that Steve Roger's was frozen and Bucky was killed (later retconned into: was abducted) while World War 2 was still fought in Europe. Stan Lee probably did not care to remember the stories featuring Captain America set after VE-Day and VJ-Day (including the 1950s ones), but later writers wove elaborate tales featuring, IIRC, three replacement Caps and two replacement Buckys from that. b) Also in the 1970s, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch were declared to the children of the Whizzer and the original Miss America. Then someone noticed some minor post-retcon inconsistencies (including the fact that Pietro remembered his father playing with puppets) and that led to the Yesterday Quest and subsequent further retcons...

    If anything whatever weird thing Hank saw in Vison's brain in Avengers #93 supports Stern's control chip idea. Hank saw something that didn't belong there. Which is also supported by Vision being mind controlled into stealing Adamantium for Ultron in Avengers #66. Even way back in Avengers #93 Thomas is telling us there is something in Vision's brain that is not supposed to be there.

How would he have known it did not belong there if it was something modern and electronic? He was inside the Vision for the first time and Ultron had not been so helpful as to give him the blueprints. So I would think it would have to be something that stuck out immediately, i.e. something that was either something quasi-organic in the midst of an electronic and mechanical environment, or something "old" (i.e. too old to have been used by Ultron for building the Vision in the 1960s), e.g. something that looked like 1930s-1940s technology, maybe even a specific part or apparatus he remembered reading about in a context with Phineas Horton when he was doing the research he needed to build Ultron.

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