Comics Speculator: ‘Avengers Age of Ultron’ Turns Back-Issue Spotlight on The Vision

Summer is here! It might not feel like it where you are, but trust me, “Avengers Age of Ultron,” the first of this summer’s comic-book-movies, opened last Friday. So, yes, summer is here. And, like all the Marvel movies before it, “Age of Ultron” had a massive $187,656,000 opening. So, to critics who are whining about super-hero-movie-fatigue: you’re wrong and stop whining. In this new Avengers film we meet some new team members and today we’re going to focus on one of them.

But first, SPOILER ALERT!!!

Avengers Age of Ultron

While most of the humanoid figures dropping from the sky are the android soldiers of Ultron in the new Marvel movie “Avengers Ages of Ultron,” the caped figure hovering over the Incredible Hulk’s head in a halo of the sun is a new Avenger. But there has to be a Spoiler Alert here: If you haven’t seen the movie yet and don’t want to know who it is, stop reading, get yourself to a theater and watch the flick. Then come back and finish reading this article.

There’s just no way I can do this without spoilers, so let’s just tear this Band-Aid off. The Vision, a green and red android, is one of the new team members. Here he’s played by Paul Bettany and will be quite recognizable to Avengers comic fans. But a lot of people out there don’t know much about the Vision. So today we’ll be taking a brief look at the synthetic Avenger’s history and his most collectible appearances.

Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (Timely, 1939)

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the first iteration of the Vision in the pages of Marvel Mystery Comics #13 in 1939. He wasn’t an android, though, but an alien law enforcement officer from Smokeworld.

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the first iteration of the Vision in the pages of Marvel Mystery Comics #13 in 1939. He wasn’t an android, though, but an alien law enforcement officer from Smokeworld.

Why it’s hot: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created the first iteration of the Vision in the pages of Marvel Mystery Comics #13. The comic featured several different Golden-Age heroes in their own short stories, most notably starring Namor the Submariner and The Human Torch (back when the Torch was an android). The Golden-Age vision wore the iconic red-and-green costume but had a ghostly white face. Also, he wasn’t an android but an alien law enforcement officer from Smokeworld.

How much: Marvel Comics printed in the ’30s and ’40s are extremely hard to find in any condition and this one is no exception. The CGC census lists only 35 copies universally graded with three copies in 9.2 condition. Even though the character is this comic isn’t exactly the Vision we know and love today, this is still the first appearance of the character and worth picking up.

In CGC 9.8 condition, this issue guides at $36,000, but you are not going to find a copy that nice anywhere. Sorry. The 9.2 condition copies I mentioned guide for $9,600 but copies are so hard to find that it might not be a bad idea to pick up a copy in any condition. Currently, lower-condition copies have been selling under guide for relatively affordable Golden-Age Marvel prices. A copy in CGC 4.0 just sold on eBay for $1,377 and guides for $1,920. Nice bidding there for the winner. If you can find a copy… buy it.

The Avengers #57 (Marvel, 1968)

Avengers #57

The first appearance of the modern Vision, as re-tooled by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, features the Vision with red skin and made as an android. In the issue the Vision is created by Ultron as an inside man that will eventually turn on the Avengers.

Why it’s hot: This is the first appearance of the modern Vision as re-tooled by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas. Thomas wanted to bring back the Golden-Age character but Lee was set on introducing an android Avenger. So the two compromised, changed the Vision’s skin color to red (white was too expensive and difficult to print at the time) and made him an android. In the issue the Vision is created by Ultron as an inside man that will eventually turn on the Avengers. However, because Ultron created the Vision using the brain patterns of the then-dead Simon Williams (Wonder Man), the Avengers convince him to turn on his master and join the team.

How Much: Unlike his first Golden-Age appearance, there seems to be plenty of copies of the Vison’s first Silver-Age appearance out there. The CGC Census lists 1,269 universally graded copies with eight in 9.8 Near-Mint condition. With the hype of the Vision joining the movie team, prices have been going crazy. Comicspriceguide.com lists this issue at $2,100 in 9.8 condition but copies in CGC 9.2 have been selling on eBay for $2,500 and up. If you’re looking to grab this issue in any condition, be prepared to pay well over guide. If you already have a couple copies lying around, now is the perfect time… sell it!


Matt Baum is Worthpoint’s comic book Worthologist and Co-Host of the Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast. If you have questions about these comics or any others feel free to post them in the comments section below or hit him up on Twitter, where he’s constantly yelling about stuff even nerdier than what you just read.

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