The Avenger known as the Vision kneels on the ground. He is a being supposedly devoid of emotion, but that is wrong, for right now, he is a man in agony. Something is wrong with his arm, it appears burnt as he kneels in a place known as The Nursery. It is a very special day-care center for a very special “child”. Only an hour ago, it had been a battle ground. Now though, there is only casualties. Several feet away from the Vision lies his wife, the beautiful Wanda Maximoff, better known as the Scarlet Witch - she is either unconscious or dead. Robert Frank, the elderly hero once known as the Whizzer has not moved since suffering a massive heart attack. And at the other end of the room, a mad man siphons power beyond measure - from Nuklo, Robert Frank’s radioactive son. All the Vision can do is stare at the melted stump that was his arm, and remember how this all began….
….Earlier that day, in Leonia, New Jersey, where the mighty Scarlet Witch and the android Vision have come to live after their “retirement” from the Avengers. Wanda is talking, via a computer monitor, to her brother, Pietro a.k.a. Quicksilver, and his wife, Crystal who holds their daughter, Luna, and Wanda informs them that they have only been here a day, but it has been a rather eventful day. In the next room, the Vision marvels at his wife’s knack for the understatements, and recalls that scarcely had they moved in when they were attacked by an ancient Druid deity and a trio of trick-or-treaters, and scarcely had they recovered from that attack, when Robert Frank arrived with a whole new set of problems.
Via the computer screen, Quicksilver asks Wanda to tell him slowly, as she knows there is a transmission delay between Earth and the Blue Area of the Moon. Wanda informs Pietro that she called him because Robert Frank has come to ask for their help in regaining custody of his son. Quicksilver points out that Robert’s son is Nuklo - the nuclear man - a radioactive mutant - and asks why he would want their help. ‘Who else could he turn to in his time of trouble, Pietro - than to us, his son and daughter!?’ Wanda exclaims.
Quicksilver asks Wanda if she has not told Robert Frank that he is not their father, as they all wrongly believed, before they learned the truth in the far away land of Wundagore. Wanda quietly tells Pietro that she didn’t have the heart to, for Robert is an old man and is ill. She reminds Quicksilver that Frank’s wife, Miss America, is long dead, and his one true child is a monster. Wanda points out that without Robert’s mistaken belief that they are his children, then he would have nothing left. ‘I thought we could let him keep his illusions’.
Quicksilver informs his sister that he believes Frank should be told the truth, but that he will defer to her judgment, and asks her how he can help. With the Vision now at her side, Wanda points out that here on Earth, Nuklo will always be a menace, and though physically he is an adult he possesses a child’s mind and cannot keep his radiation in check. Quicksilver asks Wanda if the plan is to help the Whizzer win custody of his mutated son, then have both of them resettled in Attilan, where a cure for the child’s deadly powers could be sought by the great Inhuman scientists.
The comely Crystal reminds her husband that the Inhuman scientists know so much more about genetic mutations than human scientists. Wanda adds that with a guarantee of relocation off Earth, then she is sure Earth’s courts would let Robert take custody of his son. Pietro tells Wanda that he will take it up with Black Bolt, as he thinks he will agree, and Crystal exclaims ‘Peace, Wanda,’ before the transmission ends and the communicator withdraws back into the library shelves.
The Vision tells Wanda that he must talk with her, to which Wanda tells him that if it is about Robert, then she has made up her mind. ‘Despite your brother’s reminder that Frank is not your father?’ the Vision asks as he and Wanda embrace. Wanda declares that she understands that, but that Robert is a fellow human being, who for a time might have been the father she and Pietro never knew. Wanda points out that she and Pietro were happy to believe he was their father, until they discovered the truth, and their true father’s identity still reminds hidden to them.
Wanda remarks that the truth has made she and Pietro orphans again and tells her husband that if only for the momentary joy that it gave them to think that the Whizzer was their father, then she owes him the help he asks for now. The Vision remarks that the assumption of a responsibility for the welfare of another is a typically human reaction, one quite characteristic lf the woman he chose to marry. ‘I am a synthozoid, and yet I understand’. Wanda tells the Vision that she knows he does, which is why she loves him. They kiss, before making their way into the kitchen, ‘Let us go speak to…my father’.
Dressed smartly in a blue suit, the Golden Age hero known as the Whizzer gets to his feet as Wanda and the Vision enter the room, and he asks Wanda if she has spoken to her brother and what he has to say. Wanda informs her “father” that Pietro has agreed to help and will consult with the Inhumans about accepting responsibility for their brother, Nuklo, provided that the authorities here on Earth will turn custody of Nuklo over to them with a full diagnoses of his current condition and potential danger. ‘Of course they will, Wanda! Of course they will!’ the old man exclaims.
