Behold...The Vision!

From the smoke arises...


After 25 years of research, Dr. Enoch Mason learned how to bridge science and the occult by creating a "dimension smasher." Dr. Mason discovered that smoke was the catalyst that linked our realm with that of the supernatural. As he was testing his machine for a group of scientists, his experiment was interrupted by thugs of mobster 'Brains' Borelli. Dr. Mason had borrowed money from Borelli to finance his equipment, and Borelli wanted to humiliate the scientist by collecting the money in the middle of his experiment. When he was unable to pay, Borelli's henchman threatened to kill him. Unfortunately for them, Dr. Mason's machine had already done its job: a supernatural being was able to pass from his realm into ours thanks to the smoke coming from one of the thug's cigars. The being that emerged was Aarkus, the Vision!

Aarkus used his supernatural powers to kill the thugs and ultimately 'Brains' Borelli himself. He re-emerged on several occassions, fighting evil wherever it would surface. Unfortunately though, one evil-doer learned how to create a facsimile of Dr. Mason's machine. That villain was the Nazi Dr. Death of the Battle Axis. During a battle with the Invaders, Dr. Death called the Vision into this dimension and threatened to keep him here for all eternity if he did not aid the Battle Axis. Unwilling to spend the rest of his immortal life in our dimension, Aarkus helped Battle Axis defeat the Invaders.

Eventually, the Invaders freed themselves and again battled Battle Axis. During this skirmish, the Vision floated above the action. He didn't want to jeopardize his chances of returning to his dimension but he knew the Nazis were evil and he could no longer bring himself to aid them. In the course of the fight, Dr. Death's copy of Dr. Mason's machine was destroyed, and poisonous gas was piped into the chamber where the battle was taking place. The explosion of Dr. Death's machine created enough smoke that would allow Aarkus to return to his misty dimension. Seeing this as his chance to not only return home but to redeem himself in the eyes of the Invaders, the Vision opened an aperture to his dimension and returned there, pulling in the noxious fumes with him. As he saved the Invaders' lives and returned home, the Vision asked his unwilling foes to forgive him. It is unknown if the Vision ever returned to the world of mankind after this exploit (Although they have a similar appearance, the original Vision has no direct connection to the modern-day Avenger of the same name).

INSIDE STORY: The Vision was one of (if not the) first superheroes created by the legendary Jack Kirby. Aarkus' first appearance came four months before that of one of Kirby's greatest creations, Captain America. 'King' Kirby also wrote the Vision's adventures, proving that even without Joe Simon or Stan Lee, Jack was a good storyteller in his own right. While the Vision's origin is a little far-fetched by today's standards, it was head and shoulders above a lot of the superhero comics of the day. The most regrettable aspect of the Vision's origin, in retrospect, is the character of Dr. Enoch Mason's butler. A ridiculous black stereotype, his sample dialogue was "I'se sorry, gennilmun, de doctor is pow'ful busy, experuhmintin..." Somehow, I don't think the Black Panther or Luke Cage would've approved. While I love the Golden Age of comic book storytelling, some things are better left in the past.

First Appearance: MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #13 (1940)

Invaders Appearances: INVADERS (Limited Series) #3-4 (1993)

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