One of Marvel’s strangest heroes is on a quest to find their humanity, and copying Superman’s origin seems like the best way to do it.
Warning: contains spoilers for Champions #3!
Marvel is taking a cue from DC Comics in the latest issue of Champions, in which Viv Vision homages Superman’s origin story. Champions is Marvel’s premier teenage superhero team, consisting of younger characters such as Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, the new Nova, Brawn, and Viv Vision, among others. The group is characterized by their efforts to do things differently than their adult counterparts, founded to “champion” civilian efforts rather than lord over them, ignoring their concerns.
The team is currently on the run thanks to Marvel’s Outlawed event, unable to lose task force C.R.A.D.L.E. thanks to the efforts of Viv Vision, who was injured in the mission gone wrong that turned America against its young heroes and is apparently informing on her teammates. Formerly presumed dead, Viv has been on a journey of self-discovery over previous issues, seeking solitude in disguise as a human.
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In Champions #3, Viv visits Kansas, inspired by The Wizard of Oz. Almost instantly, Viv picks up the sound of someone in need, quickly making their acquaintance and using her powers to fix the electrical wires outside their home. Confiding in the woman, whose name is Cora, Viv gets a sympathetic life lesson and the offer to stay on the Kansas farm while she figures things out.
With her powers of enhanced strength and durability, flight, superhuman senses, and even heat vision, Viv brings to mind a young Superman helping out on the farm and trying to keep his abilities a secret in Smallville, Kansas, but the comparisons run deeper. Created by her father as an attempt at a perfect suburban family, Viv still hasn’t truly connected with humanity, and her time in Kansas seems intended to allow her to come of age and truly bond with regular people in the same way that has come to define Clark Kent.
Viv Vision’s getaway from the Champions doesn’t feature the world-ending tragedy of Krypton, or a rocket ship that a kindly couple discover in a field. Instead, it’s defined by solitude and small-scale acts of kindness that redefine her powers, removing them from violent application and instead imagining helpful, humane uses that parallel the Champions‘ original mission statement. As an artificial human and the daughter of an Avenger, Viv – like Superman – has no pre-existing place in humanity, and she’s acutely aware of it. Hopefully, like Superman, living on a farm in Kansas will teach Viv Vision what it’s like to be an everyday human, allowing her to forgive the mistakes of her friends and become a more rounded hero in the process.
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