The Vision was a "Keeper of Law" on Smokeworld and was responsible for capturing the criminal who committed the first murder on Smokeworld in centuries. The Vision, assisted by the "Law-Giver", was looking for a suitable place of banishment for the murderer when he lucked into contact with an Earth scientist by the name of Markham Erickson. Erickson had pierced the spatial/dimensional barriers and asked the Vision to come to Earth to act as a super-powered guardian over humanity. The Vision's first attempt to come to Earth resulted in him going to Jupiter, where he left the murderer. The incident inspired him to devote himself to fighting crime.
Months after this encounter in November of 1940, the Vision was brought to Earth once again by Enoch Mason's "Dimensional Smasher" device. When mobster Brains Borelli sought to eliminate Mason and his daughter Sheila, for their inability to pay back the loan that Enoch got to fund his experiments, the Vision came to their aid. After the Vision turned Borelli over to the authorities he became an ally to the Masons.
During this time, the Vision fought crime in the area, and adopted a human guise of "Mr. Aarkus", remaining close with the Masons. The Vision and Sheila grew to be very close while Enoch continued his studies of the Vision's home dimension. When a mobster named O'Shaugnessy sent one of his minions to learn the connection between the Masons and the Vision, the resulting attack on the Mason home caused Enoch's device to be opened unleashing a Kalimachh from the Smoke Dimension on Earth. The Vision killed the creature, but Enoch's device was destroyed in the process, trapping the Vision on Earth. The Vision considered this a whim of fate, and was glad to be among friends such as the Masons.
However, despite these friends the Vision ceased using a human guise and continued his quest to battle evil. This caused him to drift away from the Masons becoming a mysterious guardian of those in need, disappearing as quickly as he came to peoples aid.
World War II
The Vision battled the werewolves Gordon and Llhupa Sanders, phony mystic Rhamu Rondi, a horde of dinosaurs hatched from prehistoric eggs, mobster Vince Garone, crooked politician Tim Skelly, and his partner Heinie Mayers.
In May of 1941, the Vision officially got involved in World War II when he appeared in a Nazi concentration camp to rescue Professor Bauer, who was imprisoned there for his outspoken writings against the Nazi regime. The Vision broke Bauer out of the camp and assisted him in fleeing to Portugal. Later, investigating a series of "vampire murders" in Star City, the Vision faced the living plant Florus Homo, killing the murderous creature. After this, the Vision exposed a corrupt builder who used shoddy material to build a school.
The Vision then began to face strange paranormal foes such as the ancient magician Khor of the ageless land, African shark-god Kai-Mak, Grosso from the "Dimension of War Dust," black arts practitioner Enric Zagnar. giant plant creatures accidentally created by Professor Rudolf Norsen, and the demons of Hades Inc. When clashing with the soul stealing scientist Professor Igor Korbeau, the Vision also battled the so-called Guardian of the Spirit World in order to rescue the souls that Korbeau had taken. Following those adventures, the Vision began to once more face more mundane foes such as mobster Legs Cochone and the saboteur known as the Crank.
By May of 1942, the Vision once again began focusing his crusade on the Axis Powers. He clashed with Imperial Japanese forces when he stopped their monstrous creation the Jelly Men. On the Pacific coast, he helped a government agent defend Santa Cruz from attacks by Japanese subs disguised as sharks. In New York, the Vision defended the city from giant octopuses created by a Nazi mad scientist.
Later, he clashed with the Beast of Cactus Canyon, carnivorous plant breeder Kamentin, defended the citizens of New York from the Sewer People, and apprehended mobster Joe Marone while posing as a young boy's genie. After, he clashed with mad scientist Maxim Dreer, exposed murdering playwright Horace Smith, the so-called Monster of Negley Hall, the Master of Madness. and thwarted an invasion of Earth by the so called "Asteroid Monsters".
