Virginia: “Yes. I know. But please understand. I too am trying to be real.”
Vivian “Viv” Vision is a Marvel superheroine. She’s related to famous android Avenger the Vision.
She first appeared in Eisner-winning 2016 surreal horror mini-series Vision.
This profile is over our read-in-one-sitting length limit. Mostly because Viv has a *lot* of powers.
But as it turns out, it results in a convenient reading order :
- Vivian Vision part #1. This here profile.
- Champions 2016-2019 team profile.
- Vivian Vision part #2.
These entries cover 2016-2019. So The Visions (2016), Champions Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, and all then-contemporary appearances. There are S P O I L E R S for all of these.
It stops just before the team returns during Incoming.
- Real Name: Vivian Vision.
- Note: Viv identifies as “Vivian Vision”. But her mother considered that they did not have a family name. She identified as the mononymousA person whose name is a single word. Virginia.
- Other Aliases: Vivid Vessel (Weirdworld identity).
- Known Relatives: Vision (“Victor Shade”) (father), Vin (twin brother, destroyed), Virginia (mother, destroyed), Victor Mancha (uncle), Wasp (Nadia van Dyne) (cousin of a sort), Viv 2.0 (sister, deceased).
- Group Affiliation: Champions.
- Base of Operations: 616 Hickory Branch Lane, Cherrydale, Arlington, VA, 21301.
- Height: 5’4″ (1.62m). Weight: 152 lbs. (69 Kg.).
- Eyes: Glowing yellow. Hair: Kelly green.
Family may require assembly
Viv’s family ties do not neatly fit with organic people terms. Therefore I went with who she identifies as her relatives.
I did not append those whom the Vision identifies as relatives. Since he sees as such :
- Those who he shares mental patterns with (such as Wonder Man (Simon Williams)).
- Those who share some fundamental technical designs (such as Victor Mancha).
- Those who have familial emotional ties with him (such as Dr. Henry Pym).
- His creator (Ultron).
Thus, the list in the Background block above is *Viv’s* declared family, not her dad’s.
The Wasp (Nadia van Dyne) reasoned that she was Viv’s great aunt, being Dr. Henry Pym’s daughter. However, Viv doesn’t identify Ultron as her grandfather.
Still, she has jokingly referred to Nadia as her great-aunt a few times, and they consider each other to be related. In practice they’re cousin-like, I guess.
Viv does not seem aware that her mum’s mentality was based on the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff)’s. If she did she’d likely consider Wanda her aunt.
As it happens one of my favourite songs of 2016 had cryptic, creepy lyrics (as often with Sleigh Bells). These fit the Vision 2016 LS to a T.
Viv is a synthesoid. So she’s not an organic person, but neither is she a robot. Many of her components emulate human tissues, and her internal structure replicates the way a human is built.
For instance, she has a human-like tongue. That would make no sense on most robot designs (like, just put in a vocoder). But Viv can use her plastoid tongue to speak, eat, taste, kiss, tie cherry stems, etc. just like humans do.
This approach seems to meld the best of both worlds. Synthezoids can have the power and convenience of a robot, while maintaining some organic-life-like mental, emotional and physical functions.
The first known synthesoid was the 1940s Human Torch (Jim Hammond), invented by Professor Phileas Horton.
More have been created since. But it seems that creating a synthesoid is much more complicated than building an advanced android.
Even an android can try
Viv and her brother have specific mental patterns. These are a mix of the Vision’s (based on Simon Williams’ brain patterns) and Virginia’s (an upload of Wanda Maximoff’s, brain patterns).
They are thus, in this important respect, their literal twin children.
Splicing patterns in this way resulted in immature personas. Viv and Vin were the equivalent of 16-year-olds, and couldn’t handle the volume of pre-loaded memories that Virginia received. Thus, they have to live and learn on their own.
This can be seen as a boon. On one hand, an immature persona means making worse decisions and being more vulnerable. On the other, it means that the twins had a shot at growing up to become their own, and hopefully less tortured, person.
I, second-generation gynomorph superhuman synthesoid
As a high-end synthezoid, Viv has much lighter needs than an equivalent human.
She doesn’t need to sleep. However, she’ll often take a nocturnal break. During this pause she reviews her recent data intake. She’ll delete trivial data to save on storage.
She doesn’t need to eat or drink. Most of her energy is provided by phenomenally efficient solar power conversion through her skin and her forehead jewel.
Still, Viv can eat and drink (to enjoy the taste, or just to be polite), and convert this biomass into energy. But this is far less efficient than solar power.
Vivian Vision is immune to disease, but she can catch some computer viruses. Her “immune system” of firewalls reinforces itself much like a human immune system learns about pathogens.
Viv has all the mental faculties of a highly intelligent human. Plus all the data-processing power of a highly advanced computer.
Unlike her dad, Viv is mortal. The Vision was constructed from immensely advanced materials, but his family was made from more mainstream components.
