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Marvel’s Zombies Made Vision More Like Tony Stark | Screen Rant

The fifth episode of Marvel’s What If…? made the Marvel zombies version of The Vision more like Tony Stark than the mainstream MCU. The episode introduces a zombie apocalypse to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, turning most of the world’s population, including most of The Avengers, into zombies, thanks to a deadly virus that originated in the quantum realm. During the crisis, Vision, surprisingly, betrays other survivors for a reason similar to many of Tony Stark’s mistakes throughout the MCU. Although Vision and Stark are both brilliant and altruistic, they share misguided, yet well-intentioned behaviors and similar methods of correcting their mistakes.

As explained by Spider-Man, the quantum virus is extremely contagious, spreading through zombie bites when their saliva enters their victims’ bloodstreams. Upon becoming a zombie, the victim mindlessly pursues new victims losing most of their previous personalities but retaining any skills or powers they’d had before. The zombies can be repelled, however, by the Mind Stone, which Vision uses to keep them away from his makeshift base in Camp Lehigh. Vision also reveals that the Mind Stone can be used to completely cure zombies of the virus, restoring them to their original selves (or, in Scott Lang’s case, a disembodied head).

Related: What If...? Episode 5 Cast Guide: Every New & Returning MCU Character

What the gradually-waning group of survivors learns when reaching Vision, unfortunately, is that his Mind Stone cure won’t work on Scarlet Witch, who contracted the virus and became a zombie. While Vision can’t cure the reanimated corpse of his once-lover, he also can’t bring himself to kill her, even in undead form, so he instead lures survivors to their doom, feeding them to Wanda to satiate her hunger. Vision is typically a logical being, having once been Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence JARVIS. Upon bonding with the Mind Stone, JARVIS became Vision, and his capacity for human emotion and sentimentality has gradually increased throughout his appearances. Unfortunately, his conflict between logic and sentiment motivated his wrongdoing in What If...?, a foible shared with one of his creators: Tony Stark.

Throughout the MCU, Tony Stark has made critical errors in his superhero career as Iron Man due to his lack of control over his emotions. In Iron Man 3, Tony’s fears of another alien invasion led him to isolate himself and create the Iron Legion out of paranoia. These same fears were stoked by Scarlet Witch, motivating Stark to create the disastrous Ultron Project. Stark similarly supported the highly restrictive and corruptible Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, leading to a divide between the Avengers. Later in the film, his grief over discovering that Bucky had assassinated his parents while brainwashed led him to nearly kill the former Hydra operative, despite knowing that Bucky had no control over himself.

In the mainstream MCU timeline, Vision consistently follows his sense of logic, even if he comes off as callous or awkward in the process. This is especially evident in Civil War, in which Vision sides with Tony on the Sokovia Accords over Wanda, despite his burgeoning romantic feelings for her at the time. In the What If...? alternate universe, Vision’s love for Wanda is specifically what motivates him to do the unthinkable, leading innocents to their deaths instead of putting his Mind Stone cure hypothesis to the test. The Vision from What If...? and Tony Stark both have an additional trait: Their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

Vision is aware of both the horror and the illogical qualities of his behavior, so he aids the surviving Avengers at the cost of his life. In an homage to Avengers: Infinity War, Vision rips the Mind Stone out of his head, killing himself, but giving the survivors a chance to cure the infected populace. This is a trait seen so often in Tony Stark, that there’s at least one example of him nearly sacrificing himself in almost all of his MCU appearances, including his actual death in Avengers: Endgame. Like Stark, the alternate version of Vision in Marvel’s What If…? is hindered by his emotions, but is still willing to sacrifice himself to correct his mistakes.

Next: Infinity War: What Would Zombie Thanos' Snap Do?

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