In WandaVision episode 8, a new, entirely white Vision is activated using some of Wanda’s energy – but how do the powers of the synthezoids compare when neither one has the Mind Stone? With the new Vision being built from the remains of the original, it seems reasonable to assume that the two Visions are about equally tough, and as the White Vision is effectively powered by magic augmented by the Mind Stone, it is entirely possible that all of Vision’s original abilities are still active in this new version. Even allowing for some incomplete or imprecise repairs to the damage done by Thanos and any wear caused by the unsuccessful reactivation attempts, the White Vision is likely to be the original’s physical equal.
Details on the abilities and personality of the new synthezoid are scarce, apart from what can be pieced together from context clues. In WandaVision episode 8’s credit scene, White Vision is only active for a few seconds – enough time to reveal that he has some form of awareness, and that he can move under his own power. In the comics, during the “Vision Quest” story arc, Vision was restored absent his humanity and personality, with a similar pure-white look. Since the parallels between the stories and the aesthetics cannot be denied, it seems likely that the color reflecting White Vision’s blank slate nature is also a consistent narrative point.
Originally created by Ultron as a final expression of the killer android’s “vision,” Vision’s uses of his powers have largely been reduced since his first appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The appearance of White Vision will reveal whether this was done by the writers to make Vision’s abilities comparable to other Avengers, or an act of the character himself with Vision separating his origin and future from Ultron, by not using his powers to their fullest extent against lesser threats. If this is the case, and Vision has been practicing self-restraint instead of experiencing a retcon of his powers, a morally blank Vision would have no such restrictions.
After Age of Ultron, the original MCU Vision exhibited fewer of the abilities that he had immediately after creation. While the reasons for this are never made explicitly clear in the course of the films, it is true that as his goals were different – assisting the Avengers against largely human foes instead of a horde of Ultron sentinels whose very presence demanded destruction – his means would be different as well. Eventually, with tactics coordinated with his fellow Avengers based on his usual fighting style, Vision’s abilities were effectively reduced as audiences almost never saw him fighting alone.
With SWORD recreating Vision as a sentient weapon, these self-imposed restrictions would no longer apply. If the White Vision is indeed a blank slate, then the primary driving power for Vision’s tactics would be operational parameters and efficiency, making it far easier for him to kill or maim opponents than to non-lethally disable them. A ruthless fighter has more tools at their disposal, and White Vision, absent the original’s morality or humanity has no reason to not be ruthless. A Vision that is entirely goal-oriented would be devastatingly effective, especially with the Vision’s original expanded power suit.
Vision is in a unique position as a superhero, with the capacity to make careful calculations for every move instantly if he chooses to do so. If White Vision is purely calculating, SWORD’s experiments may have recreated Ultron – but for good or ill, the original Vision also had the capacity to form human attachments. When Vision is distracted by concern for Wanda in Captain America: Civil War, he errs in his calculations, nearly killing War Machine. While White Vision might also be forced to choose between preserving an ally or accomplishing a mission goal, such a calculation would be based on a cost/benefit analysis, rather than on personal feelings.
That being said, Vision’s humanity is also an asset, particularly when not considered as a solo act. Vision’s humanity is no doubt a contributing factor in his worthiness to bear Mjolnir, which helps him to defeat the Ultron sentinels. Similarly, Vision’s ability to relate to teammates and to appear human-like helps him to function as a member of a team, which while not assisting him in a one-on-one comparison with White Vision, does make him a better Avenger. This could be important; WandaVision is posed to recreate Endgame‘s Captain America copy-fight, with White Vision being one of the significant combatants on one side. Westview Vision’s ability to coordinate and work with others could therefore prove a decisive edge.
Avengers: Infinity War retroactively removed the need for the Mind Stone to sustain Vision’s existence, and his powers seem to persist in Westview despite the gem in his forehead being a construct created by Wanda out of whole cloth. While many of Vision’s powers that extended beyond his synthezoid frame were explained by the presence of the Mind Stone, Infinity War implied that all of his powers were now an inherent part of his being, and that the stone was no longer required. While White Vision has not yet exercised any powers, he presumably still has the same physical construction as the original Vision, and would therefore retain those powers.
Any loss of powers that Vision might have suffered – the stone still being an immensely powerful cosmic artifact – seem to be made up for by Wanda’s magic. The Westview Vision was made entirely from Wanda’s Chaos Magic, and the White Vision was reactivated using the same energy. If the Westview Vision can use all of Vision’s original abilities, having been recreated through Wanda’s intimate knowledge of the original, then White Vision, made from the original can theoretically do the same.
Whatever SWORD’s aim, they have now accomplished their goal and restored Vision as a sentient weapon. Whether that means that White Vision will be an antagonist in his own right or a secret cameo for Ultron when his identity is revealed, the conflict between the Westview Vision and the White Vision will be epic in scope. While White Vision has a considerable advantage in a one-on-one conflict, Westview Vision’s humanity will likely prove decisive one way or another – either because he’s unwilling to be as ruthless, or because he can rely on friends, allies, and loved ones in order to make up the difference.