The conclusion of WandaVision is fast approaching, and Episode 8 just gave us a taste of the epic battle to come. “Previously On” ends with a mid-credits sequence featuring SWORD Director Hayward activating a copy of Vision, one who looks just like our favorite Synthezoid but for one key difference – he’s all white.
If you were reading Marvel’s Avengers comics in the ’80s or have ever played a round of Captain America and the Avengers in the arcade, you probably recognize this unusual look for Vision. But if you’re not familiar with the difference between White Vision and the usual green, yellow and orange version, here’s a quick breakdown of how the series is drawing on the source material.
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The Origin of Vision’s White Costume
Vision’s white costume dates back to a 1989 storyline called Avengers West Coast: Vision Quest. There, Vision’s body is completely dismantled, forcing Hank Pym to attempt to put him back together. While Pym is able to physically reassemble the Synthezoid (minus his damaged skin), restoring his artificial mind proves to be an impossible task. There’s no way of recovering Vision’s memories. Worse, Vision was originally reprogrammed by the Avengers using the brain patterns of Wonder Man. Wonder Man refuses to allow his mind to be copied a second time.
The result is that Vision is reborn with none of the memories or latent humanity that made him who he was. He’s a cold, unfeeling android – a literal blank slate. His new white costume reflects that transformation, retaining the basic shapes and designs of the original but eliminating all traces of color. That new look was immortalized on the cover of The West Coast Avengers #45, a tribute to Vision’s first appearance in 1968’s The Avengers #57.
White Vision in the MCU
Obviously, there are a lot of differences between the comic book and MCU incarnations of Vision. For one thing, the MCU version has no connection to Wonder Man (a character who has yet to make a true appearance in this universe). The MCU Vision is instead built on a foundation of Tony Stark’s old AI unit JARVIS and given life via the Mind Stone.
Still, we can assume this new, white version of Vision is heavily inspired by the one introduced in Vision Quest. As we’ve learned over the course of the series, Hayward and his SWORD agents have been busy trying to rebuild and weaponize Vision, likely out of the same paranoia that once motivated Tony to “build a suit of armor around the world.” But Episode 8 makes it clear the original Vision is well and truly dead. Even the one who’s been appearing in the series up till now seems to be nothing more than an echo built on Wanda’s memories. It makes sense that, without a functioning Mind Stone or access to Tony’s old files, whatever climbs off that laboratory table is going to be a pale imitation of the real thing. This is a crude facsimile of Vision, one who possesses all of his powers but none of his warmth and humanity.
This being an MCU project, we’re almost surely going to see the two Visions battle it out in the series finale. The question is which of them will emerge in the end, assuming they aren’t both destroyed in the ensuing chaos. The series has hinted the regular Vision physically can’t exist outside the boundaries of Westview (which makes more sense in light of these new revelations). There may be no escaping this surreal prison Wanda has constructed. Even if Vision 2.0 is treated as an antagonist in the series finale, he may go on to have a longer arc in Phase 4 and beyond. Just as the comic book version of Vision fought a long, uphill battle to rebuild his mind and push past his white costume phase, this Vision copy may struggle to become more than just an unfeeling weapon of SWORD. And who knows, maybe we’ll finally meet the MCU’s Wonder Man along the way.
For more on WandaVision, check out IGN’s review for Episode 8, see all the Marvel Easter eggs and sitcom references and learn everything we know about the live-action Marvel multiverse.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.