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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Comics' Greatest Battles, Entry 4 - Avengers Vol. 1, No. 158

As an eight-year-old kid, this comic book had as much influence on me as any since, as both an example of great characterization and exciting superhero action. Even though the battle itself does not span the whole book, the intensity, character depth and dynamic art made a great impression.

Being an android, the conflagration was sparked by The Vision's insecurity, due to his perception of his lack of humanity. It didn't help, however, that Wonder Man was showing affection to Vision's wife, The Scarlett Witch. A little jealousy, mixed with a lot of insecurity? Hey, even in the REAL world, that's a dangerous combination.

One of the things that always struck me about this issue was the coldness with which The Vision was written. It seemed that cruelty was lying just under the surface. Great characterization by Jim Shooter.

Perhaps not-so-strangely, I always found the character quite similar to Mr. Spock of Star Trek. In this case, I can't help remembering the episode entitled "Amok Time", in which Spock was, basically, in rut and had to return to his home planet to..., well, you know. The point is, in that episode, Spock was about five different kinds of dangerous, and even a little scary for a young sprout viewing such a story for the first time.

Cold, scary and dangerous. That was The Vision in Avengers 158. And it made for some fantastic superhero action that hasn't been topped, since.

Add to all of that the dynamic, barely-contained-by-comic-book-panels art of Sal Buscema, and you have a classic that is certainly one of Comics' Greatest Battles!