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Menshevik

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,806
In Reply To
America's Captain 
Maintainer

Location: Bayville New Jersey
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 10,746
Subj: Thomas and Englehart
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 at 11:19:48 am EST (Viewed 74 times)
Reply Subj: Re: uhm...Engleheart retcon of the Vision?
Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 at 07:56:52 am EST (Viewed 91 times)



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      As I recall all we knew of Vision at that point was he was apparently built and unleashed by Ultron. Engleheart gave us the supposed origin of Vision being a reformatted Torch.



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    We didn't need to know that. Ultron made him. Who cares what he made him out of? What was Ultron made of? Oh I know - one of the Red Skull's Sleeper robots! How did we survive all this time without that information? Easy - we survived because we don't need to know.



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      I say supposed in that we now know differently.

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        Now that the time it was a nice, neat wrap to the Android Torch and since Marvel had for the most part killed or retired its Golden Age WW2 characters and they had a Torch with Johnny Storm, well I doubt Stan Lee gave it much consideration and just said "Go ahead"



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    Yes, but if Roy Thomas had wanted to do that, he would have. He's the most likely person ever to have thought of that. He's a Golden Age fan.



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    What galls me here is that no one at Marvel cared about respecting Roy Thomas's greatest character. It's like it was personal and vindictive. And has continued to this day to be personal and vindictive.


It would be nice if someone could provide statements from Steve Englehart and Roy Thomas on the matter, but it does not seem likely to me that this is what happened. Englehart had been collaborating with Roy Thomas until shortly before the relevant issue (Avengers #134) as Thomas was editor of that title through most of Englehart's run right up until #132. So there is a certain probability that Thomas and Englehart had already discussed Englehart's plot outline for #134 when Thomas made way for the new editor, Len Wein.

Not only that, Roy Thomas had not just edited all those issues, he had also scripted the last two stories he edited (Avengers #132 and Giant-Size Avengers #3, both shipped with a February 1975 cover date) over Englehart's plots. And whom do we find in Avengers #131 and #132 as well as GSA #3? Kang, Rama-Tut and Immortus (Immortus revealed that he was the future persona of the other two in GSA #3) as well as the Golden Age Human Torch (forming part of Kang's Legion of the Unliving along with, among others, Wonder Man). So in effect Englehart in #134 provides the payoff for something Thomas had helped set up himself as editor and writer.

Also, let's look back to something earlier. In Avengers #93, written by Roy Thomas and edited by Stan Lee, Henry Pym undertakes his journey to the inside of the inert Vision in order to get him going again. In one brief scene he is shown reacting with shock to something that he discovers on the way. Something the readers are not shown. This was later not unsatisfyingly explained as evidence that the Vision's body is that of the original Human Torch. Now here's the question: if it wasn't that, what else could Roy Thomas (the well-known Golden Age aficionado) have intended here?


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    Suppose I try to be generous and say Englehart/Stern/Byrne were trying to make the Vision more interesting. You don't do that by changing the character's origin. You do it by giving him more interesting rogues and putting him in the middle of more fascinating plots.



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    Oh wow! He was the Human Torch! Now we can give him Torch rogues and rekindle Torch plot lines! Did that happen? No.



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    Oh wow! He has Simon Williams's brain patterns! Now we can give him Simon Williams's rogues and rekindle Simon Williams's plot lines! Did that happen? No. We saw the Grim Reaper pop up but he was never perceived as a Vision rogue. He was a Wonder Man rogue.



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    The retcons had no purpose but to disrespect Roy Thomas and I guess to eliminate another character (The Human Torch) whom no one was thinking about any way.


Actually, 1975 also saw the publication of Giant-Size Invaders and the first issues of the ongoing Invaders title, which was set in World War 2, featured the original Human Torch and other Golden Age heroes, and continued until 1979 (most issues were written by Roy Thomas, incidentally). So the Golden Age Human Torch was once again a fixture in Marvel's output in the second half of the 1970s (after Thomas had introduced the Invaders in Avengers #71 in 1969).




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