Robert declares that there isn’t a court in the land that would deny him his son - not with two Avengers vouching for him. ‘Two ex-Avengers, father’ Wanda corrects him, before he hugs her and exclaims that he knows he has been derelict in his duties as a father, but that he swears to make it up to all his children. Wanda says nothing, but the Vision phones General Hospital and announces that he would like to make an inquiry about a patient codenamed Nuklo…
…Now, the Vision struggles to rise, as blades of pain stab through his destroyed arm. Nearby, Robert Frank still lies, unmoving, his eyes staring. It occurs to the Vision for the first time, that Robert Frank’s eyes may be sightless in death, and he curses the old man, while praying that Frank’s feeble folly has not also claimed the life of his beloved Wanda…
…Earlier again, ‘Two Avengers in my cab! Wow!’ exclaims a taxi driver, before adding ‘And a veteran of the All-Winners Squad too?’ ‘You remember?’ asks Robert. ‘I’d never get so old that I’d forget you, Mr. Whizzer!’ the taxi driver exclaims as the trio of heroes leave his cab, arriving at the hospital.
Supported by the Scarlet Witch and the Vision and sure of the righteousness of his case, Robert bursts into the hospital. A doctor approaches Frank and introduces herself as Linda Nyams, and adds that she has been expecting him. Robert holds up a piece of paper and exclaims that he is here with a court order. ‘I want my boy!’ he exclaims. Wanda and the Vision follow Robert and Linda as Linda informs Robert that they began processing Nuklo’s release as soon as they heard that the family court had ruled in his favor. ‘We opposed the ruling, of course’ Nyams informs everyone.
The Vision asks the doctor why, to which she explains that here at General, Nuklo has received the best care modern radiology and psychology has to offer. She isn’t sure what to call the green-skinned Avenger, to which Wanda informs her that her husband is just called “the Vision”. The quartet enter the bio-radiology section of the hospital and Nyams returns to her reason why they opposed the ruling, explaining that they have spared no expense on Nuklo’s care and education, and he has made great progress. ‘I daresay there are even some of us who have come to love the boy’ she adds.
‘Yeah, I’ll bet you just love prodding and probing him’ Robert remarks, before declaring that he will not let his son be a guinea pig for some mad-scientist research types. ‘I’m taking my boy home!’ he declares as they walk past some scans on a screen and into the “nursery“. ‘Home, Mr. Frank?’ Dr. Nyams asks, pointing out that apart from that high-energy project Nuklo was in, the Nursery is the only home he has ever truly known. My name is Nuklo. Today I am 32 years old, is written on a black board. Various scientists and doctors stand around the area where Nuklo is playing inside his plexilead bubble - where he has spent every single day. These people that watch him, his surrogate parents, are prominent radiologists, and he is a “child” who possesses the potential to blow the Earth to oblivion.
‘Here is the child you have just won custody over…may the Lord help you!’ exclaims Linda as she motions to Nuklo. Robert goes over to the bubble and calls to his son, he asks him if he can recognize him. ‘I’m your father!’ ‘Fa-father?’ asks the puzzled Nuklo. Suddenly, from up on a platform, a man calls down to Dr. Nyams and asks her what the meaning of this is and who the intruders are. Nyams addresses the man as Dr. Bishoff and informs him that they are here to take custody of Nuklo, pursuant to the court order of which she told him about. ‘Oh. That’ the doctor mutters before telling Nyams that he wants to see Frank alone, so the others will need to wait.
Bishoff walks down from the platform. Like all the other scientists, he wears a radiation suit, although unlike the others, he seems very much at ease in his. Linda Nyams introduces everyone to Dr. Bishoff, the head of this nursery. Wanda tells her “father” to go, and that she and the Vision will stay with Nuklo. Nervously, Robert replies that he will go, for after all, they cannot dissuade him now…
…Now: The Vision wishes the scientists had dissuaded the old hero, and suddenly, surprise and anger seize the Vision as he sees that Robert Frank still lives. ‘My son! My daughter! What harm have I wrought?!’ he exclaims, tears falling from his eyes. ‘You old fool! Wanda is not you…’ begins the Vision, but he cannot bring himself to utter the words Wanda would not have uttered. The Whizzer looks over at Wanda, sprawled on the floor. ‘Dead? She’s not dead?!’ he asks. ‘No. She is not your daughter’ the Vision informs him - but too quietly so the old man cannot hear it…
Linda Nyams asks Wanda and the Vision if they have any conception of what they are doing by helping Robert Frank remove his son from the nursery. She explains to them that the bubble they saw Nuklo in, the “play pen” is the only thing that renders him harmless, for is siphons off his incredibly deadly radioactive emissions. Linda reveals that the bubble has enabled Dr. Bishoff, one of the country’s foremost educators of the mentally disabled to break though Nuklo’s autism, and the child is finally beginning to relate to his environment.
Wanda points out that the child is 32 years old, to which Nyams replies that most of those years his environment was a sealed time capsule. ‘Wherein he lay ignored by a world which, unable to cure what it had created, tried to forget him!’ Wanda exclaims. Linda addresses Wanda as “Ms. Frank” and declares that she knows Nuklo’s history, before informing her that they are taking Nuklo away just when Dr. Bishoff is on the verge of finding a cure…
‘A cure? What kind of cure?’ Robert asks as he and Bishoff shake hands. Bishoff replies that it is a way to neutralize Nuklo’s deadly radiation. Bishoff asks Robert to sit down, so he does so, and stares down at his son, remarking that he was told Nuklo would never be cured. ‘They said they didn’t know how!’ he exclaims. ‘”They” were not Dr. I. S. Bishoff!’ Bishoff boasts, before revealing to Robert that he has done far more than merely bring his son out of his autistic withdrawal - he has actively sought a cure that would enable him to escape institutionalization and let him take his place in the world. ‘Yes! That’s what I want for Nuklo! A normal life!’ Robert exclaims.
