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Avengers #57: Review

Oct 1968
Roy Thomas, John Buscema

Story Name:

Behold ... the Vision

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Avengers #57 Review by (June 24, 2022)
The iconic cover of this issue will be the template for several homages, eg Mighty Avengers (2007) #14. And the Vision emerging from smoke here harks back to the Timely Vision Aarkus.

Black Widow's mission for SHIELD will begin in Captain Marvel #12 which leads in to our #63. But the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes vol 2 mini-series will give us 3 Hawkeye/Black Widow cameos as they continue arguing while she's preparing for the mission.

Vision is here and next issue called a synthozoid but later the word will be respelled synthezoid.

An editorial comment claims that the Avengers didn't know where Ultron's underground base (in #54-55) was because Jarvis had been given a mental block to forget it. It doesn't also correctly add that the Avengers were unconscious when they were taken there and inside a big bomb when they were taken out. But Roy Thomas has forgotten that Ultron abandoned that base anyway and moved to a 2nd 1 at the end of #55.

Next issue Avengers old and new assemble to learn the origins of Ultron and Vision. But before that Goliath and Vision will make a cameo in Sub-Mariner #8 where Henry Pym is examining the synthezoid.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers #57 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
A humanoid with a green and yellow costume, yellow cape and red face walks through the rain which passes through him and then floats into the sky up to the terrace of the penthouse flat of Janet van Dyne. Inside Jan in her Wasp costume is trying to persuade  Henry Pym in his Goliath costume and a raincoat not to leave her to go to his lab in Avengers Mansion to study some germs. But he goes, and the humanoid enters from the terrace to menace her. Jan shrinks back from the hollow-voiced being who is like some unearthly vision. But then she goes insect-size and flies through a keyhole to another room. The door's locked but the being walks through the wall and starts to attack her with heat rays from his eyes. However he suddenly stops because of a pain in his head.

On the street Goliath gets an alarm signal from Jan. He shoots up to his maximum 25 ft and then climbs the building like King Kong and breaks through Jan's window. She's OK and her assailant is inert on the floor. So she gets revenge for Hank standing her up by complaining about him breaking the expensive glass window. They decide to take the body to the Mansion.

The other 2 current Avengers aren't in the HQ. Hawkeye is visiting his girlfriend Natasha Romanoff and is surprised to see her back in her Black Widow costume (because she 'retired' in #45). She says she's been asked to do another spy job for Nick Fury of SHIELD, which she might as well accept because Hawkeye's never around. He protests that he's been doing Avengers stuff, and as if to underscore the point he receives a call to come to the Mansion. T'Challa is also walking in the rain (and getting wet) musing about how he left his throne in Wakanda to find more fulfilment as an Avenger but still wants more. He changes to Black Panther to stop a robbery. When he overhears 2 African-American kids looking to him as a role model he has an idea for what else he can do (but we won't hear about it for a few issues). Then he gets the call too.

The 4 Avengers gather over the body of Wasp's mystery assailant. Henry Pym detects that he is a duplication of a human being but with synthetic parts. Hawkeye recalls that a while ago Hank was trying to create such a being which he dubbed a synthezoid. Then the subject of their discussion wakes up and remembers his mission. He accepts the name Wasp called him, the Vision, because he is a vision of death for the Avengers - and he attacks them.

During the battle he demonstrates great strength and massive immovability, and explains that he can change his own density. Wasp reminds them that he can also walk through walls. He claims that he 'must' destroy them but then stops because he can't remember why, nor anything else about his past. In fact he has a feeling they should be allies not enemies. Then he remembers the robot who created him called Ultron-5. Panther says they've been hunting for Ulty (since #54-55) and Vision says he can lead them to him. Hawkeye remains suspicious.

Vizh directs their air-cruiser to Ultron's lair which supposedly opens automatically when it detects the synthezoid. But Ultron is watching them and says everything is going according to plan. He not only programmed Vision to attack the Avengers but also to black out when he did to get taken into the Mansion and then to lead them here to a series of traps.

Flames shoot out at the team. They avoid those but Goliath falls down a trapdoor and is attacked by a giant android/robot which pummels him unconscious and takes him to their foe. Vision leads the other 3 on although they have to persuade Jan not to try finding Hank. Then in another chamber the walls start slowly closing in and Vizh tells them they are made of an alloy that even he couldn't break (reminds me of the container of the bomb in #55). So instead he lowers his density and passes through a wall, assuring them that he will defeat his creator himself. The team wonder if this is all part of the villain's plan.

Vision quickly reaches the control centre and confronts Ultron who also thinks the synthezoid is following his orders. But he demands that his master release the Avengers. The robot of course refuses and they clash. Ultron throws him into a seething energy vat which will destroy the 'zoid, but handily remarking that the twin electrodes where his ears should be are his own only weakness. Vision survives the energy by going intangible. Ultron leaps at him but passes through the now wraith-like 'zoid and slams head-first into something which explodes (as Vizh planned).

The walls stop closing on the 3 Avengers and the big 'droid releases Goliath. Vision gathers them all together and shows them Ultron's shattered body The head with its electrode ears is missing presumed disintegrated.

However the last page shows us a boy finding the intact head on the surface. He uses it as a football before snapping the electrodes off and throwing it away. This sequence is accompanied by the words of the poem Ozymandias by Shelley.

John Buscema
George Klein
John Buscema (Cover Penciler)
George Klein (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Sam Rosen.
Editor: Stan Lee.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Panther
Black Panther

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Clint Barton)

(Janet Van Dyne)

Plus: Goliath (Hank Pym).

> Avengers: Book info and issue index

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