In the spring of 1943 the Vision appeared in Egypt where he stopped Nazi sympathizer Professor Rocher from using the "Gas of Evil" found in an Egyptian crypt to enslave the world. He later clashed with the jewel thief Seni Karlan, defended the Pillow of Life and Death from Japanese agents, and rescued American envoy John Adams from Imperial Japanese forces. He next led a group of angry miners whose coworkers were injured by mobster Lucky Wilson, who in turn was hired by a Nazi agent. Vision once more battled against Nazi forces.
Aarkus was forced by Dr. Death of the Battle-Axis, who had created a version of Dr. Erickson's machine, to fight against the heroic Invaders under threat of being trapped forever on Earth. However, in the ensuing battle, Dr. Death's machine was destroyed, generating enough smoke to allow Aarkus a route home. To redeem himself somewhat, when he departed, he took along the poison gas which the villains had pumped into the room to kill the Invaders. Shortly after this, Aarkus accompanied Captain America, the Invaders and a cadre of other superheroes in an assault on a Nazi stronghold.
Years later in the modern era, the Vision reappeared when the Mighty Avengers and New Avengers sought the Cosmic Cube to return the time displaced Invaders back to their own time. He was briefly transformed into the demon known as D'Spayre by the cube until he was restored to normal by Dr. Strange. The Vision then claimed that his people came to Earth's dimension as "mid-wives" for the fledgling cubes to usher them to their sentient forms. He then accompanied all three groups of heroes with the cube back to the year 1943.
When the Cube came into the possession of the Red Skull, the Vision appeared before him and explained to the Skull how the Cube was used. However this was a ploy to further help the Cube reach its sentience and the Red Skull's attempt to take over the world. When Toro's friend Bucky briefly held the Cube, he used it to resurrect Toro in the future, as he had gained foreknowledge of both their deaths, but did not want to change the course of history. Upon rising from his grave, Toro was greeted by the Vision to show him a world that had moved on without him.
When Toro returned to the home he once shared with his wife Ann he found that she had remarried since his death. The Vision attempted to explain that when the Cosmic Cube brought him back to life it did so in the most logical way so as to not effect history. Despite this, the emotionally troubled Toro fled the Vision, but the Vision knew full well that he and Toro would cross paths again.
Later when the Human Torch was infected by an enzyme created by the Mad Thinker, the Vision led the Torch to reunite with Toro and travel to "New Berlin" to battle the Thinker and his creation the Inhuman Torch. After the Torch had destroyed the Mad Thinker's creation and cured himself, the Vision appeared once more and assisted the heroes return back to the United States, telling them that they had learned a lot about humanity in their trials.
Over time, Aarkus became increasingly disconnected from humanity. He took up residence on the moon, and visited Earth only to purchase new books to feed his desire to accumulate knowledge. However, without any context for the information he was taking in, he began taking even obviously biased books at face value.
David Haller, having seen a glimpse of the future, became concerned that Aarkus was reading anti-mutant propaganda, setting into motion a chain of events that would lead to him launching an attack on Earth's mutants in a misguided effort to protect humanity. Seeking to prevent this threat from ever emerging, he attacked Aarkus in his sleep, incapacitating him and preventing him from awakening. He then turned Aarkus over to the X-Men.
Aarkus would then be handed over to S.W.O.R.D., who helped revive him and restore him to sanity. He recognised that he had been on the verge of committing atrocities, and that his defeat at David's hands had given him some much needed humility. Seeking to return the favour, he recruited Karasu-Tengu into a plan to deceive David into thinking that Aarkus intended to execute him using the Phoenix's Shadow, a (non-existent) weaker sibling of the Phoenix Force. The deception succeeded in breaking through David's arrogance and forcing him to embrace his many splintered personalities, achieving Aarkus' goal of strengthening David and bringing him a greater sense of mental stability.
There are two accounts of the Vision's activities on Earth that predate his first appearance in the final months of 1940.