As Bishoff begins plugging his radiation suit into something, he tells Robert to trust him when he says that Nuklo will have a normal life. ‘How?’ Robert asks, to which Bishoff reveals that he has been slowing siphoning off Nuklo’s deadly energies and that already the emissions have been halved. Robert asks Bishoff where he has dispersed all that energy to, and as Bishoff puts on some mask, he tells Robert that he is very glad he asked that question.
‘A normal life for Nuklo…? It doesn’t seem possible!’ exclaims Robert, for it seems too much like a dream. He remarks that he has seen all his dreams become nightmares since the day the Whizzer and Miss America quit the All-Winners Squad - and Madeline Joyce became Mrs. Robert Frank! ‘You loved your wife?’ Bishoff asks as he stands behind Robert, completely covered in a radiation suit which is hooked up to some device. Robert doesn’t turn to look at Bishoff, he just replies ‘Dearly! I wanted to settle down, start a family - but instead we both took jobs as super powered bodyguards at a certain nuclear project!’
Robert informs Bishoff that one night in 1949 the reactor had a meltdown, and although they survived by some miracle, the trouble is, Madeline was pregnant at the time - and the child, Nuklo, was born horribly genetically mutated. He recalls that they told Madeline that the child died, ‘But in reality, I agreed to have my own son sealed in a time capsule!’ Bishoff begins to glow now as he creeps up behind Robert, who still looks out the window, replies that there is Wanda and Pietro, but that their deaths caused Madeline’s death, and in his grief, he left them with their non-human mid-wife in Wundagore.
Robert covers his face with his hands as he exclaims that he abandoned all his children and now he wants to make amends. Bishoff continues to creep up behind Robert, his radiation suit glowing brightly and exclaims that it is touching, tragic story, before asking Robert if he ever wondered if perhaps the nuclear accident that caused all of his misfortune was not an accident at all. ‘Of course it was an accident! What else could it have been?’ Robert asks.
‘Oh, a plot perhaps - a sinister scheme to slay you and your bride! The twisted desire of a madman seeking revenge on two members of the disbanded All-Winners Squad!’ ‘Who? What old foe? I can’t think…’ Robert begins, before suddenly, he sees and hears Nuklo wailing, and asks what is going on. ‘FATHER!’ screams Nuklo from his playpen.
Dr. Nyams exclaims that she has never heard Nuklo scream like that, to which the Vision replies that he has - when Nuklo was under attack. ‘Or in pain’ adds Wanda, and the two heroes, followed by Linda, make their way back, into the nursery. But when they arrive, the plexilead bubble has been shattered. Tutors lay like twisted rag dolls, their radiation suits all burned away. ‘Robert Frank?!’ calls Wanda, when suddenly, Bishoff appears above them, and Robert lies at his feet, his suit destroyed, revealing his yellow Whizzer costume underneath. Bishoff calls himself “Isbisa” and reveals that he is an enemy who has waited over thirty years for revenge. ‘Isbisa who has slain the Whizzer with power stolen from his son!’ the madman shouts.
Wanda leaps into action, using her hex spheres to affect probability fields, she severs the cables which are siphoning Nuklo’s power and strengthening Isbisa. Isbisa exclaims that he craved more power, but boasts that even now he has enough to finish off the Scarlet Witch. Suddenly, the Vision passes through his wife, only to solidify in front of her to block the powerful blast from Isbisa. Whizzer calls down to his “daughter”, telling her that Isbisa is too strong, she needs to get out and save her brother.
While Wanda tends to the Whizzer, the Vision flies towards Isbisa and angrily shouts ‘Foolish old man! Wanda is not your daughter! You have endangered her needlessly!’ the Vision doesn’t think that Robert Frank heard, and tells himself not to betray Wanda’s trust again. But although he is old, Robert is far from deaf, and asks Wanda what her husband meant. Hesitantly, Wanda informs the Whizzer that she is not his daughter, and nor is Pietro his son. She reveals to him that his true children were stillborn and lie buried in Wundagore.
Wanda informs Robert that the midwife who delivered the children tried to offer Robert two orphans who were in her care - she and Pietro, before reminding him that he fled that night, so never learned the truth. ‘I had hoped you never would’ she adds. Shocked, the Whizzer asks Wanda if he is not her father, then why did she agree to help him. ‘Our true father abandoned Pietro and I. We had no one. You had no one’.
The Scarlet Witch casts a hex bolt up at Isbisa and informs the Whizzer that as an Avenger, she learned that all humanity is an extended family - that ones responsibility transcends mere flesh and blood relationships. ‘That is why I helped you, Robert Frank’. