The Vision and the Scarlet Witch have one of Marvel’s most famous comic book romances, but their relationship was based on the feelings of another Avenger.
The romance between the Vision and the Scarlet Witch is one of the most infamous love stories in comics. The endearing relationship between Wanda and the Vision is generally thought to be a dynamic belonging to these two Avengers. However, the Vision’s feelings for Wanda didn’t originally belong to him.
When Ultron created the Vision, he used the android body of the original Human Torch, Jim Hammond. As the Avengers learned in Roy Thomas and John Buscema’s Avengers #58, Ultron based the Vision’s mind on that of Simon Williams, Wonder Man. in order to override the Torch’s brain patterns. At the time of the Vision’s creation, Wonder Man was dead, which left his brain patterns up for grabs.
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Once he realized that his mind was based on the brainwaves of another, the Vision constantly felt inferior. Indeed, the Vision envied Simon’s humanity, desiring to become a real man. The Grim Reaper, Simon’s evil brother, even offered to place the Vision’s mind in Wonder Man’s dead body in Avengers #102, by Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont and Rich Buckler. While the Vision was tempted, he ultimately declined and helped the Avengers defeat the Reaper.
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Of course, when Wonder Man returned to life, there was an inevitable confrontation with the Vision. Simon was led to believe that the Vision stole his life, while the Vision was still jealous of Wonder Man’s humanity. The two Avengers came together, however, when Wonder Man fought the Grim Reaper to save the Vision. Afterwards, the Vision and Wonder Man saw each other as brothers.
Yet this brotherhood was tested by competing affections for the Scarlet Witch. When Simon was on the West Coast Avengers with Wanda, he developed feelings for her. These feelings were so strong, that when the Vision was dismantled and rebuilt as an emotionless machine, Simon refused to provide the Vision with his brainwaves. In light of Wonder Man’s emotions, it was deduced that the Vision’s love for Wanda was based on Wonder Man’s brain patterns.
Wanda reciprocated Simon’s feelings, growing to love him as they worked in Force Works together. The Scarlet Witch was heartbroken when Wonder Man was seemingly killed on their first mission with the team. Later, however, Wanda was able to use her powers to resurrect Wonder Man in his ionic form. Apparently, Simon’s love for Wanda tied him back to the mortal plane. For a time, Wonder Man could only appear when Wanda summoned him in ionic form. This connection between Simon and the Scarlet Witch deepened their relationship throughout Kurt Busiek and George Perez’s iconic late ’90s Avengers run.
Eventually, Wonder Man came back in his full form, rejoining the Avengers. Upon his return, Simon developed a romantic relationship with Wanda. While Wanda believed the Vision to be devoid of emotions, in truth, the android has regained his feelings, hiding them from the others.
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The Vision grew extremely jealous of Simon and Wanda’s relationship, as it reaffirmed his belief that he was no more than a mere duplicate of Wonder Man. Ultimately, the Vision revealed his emotions, erupting in a physical confrontation between Wonder Man and his fellow Avenger in Avengers #23, by Busiek and Perez. Of course, Simon calmed the Vision by revealing that he’s actually jealous of the Avenging Android for having a life free of Simon Williams’ past.
Despite Wonder Man’s comforting words, the Vision remained upset over Wanda and Simon’s relationship. The Vision even attempted to make Wanda jealous by dating Carol Danvers. When Wonder Man and the Scarlet Witch were taken captive by Kang the Conqueror, however, their true feelings emerged. Simon and Wanda admitted that they loved each other, but more as friends than as lovers. Wanda also revealed her enduring love for the Vision and her desire to win him back.
Although Wonder Man may have influenced the Vision’s love for the Scarlet Witch, he couldn’t compete with their unique relationship. While it would’ve likely had its ups and downs on its own, the latent attraction towards Scarlet Witch in Wonder Man’s mind still ed to one of Marvel’s most famous romances.
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