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Avengers 58
"Even An Android Can Cry"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND November, 1968

(Originally Reviewed On 7/27/01)

STAN LEE: Editor ROY THOMAS: Writer JOHN BUSCEMA: Artist GEORGE KLEIN: Inker SAM ROSEN: Letterer

On the cover, Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America join with Goliath, Hawkeye, The Black Panther, and The Wasp, as Earth's Mightiest Heroes seek to learn the secrets behind the origin of The Vision! (An awe-inspiring cover by Big John Buscema)

On the splash page, The Black Panther crouches on a rooftop, as the storytitle is etched on the brick surface of the wall. (Holy Eisner, Batman!)

The Black Panther has heard the call of "Avengers Assemble" but even he pauses as his eyes take in a full roster of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, among them: Hawkeye, Goliath, The Wasp, Captain America, plus Thor and Iron Man, whom he hasn't met yet, and in their midst... The Vision!

It was Henry Pym who put out the call for The Vision wishes to become an Avenger, and the scientist agreed, as members are required to hear his request in person, power which T'Challa knows could be put to good use in their ranks. Iron Man is skeptical and wonders just who this "Vision" is, especially since becoming an Avenger is not a right but a privilege, a sentiment which The Son of Odin echoes, for he too would see the prowess of this mysterious being, and The Sentinel of Liberty thinks to himself that this is something he can arrange. Before Goliath's startled eyes, he sees Captain America rise and turn towards The Vision, who gives him a subtle warning about his planned attack...

Janet Van Dyne calls for reason, while The Black Panther knows that Cap isn't the type to start brawls, and Hawkeye is confident that Ol" Wing-Head knows what he's doing. As Goliath stands in his way and demands to know what The Living Legend is up to, Cap dives between his legs, and... through The Vision, whio has chosen to render himself intangible rather than increase his density, so that Cap doesn't collide with someone akin to a brick wall. Iron Man is not deterred by The Vision's statement and plans to bring his repulsor rays into play, as Cap watches behind him...

The repulsors have no effect since The Vision has become intangible, and as Shell-Head mentions how The Vision would fare against a super-villain of such strength, the android lifts him up with one arm, noting that Iron Man should have magnetized his boots to the floor, and The Mighty Thor is not pleased to see his comrade-in-arms treated in such a manner. Iron Man is thrown in Thor's direction, where he catches him, and as Shell-Head makes some quips about not needing a nursemaid, The God of Thunder tells him that it's time for his hammer to strike! (Holy Hammer Time, Batman!)

Goldilocks uses his fists, and The Vision turns tangible and delivers blows with his mass at its utmost, but even so, it is Thor who sends The Vision against the wall... stunned! Goliath grabs onto Thor, telling him that it was a demonstration set up by Cap, and he relents from further attack.

Goliath is determined to aid The Vision in finding his origins, and in his enthusiasm, his giant fist cracks the meeting table, while Hawkeye hopes that he doesn't get a pat on the back from him. Goliath shrinks down to normal size, while The Vision begins to brood, and Thor presents a scroll in the meeting of admitting a new member.

For Earth's Mightiest Heroes, their members were both chosen and called, and each has earned a place on the team, including: Goliath, Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch, Black Widow, Hercules, Iron Man, The Hulk, The Wasp, Thor, Spider-Man (?), Hawkeye, Captain America, and Black Panther!

Whether through bitterness or through their own personal destinies, the ranks of The Avengers have thinned, and now there is another who would seek entry into this most august team. When Captain America suggests that The Vision's memory be probes, the android replies that he's already attempted it, but perhaps not deeply enough, and this time he breaches a psychic wall, where he sees a grinning face, that of Ultron-5, who is his master, and who expects his creation to obey without question!

He is told that he can alter his mass to float in the air, to walk through steel walls, and to become unbelievably heavy. These are not what he wishes to know, as he wants his identity, and Ultron-5 tells him that he has none, only that his purpose is to destroy The Avengers. For a moment, he seeks to rebel, but it passes, as he who Ultron-5 hates most of all will be destroyed!

With The Avengers at his side, The Vision succeeded in defeating Ultron-5, but the mystery remains, as Goliath knows that he is a solar-powered android, similar to the artificial being he was working on -- termed a synthezoid. When Hawkeye asks him about the experiment, Goliath realizes that he doesn't remember, and Captain America tells him that it's a clue, and all prepare to head for his surburban lab immediately. On the rooftop, Thor waves his uru hammer, and he and The Avengers are carried aloft to their destination.