Since the Vision didn’t realise this at first, the difference might be microscopic amounts of complexly-shaped adamantiumAn indestructible metal in Marvel comics in key spots.
Powers & Abilities
Viv has roughly the same architecture and systems as her dad. Beyond the differences discussed above, we can distinguish several groups of abilities.
Vivian Vision is superhumanly strong and tough. She seems about “Class 2”.
She doesn’t seem to suffer much from fatigue, freezing temperatures or stifling heat.
Damage is much easier to repair than with a fleshy human. She also can self-repair using autonomous protocols.
Energy emission (part 1)
Viv can emit energy by drawing from her solar reserves. Technically these are limited, but she’s not going to run out even with extensive use.
Normally, emission is done through her forehead jewel. But she can instead emit energy from her eyes — or even her hands — with little difficulty.
She has demonstrated :
- Heat beams (suitable for welding).
- Laser (though it’s not cleanly demonstrated by Viv, Virginia mentions it).
- Concussive energy.
- Flashlight-like light beam.
- Generic energy blasts.
- Electrical shocks, but these have no range. And may be too fiddly to use in combat. She once produced one from her hands for cardiac resuscitation.
Her energy attacks seem stronger than the Vision’s during his “classic” days. They seem about as powerful as .50 BMG machinegun fire, and can thus destroy lightly armoured vehicles.
They are also more powerful than the Wasp (Nadia van Dyne)’s sting.
Vivian once formed a force shield that stopped multiple 7.62x39mm rounds. But apparently, it’s not strong enough to be of use in superhuman combat. Since she never does that again.
Energy emission (part 2)
Ms. Vision can also be plugged in to absorb electricity. This could be used to recharge if her solar power gets expanded.
This also has been used to supercharge some of her abilities. But doing so requires vast amounts of power, which will likely damage her.
She once mentions having a radar, but it’s not clearly demonstrated.
In most combat encounters, Vivian Vision hovers eerily in the background and shoots eyebeams.
Energy emission (part 3)
Viv can use her forehead jewel to project lasers and lights in such a way to create holograms.
Applications have included :
- Floating pictures that are clearly holograms. For instance, to show a floorplan to others.
- Somewhat convincing, mostly static illusions with sounds. However, she needs to fully focus, and she must have extensive data about what she’s projecting.
- Projecting in front of her an image of what’s behind her. This allows a sort of “chameleon” invisibility. However it seems slow and awkward, and she likely cannot do that if there are a lot of moving things and colours behind her.
- Altering her appearance. This too is limited. Mostly she can make it look like she wears different clothes. And alter the colour of her skin and hair to more common hues.
It doesn’t seem that she can do eyes – but she can “wear” holographic sunglasses to hide her peepers.
The Vision’s most famous ability is to decrease or increase his density. He can be ghostlike and weightless, or diamond-hard and weighing 90+ tons.
However, Viv seldom augments her density. She has done it on occasion, but this seems to limit her mobility more severely than it does her dad’s.
By contrast, Vivian routinely operates with a near-zero density. She’ll simply float around, and naturally phaseBeing immaterial and able to walk through walls, like a ghost through obstacles, rain, floors, etc. like it’s a Tuesday on Bgztl.
Like her dad, Viv can manipulate her density to create momentum. The result : flight, and with enough of her solid to carry stuff. She likes flying even more than she likes being intangible, and is usually seen hovering.
Viv has on occasion phased her hands into machines to operate them from the inside. This can be useful when, say, a control panel is locked or damaged. Part of this stunt might be done by emitting and absorbing a little electricity from her fingers.
Electronics disruption ?
Ms. Vision is seen bollixing electronics by passing through them. She can turn this side effect on or off.
This is intriguing. It’s what happens with Kitty Pryde’s phasing power, but not with the Vision’s density control.
It seems likely that she actually generates an internal magnetic field when she does that. In the same way that she has occasionally generated electrical charges.
(Though our game stats include this magnetic pulse, it’s well possible that the material in the comics was in error. She uses it in a story by Whitely, but the very next issue by Waid has her not using it in a very similar situation.)
Computer-assisted brain (part 1)
Ms. Vision can process computer data (via ports or wireless) with great speed and efficiency. With full concentration, she can manage about 16 separate continuous feeds.
She also recorded a huge store of information – many websites and her entire school’s library, for starters. All this knowledge is at her instant disposal.
She also has total recall.
Her data stores seem to include Avengers data, presumably provided by her dad. For instance she has a good corpus of Skrull language, and knows about the tech of Nova Corps helms.
Viv has long-range radio and networking capabilities. Four common applications :
- She and her family used to form a LAN with shared resources.
- Viv often serves as a walking wifi hotspot for the Champions, who use their smartphones a lot (network password: evenanandro1dcancry).
- She can scour the Internet at extreme speed (including real-time resources such as Youtube uploads, Tiktok uploads, Twitter posts , etc.) to locate relevant information. Such as a smartphone video of a crime in progress.
