WARNING: Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness below.
As Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continues to dominate the box office, Marvel fans continue to probe the film’s reality-breaking events and what greater implications it might have for the future of the MCU and its characters. However, one question is starting to nag fans, and a new theory may provide an answer. That question: Where the heck was Vision?
With Multiverse of Madness leaning heavily into WandaVision, marking the first time an MCU movie has been so intricately linked to one of its series, Vision’s absence is particularly notable especially as Wanda begins her murderous multiversal hunt to steal her twin sons from a universe where they still exist. One such reality is Earth 838 where Doctor Strange and the Illuminati try to stop Wanda from capturing America Chavez and stealing her ability to travel through the multiverse. However, Wanda proves too powerful and horrifically murders her way through Professor X, Captain Marvel, Black Bolt, Captain Carter, and Reed Richards.
According to journalist Ryan Broderick, it’s those last two characters who provide the key to why Vision isn’t around to protect Wanda 838 and her kids.
“Wanda’s decisions only make sense if she’s purposely seeking out universes where Vision doesn’t exist. Presumably knowing that if she tried to steal her children from a universe where he did exist he would stop her,” Broderick writes. “How do we know Vision doesn’t exist in Earth 838? Because all signs point to it being a world where Howard Stark died in the experiment to create Captain America, thus creating Captain Carter. Instead of Tony Stark being the smartest man in the world, in 838, it’s Reed Richards.”
How do we know Vision doesn't exist in Earth 838? Because all signs point to it being a world where Howard Stark died in the experiment to create Captain America, thus creating Captain Carter.
Instead of Tony Stark being the smartest man in the world, in 838, it's Reed Richards.
— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) May 13, 2022
You can read the rest of Broderick’s thread here, which further breaks down Earth 838 where Tony Stark is never born. It’s pretty nerdy and great. That said, Broderick doesn’t address one small detail about Vision’s absence. He’s technically still alive in the MCU a.k.a. Earth 616. In the WandaVision finale, Vision transfers his consciousness created by Wanda’s memories into the White Vision body created by S.W.O.R.D. He then flies off into the real world now that he’s able to exist outside of Westview.
Essentially, Vision sat on the sidelines while the entire events of Multiverse of Madness took place. Although, considering Wanda’s actions mostly took place in the multiverse and two mystical locations accessible only by powerful magic users, it could be argued that Vision was completely unaware of Wanda being corrupted by the Darkhold. Apparently, he had other robot things on his robot plate than keeping tabs on his ex.