Sometimes, iconic characters come about due to spur-of-the-moment creative inspiration. Others, like Vision, come out of something as simple as a mandate from the boss. According to Vision’s creator, Roy Thomas, Vision was created as a solution to Stan Lee’s mandate for new Avengers members. “Stan suddenly said it was time to make up a new character, to bring in a new Avenger,” Thomas explained to Yahoo. “I didn’t like to create new characters for Marvel, because I wouldn’t own them. I wanted to bring back the old Vision … But Stan wanted an android. He didn’t say why. He just said he wanted the new character to be an android. Stan says, ‘Create a new Avenger.’ I didn’t argue with him.” Thus, the Vision the world knows and loves was born, all thanks to Stan Lee’s insistence on an android Avenger.
It may not be the glossiest origin story for an iconic superhero, but Lee’s mandate did have its advantages. Chiefly, it immediately helped make Vision stand out on any Avengers roster — and still does, in fact. The distinguished superhero team has had all kinds of unusual members, including giant green monsters, billionaires in iron suits, and men who can shrink at will. Yet even in that unorthodox crowd, an android like Vision manages to catch readers’ attention. Right from his conception, Vision was a unique (if a bit cynically produced) creation.