- Detecting and locating emitters, or even small receptors (such as RFID chips).
She can also analyse input from her own senses at great speed. Say, to count individuals in a charging horde of AsgardianThe reality of the Old Norse gods, such as Thor trolls.
Computer-assisted brain (part 2)
Vivian has a particularly high level of deductive intelligence. If she has enough data she’ll normally reach a correct conclusion. She also excels at spotting clues.
Her impossibly-high-speed Internet access also allows her to simulate skills. For instance :
- Using online translation services to speak and understand a new language.
- Downloading manuals and instruction videos to learn how to drive a given model of school bus within seconds.
Vivian possesses unclear technological skills. She contributed to a number of projects, but we almost never see her actually working on those.
She apparently can hack extremely quickly. She once accessed within seconds police evidence room records, which were presumably protected.
The young telepath Hummingbird couldn’t detect Vivian’s surface thoughts. However, this may be more of a limitation of Hummingbird than a power of Ms. Vision.
Vivian is occasionally accompanied by her synthesoid dog, Sparky. Sparky can manipulate his density, and fly. But otherwise he’s just a pet dog.
Ms. Vision’s calm, polite and rational behaviour is often interpreted as unthreatening. This makes people surprisingly likely to confide in her. Her lack of expressions may also lead to them projecting their emotions on her, painting her as relatable despite her inhumanity.
Viv mentioned that her sensors are more accurate than human senses. There isn’t much hard evidence, though. But she once measured Ms. Marvel’s heart rate by holding her hand for a few seconds.
History (part 1)
In 2016, veteran Avenger the Vision (“Victor Shade”) had another go at building himself a human life.
He took a sabbatical from the team. He also joined the Secret Service as a Presidential bodyguard, liaison and advisor.
The Vision built three synthesoids based on himself, to be his wife and children. The Vision craved the most ordinary, cliché, banal life he could get.
There would be a stock suburban house. It didn’t have an actual white picket fence, but it might well have. He would be a good neighbour and a good citizen, and everything would be normal.
This, of course, didn’t quite make sense. That was the Vision’s point. To be more human, he and his family had to not quite make sense. To fully make sense is to be a robot.
The kids aren’t alright
The twins attended the elite Alexander Hamilton public high school in Fairfax. Though this was weird and they remained very close, they continued to develop individual emotions and perspectives.
However, the model suburban home was stormed by the Grim Reaper (Eric Williams). Taken by surprise, Viv was slain by the Reaper’s scythe. The Reaper was then slain by Virginia.
Attempting to preserve her family, Virginia lied about killing the Reaper and hid the corpse.
This triggered a series of bad breaks. The attempt at a normal familial life slowly, traumatically fell apart.
Though it took weeks, Vision managed to repair Viv. A failsafe phasing reflex had preserved her core components. She could thus be rebooted with the exact same consciousness.
Viv had made a human friend – her chemistry class partner Chris Kinzy.
But Chris’ father attempted to blackmail the Visions into leaving town to protect his son. When confronted by Virginia, he tried to shoot her – but accidentally killed Chris.
Meanwhile, Virginia and Vin started experiencing psychotic breakdowns over their artificial nature.
Viv also crashed. But her reaction was closer to human grief over Chris’ death. Though depression hit her hard, she could recover in time.
To “fix” his family, the Vision built a synthesoid dog. This was oddly successful, with the eerie pet being something to care for.
The family also recovered when Vision’s brother Victor Mancha came to stay with them. He was a nurturing uncle figure for the kids.
But Victor was a spy. He had been sent in by the Avengers. They had received a prophecy from Agatha Harkness, about the Vision soon wreaking massive global damage.
However, Vin discovered Victor’s mission, resulting in a fight. Vin was accidentally killed in the fray. And thus, it turned out that sending Mr. Mancha was what triggered the foretold episode of rage and insanity for the Vision.
The Avengers couldn’t stop the Vision, who had gone berserk over the death of his son. But Virginia :
- Slew Victor Mancha before the Vision could do it.
- Confessed to the police facts that exonerated her husband.
- Committed suicide.
His anger cut from under him, the Vision no longer was a threat.
On ne naît pas fantôme
Vivian returned to school. She also apparently alternated between the Vision’s house and the Scarlet Witch’s place for a time.
Wanda helped her understand Virginia’s sacrifice, and forgive Virginia’s role in Chris’ death.
However, it seems that a good chunk of Vivian’s psychological recovery was achieved by activating her emotions limiter.
Though that allowed her to dodge what would likely have been severe PTSD , it also meant that she never fully processed the fallout of her harrowing experiences.
The next step is to read the Champions (2016-2019) team profile.
And the step after that is to read the second half of Viv’s profile.
Source of Character: Marvel Comics.
Helper(s): Darci, Sparky the synthesoid dog.
Writeup completed on the 27th of August, 2020.