The seven figures are carried in the vortex, and Thor asks Goliath why his lab is all boarded up, and it is a mystery for Henry Pym, as well! The last time he was here was when he was experimenting on Dragon Man (Avengers #41) , and he recalls seeing the equipment in shambles, and doesn't recall when it was all rebuilt. Hank sits in a nearby chair, where the electronic memory bank holds the answers he seeks, and as Jan presses a button... Hank's memories return, and he recalls how the previous day both he and Dragon Man damaged the lab...

With his examination of Dragon Man, Hank Pym succeeded in creating a crude robot, a path on the way to synthetic life, and it moves and speaks, even though he hadn't turned it on yet! It regards him as his father, but a shock bolt seeks to bring him down, only to have Hank grow to Goliath-size, and be struck by another beam...

As it readies its next ultro-blast, Hank notices that its speech-patterns have matured from infancy onto adulthood, and now it seems gripped by an Oedipus Complex, and Hank swings an arm, which knocks it off-balance, and as he seeks to damage it further, he sees that it's barely damaged, and a subsequent blast has struck him down!

Hank wonders if this is the way he'll die, and his creation has other plans, for he bathes him in an eerie light-beam, ordering him to forget what has transpired, and to abandon this dwelling! The creation takes its leave, and vows to return when it has achieved its flawless creation! Time passes, and Janet arrives with a policeman in time to see Hank in the wreckage with no memory of what happened.

When she suggests that he repair the lab, Hank decides to continue his work in The Avengers' lab,a nd Captain America sees that it was the robot who would become Ultron-5, and attack its creator! Iron Man sees that an important item is missing, the memory tape which recorded Wonder Man (Avengers #9), and when Hawkeye asks who this is, Shell-Head tells him about Simon Williams, who was a business rival of Tony Stark, and who gained super-strength, as well as entry into The Avengers, relaying a tale of dying of an incurable disease...

It turns out that he was in cahoots with The Enchantress and The Executioner, and radioed The Avengers that he and The Wasp were captured by Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil, but once they arrived, Wonder Man struck down Giant-Man, and he continued his betrayal by punching out Thor! Learning that Zemo intended to kill them, Wonder Man decided to free Thor...

The Masters of Evil left the scene, leaving Wonder Man to die, after being ray-blasted by Zemo! With a spark of life left, Iron Man and Goliath used the electronic memory bank to store his brain patterns so that he could live again in another form! The Vision has learned the genesis of his creation as an android with the brain patterns of a dead man, and Goliath insists that he's human... except for being made out of synthetic parts. His mind is that of printed circuits, and he decides to leave this place, where Hawkeye notes that he seems less than human...

At Tony Stark's town house, Hank Pym announces that The Avengers have accepted The Vision as a member! (Holy Flying Belt, Batman!) Since their ranks have included an Asgardian, and a Green-Skinned Goliath, then his membership has no such complications. The Wasp sees that The Vision is silent and motionless in contemplation... then he bids a moment by himself, and as he leaves, Iron Man notes a sense of sentiment, but the voice is cold, and Goliath is confident that it's merely all appearance, for if you looked into his eyes, you'd know that...

"EVEN AN ANDROID CAN ...CRY"

Earth's Mightiest Heroes in one of their most memorable moments, as they admit a new member!

The Eisneresque splash page is most welcome and dramatic.

If The Black Panther is impressed by a full roster of Avengers, then the happy reader must be ecstastic to read this story by Roy Thomas and John Buscema!

The Vision proves himself to be a most formidable figure, able to humble two of Earth's Mightest Heroes, before being brought to his sense by Thor.

On page 8, Spider-Man appears on the page as a former Avenger, and although he did appear in an earlier issue against Kang's Spider-Man robot, I don't believe he was one at the time.

It would be further conjectured that The Vision was in actuality the former Human Torch in the '70s Avengers stories by Steve Englehart, and in the '80s, John Byrne would have The Human Torch and The Vision be two separate beings, as well as making The Synthezoid a pale version of his former self.

Ultron-5 would use this electro-hypnosis on Jarvis in order to make him betray The Avengers in ish #55.

Wonder Man would return from the dead in Avengers #151.

On page 18, a panel shows Iron Man working with Hank Pym in preserving Wonder Man's memories, but this was in a time when neither man was privy to the other's identity. Perhaps Ol' High-Pockets chose to make a quick change or perhaps it was another of Immortus' slight of hand with time in Avengers Forever by Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern?

A most memorable title and final page, as The Vision, the ultimate outsider and loner would find a place where he could belong.

Avengers Assemble!

This Review Is Dedicated To Steven Cohen

Steve Chung
"Even An Android Can Review"