Answer by Thaddeus Howze:
HULK SMASH! And that's okay…but
The Hulk is as much as asset as he is a hindrance. Ask the Avengers. Time and time again, the Hulk's mindless rage has forced him from the roster, threatened humanity, and even brought the World's Mightiest Heroes to their knees.
And while the common perspective is the Hulk's power makes him far more useful than most metahumans, his abilities and uses are…limited. It is his destructive nature and combative stance which makes he bulk of his comic career mostly fights (and often against his allies…)
The Hulk is EXCELLENT at smashing things. It is his trademark ability whether he is as dumb as a stump or capable of crunching algorithms like a supercomputer.
The Hulk is an EXCELLENT defensive asset. When you need someone who can take a beating as well as giving one, the Hulk has few if any equals. No one can take a beat-down like the Hulk can.
The Hulk has AMAZING longevity as well. As far as we can tell, he ages incredibly slowly and is difficult if not nearly impossible to kill. As long as he stays on Earth, he is near the top of the bad-ass metahuman food chain, almost without question.
The Hulk is not delicate. He is the nuclear option to metahuman level problem-solving. You have to be prepared to destroy whatever it is you are trying to save when you utilize his abilities, especially if he is handicapped with the lack of Banner's considerable intellect.
The Hulk holds a grudge. Smart or not, the Hulk and Banner's baser nature can hold a grudge for a long time. And if you wrong him…be prepared to pay the piper.
Need something other than smashing? Call the Vision
- The Vision is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. A synthetic humanoid built from the remains of the android Human Torch, the Vision made his debut in The Avengers #57 (October, 1968) as a creation of the super-villain Ultron.
- The Vision is convinced to rebel against his creator after encountering The Avengers, who invite him to join the team. Named by The Wasp, who described him as an "unearthly, inhuman vision", the Vision becomes one of Avengers' longest-serving members until his death during Avengers Disassembled.
- This went to the point in the 1970s whenThe Avengers standard cover masthead picture in the left hand corner was just him. He came Back from the Dead a few years later and once again features in Avengers books.
The resurrected Vision, now without color, meets the android who supposedly provided his body, the Original Human Torch…It's complicated and requires an explanation of time travel. A conversation for another day.
While most comic fans will tell you the Hulk is the better hero, I compare the Hulk to the Vision quite favorably and if I had to have a super team, I would choose the Vision over the Hulk, nine times out of ten, and here's why:
The Vision is a scalpel to the Hulk's megaton nuke. The Vision may lack the Hulk's pulse-pounding power but makes up for this with a variety of diverse talents.
- He can fly and hover. He can move silently and with a very low electromagnetic signature.
- The Vision can emit electromagnetic energy from his body, usually through his eyes or his solar gem upon his forehead. This energy can be precise enough to heat a teapot, or powerful enough to reach 6,000 degrees. He can emit a light bright enough to blind Thor.
- He can phase through almost any density of matter. By altering his density, he can phase through all but the densest of materials. Electromagnetic fields can disrupt his phasing ability if they are sophisticated enough.
- He can take out opponents without raising an alarm. Called "physical disruption", the Vision can stun opponents by solidifying part of his intangible form inside their bodies to produce a sudden shock to the nervous system and excruciating pain.
- He can disable or commandeer electronic defense systems, and computerized technologies, making him a great fellow to have around when technological threats rear their head.
- While he is no Hulk in the weightlifting department, he does possess the ability to lift 75 – 90+ tons and can become as tough as diamond when he increases his density to its maximum. He can also weigh 90 tons at his maximum weight.
Vision maxes out his weight and drops like a bomb on Super Count Nefaria administering the knockout blow. The Vision hasn't looked as cool since.
- The Vision is quite intelligent in his own right and has an understanding of his own synthetic systems as well as other robots and machine intelligences.
- The Vision is an excellent tactician and trainer and has mentored younger heroes.
- The Vision, while lacking the Hulk's near invulnerability, even if he is damaged or destroyed, can be rebuilt, and has been many times since his first introduction as an enemy of the Avengers.
The reason the Vision has languished as a character is the quality of writing for the character has varied widely over the decades since his creation in Avengers #57.
The character has plenty of potential but is rarely permitted to show it. The Vision has rarely been allowed to take his space in the spotlight and when he has, it has always been with the lazy trope-ridden storylines revolving around him wanting to be a Human and dealing with the issues of not being a real boy (ala Pinocchio).
Love & Fully Functional Robots. A storyline which haunts us to this day.
Later writers also handicapped him by killing him off every five to seven years or having him become defective in one fashion or another. Not the fault of the character but the writers who simply can't manage to get the character to be more interesting than tree moss.
He dead again. Think of him like the writers do, as a synthezoid chew toy.
A damn shame because he has such a great range of talents and abilities. I can see why the fans prefer the Hulk to the Vision.
When has cool intellect ever seemed better than smashing something in a comic? Almost never. More the pity.