"I am Vision." We could end the article right there, but even the White Vision requested elaboration.
In the big series finale of WandaVision on Disney+, Paul Bettany lived out his dream-sharing screen time with his favorite actor, Paul Bettany, when WandaVision staged a Vision versus White Vision showdown in New Jersey. Their climactic battle takes place not in an arena or a stadium, but a library, which is only fitting for a being powered by the Mind Stone.
In the end, only one Vision walks (or rather, flies) away. But what becomes of the White Vision? As always, the comics provide a clue for where "White Vision" is going next, and what it could mean for the possible return of the true Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Warning: Spoilers for WandaVision Episode 9, "The Series Finale" ahead.
Vision versus White Vision
As we predicted last week, the arrival of the White Vision — the reprogrammed Vision zapped of Vision's memories, emotions, and attachments — meant violence was coming to Westview.
But to the surprise of anyone watching, the Visions' conflict doesn't end with a pinpoint laser beam or a massive explosion. Instead, the Vision defeats the White Vision by... talking things out.
After a thought exercise involving the Ship of Theseus (the SparkNotes version: Does an object with all of its pieces replaced continue to be the same object?) the two Visions arrive at a conclusion. They are both the Vision, and neither of them are.
The "real, original" Vision is now a ghost, "a weapon to be more easily controlled" while "Wanda's Vision" is but a copy, a replication of Wanda's memories, love, pain, and fragments of the Mind Stone that exist in Wanda.
But while the Visions agree that neither are the same Vision we met in Avengers: Age of Ultron and lost in Avengers: Infinity War, they both have a choice that not even the Greek philosophers could have anticipated. "As a carbon-based synthezoid, your memory storage is not so easily wiped," Vision tells White Vision. Despite the White Vision insisting he has not "retained any memories," the Vision informs him, "You do have the data."
With a touch of White Vision's forehead, the White Vision's voice ceases to be cold and inhuman and more like the Vision we know. Softer, warmer. As the White Vision declares, "I am Vision."
But then what? The White Vision flies away, never seen again for the rest of the episode. Where did the White Vision go? And what's next to come?
As Vision's comic book history reveals, the White Vision is destined for another system reboot. It actually may not be long before we reunite with the old Vision fans know and love.
What happens to White Vision in the comics?
As a refresher, White Vision's first comic book appearance is writer John Byrne's story "VisionQuest," from West Coast Avengers. The Vision is kidnapped by a multinational group who fear the Vision's power to access to global databases. He is horrifically disassembled and his memories are wiped away, before being put back together with the help of Hank Pym.
However, the operation is imperfect, given that the "brain" for the Vision originally belongs to the superhero Wonder Man, who refuses to lend his brain patterns again to restore Vision. And so, the Vision becomes "White Vision," a blank ghost in his former shell. (Wonder Man also had a thing for Wanda and was jealous of her marriage to Vision. Not even superheroes are immune to being emotionally immature teenagers.) In the end, Wanda's marriage is annulled as the "White Vision" insists he is simply not the Vision that Wanda fell in love with.
However, it doesn't take long before the White Vision begins to feel real. Like the original green and red Vision, White Vision starts to think about a life outside being an Avenger. A scientist helps start the process of giving White Vision humanity, first with a human disguise (becoming "Victor Shade") to mingle with other people and study their social behavior. When it's discovered that the White Vision still needs a human brain pattern to function, the scientist uploads the patterns of his late son to give the White Vision the capacity for emotional growth.
Meanwhile, another Vision from a parallel Earth in the multiverse shows up. Unlike the White Vision, who has just begun to learn the complexities of human emotions, this "Anti-Vision" is all emotions, and inhabits the same red and green body readers were familiar with.
As part of Anti-Vision's scheme, he swaps places with White Vision, effectively restoring the Vision back into his original form and Anti-Vision now in the White Vision's body. The true Vision later defeats Anti/White Vision in the 1994 miniseries Vision written by Bob Harras.
Though the Vision is by all accounts "restored," not everything is the same. Wanda has moved on and is unwilling to rekindle their relationship. Vision agrees, despite the rejection stinging him. The two become something like your colleagues who dated and broke up and now it's totally awkward around the office. The Vision briefly dates around, including going jetskiing with Carol Danvers, at the time operating as Ms. Marvel, in Avengers #38.
What is Vision's MCU Phase 4 future?
While things have obviously played out differently in the MCU, the "restoration" of White Vision and Paul Bettany's own admission that he's not finished are all the signs we need. It may not be tomorrow or even the day after, but we can be assured the White Vision will return and regain his color, effectively bringing Vision "back." (And hopefully, he won't have to die a fourth time.)
The White Vision's whereabouts after WandaVision are unclear. But just like the Hulk's Irish goodbye in Avengers: Age of Ultron only to show up in Thor: Ragnarok, we can perhaps guess the White Vision will don a human disguise ("Victor Shade," again) while he figures things out.
And while Wanda and Vision could theoretically be an item again, the very point of WandaVision is that Wanda has now accepted her loss. She's grieved. She's done. Even when White Vision restores to Vision, it is unlikely Wanda will want to resume what they almost had.
But hey, WandaVision has set the table for new shows like Secret Invasion and movies like Captain Marvel 2. Maybe there's time for the Vision and Carol to go jetskiing.
The next Marvel series on Disney+, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, premieres March 19.