The Vision certainly has one of the Avengers‘ most complex origin stories. Created by Ultron, the Vision originated from several different sources in a story that’s far stranger than his MCU origin. The Vision first appeared in Avengers #57 by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. In his debut, the android was programmed to kill Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. While battling the Avengers, however, the Vision fought against his pre-programmed mission. Indeed, as an android, the Vision discovered his human emotions. These feelings led the Vision to view the Avengers as potential allies.
Recalling how Ultron had sent him to destroy the Avengers, the Vision led his new friends to the robot’s secret hideout. Of course, Ultron was prepared. Setting several traps for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Ultron took the Avengers out one at a time. Eventually, the Vision stood alone against his creator. Realizing that Ultron only saw him as a mindless pawn, the Vision turned against his former master. After defeating Ultron, the Vision requested to join the Avengers.
Despite the Vision’s impressive victory, the Avengers still desired to know where the Vision truly originated before letting him join. Vision tried his hardest to remember, but Ultron had blocked out this part of his mind. The only thing that the Vision could remember was his birth and subsequent training by Ultron.
Investigating further, the Avengers discovered that Ultron was created by Hank Pym, gaining sentience and turning on the giant-sized Avenger. Ultron wiped Hank’s memory of this event, later upgrading himself to a more powerful form. Connecting the dots, the Avengers also recalled how Hank and Iron Man had electronically preserved the brain patterns of a dying Wonder Man. Ultron stole these brain patterns and used them to create the Vision.
It wasn’t until Avengers #135 by Steve Englehart and George Tuska that the Vision learned where his body had originated. Indeed, Ultron used the android body of the original Human Torch and imposed Wonder Man’s brain patterns on this form.
While Ultron created Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Vision’s origin was drastically different in this film. For one thing, the MCU Vision was created from many different components, which deviated from his comic book counterpart. This Vision was initially a vibranium shell, into which Ultron planned to upload his consciousness. This perfect form would be enhanced by the mind stone, one of the six infinity stones.
Unlike the comics, Ultron didn’t complete his creation. The Avengers stole the shell, and Ultron’s creators, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, completed the Vision. JARVIS was uploaded into the cradle, merging with the influences of Ultron, the mind stone, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner to create the Vision. This Vision was brought to life by Thor, rather than Ultron, explaining the android’s cape. Compared to the comic book Vision — created from the Human Torch’s body and Wonder Man’s brain patterns — the MCU Vision was a completely new character.
The Vision’s purpose was also much different in the film. Originally, Age of Ultron portrayed the Vision as a new body for Ultron, who would use it to rule over the next stage of evolution. When he was born, the Vision ultimately changed his purpose to protecting life. The comic book Vision, however, was created as a servant for Ultron, who was meant to kill the Avengers. It was only because of Vision’s emotions and critical thinking that he was able to change this purpose.
While the essence of the Vision’s origin remained the same, the MCU’s Vision had a radically different origin than the original comic book android.