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Monday, June 14, 2021

Behold, the Vision

Marvel Mystery Comics #13 (November 1940) marked a turning point for the comic-book anthology. Up until then, the western crimefighter known as the Masked Raider had appeared in every issue, with #12 encouraging readers to return for "another Masked Raider adventure next month!" Instead of bringing back the Masked Raider, however, #13 introduced a character more in step with the superpowered heroes who had featured most prominently in the series.

The new character was Aarkus, a visitor from another dimension with the uncanny ability to materialize through smoke or vapor. Readers would know the character better as the Vision during his three-year run.

Whereas the Masked Raider had been grounded in historical fiction, the Vision often faced enemies with supernatural or science-fiction themes. Like other superheroes of his day, the Vision also battled Nazis during World War II. Aarkus had no connection to the synethezoid Vision, who would appear in print two decades later.

The covers of Marvel Mystery Comics promoted the Vision as a sensational new feature. Vision received cover billing again on #16 and #18. The above panel comes from #14.

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