By the accounts of the people of Shangri-La, the Vision was the founder of their society and taught their most recent leader (circa 1943) Leme Tel the secrets of the Pillow of Life and Death. This would predate the Vision's first recorded appearance on Earth by many centuries. The second such account was during the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, a full year before the Vision's first appearance. In this account, the Vision came to the rescue of Baron and Baroness Pavlek who were betrayed to the Nazis by the Baron's brother Felix. The Vision rescued the couple and slew Felix when the Nazi forces came to capture them.
There is no explanation for these appearances, except or perhaps the possibility that the Vision's teleportation abilities allowed him to traverse through time as well as space. However, all possibilities are speculative at best.
Aarkus is a Supernatural being from another dimension who entered our plane through elements contained in smoke. He is capable of a great many abilities, stemming from the innate resources of his body/mind/soul:
- Smoke/Vapor/Gas Control: It is been shown countless times that Aarkus has high control over Gases, Vapors and Smoke substances. Once in a Dimension, as well while entering one, he can manipulate them, no matter how little. This power dictates the thickness, form, and volume up to enough to cover a whole building.
- Teleportation: Aarkus is capable of manifesting anywhere in the world, as long as there is smoke, vapor, and/or gas for him to emerge from. Extending to emerging from a dead cigar's faint smoke. He can even travel between dimensions via the same way, allowing him to travel unlimited distances in our galaxy.
- Intake Immunity: As of yet there is no toxin or atmosphere known to harm him, he can virtually breath in anything allowing him to survive throughout dimensions.
- Matter State Manipulation: Can handle gaseous substances as if solid.
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Durability: Aarkus extra-dimensional body makes him impervious to close range gun shots but he has been knocked unconscious by a deathly blow to the head, a minute later recovering with no visible marks or pain.
- Flight
- Telepathy
- Image Projection: Can project mental images.
- Mind Control: Can take temporary control of any person.
- Instant Cryokinesis: The psychic ability to cool or instantly freeze things to death by slowing down molecular action. This is both a long and close range attack, have been shown to work by touch and by blast.
Astral/Mental Form: In his astral form, similar to Doctor Strange, he does not need to breathe, eat, drink or sleep, is unrestricted by physical laws (able to fly beyond Earth’s atmosphere, defying gravity with ease), is invisible (though can be seen by any if he wished it so), intangible, and incapable of being harmed by all but the most powerful and rigorous of mystic/mental means. As physical laws are meaningless on the astral plane, Aarkus is able to use it to traverse at virtually any speed desirable: "speed of thought".
- Hypnotism
- Illusions
- Dimensional Awareness: Aarkus seemed to have expert knowledge of Earth customs (with no previous educational) even when entering our world for the first time. For instance, he can describe the workings of a machine he should know nothing about, use tool or weapons that he's never encountered before, know which laws have been broken and his objective to rectify said laws, and is excellent at investigating.
- Immortality: It has also been said that he is immortal.
Smoke/Vapor Control and Teleportation are not possible without said smoke, vapors, or gases.
Flight and teleportation through smoke clouds.
- Aarkus first appeared in the modern Marvel Universe in Avengers #97 as a mental construct of Rick Jones and the Supreme Intelligence. The actual character himself first appeared in Invaders (Vol. 2) #3. Both stories were penned by Roy Thomas.
- Aarkus has no emotional attachment towards killing a criminal, whether it makes him feel sad or content seems to be widely unknown.
- In the late 1960s, Avengers writer Roy Thomas wanted to have Aarkus join the Avengers. Thomas's editor Stan Lee insisted that the team's new member should be an android instead, for which Thomas created the Vision, who shared his name with Aarkus and sported a similar appearance and mysterious nature to his desired choice.
- 72 appearance(s) of Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 2 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 15 minor appearance(s) of Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 2 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 50 image(s) of Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 3 quotation(s) by or about Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 10 victim(s) killed by Aarkus (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Aarkus (Earth-616)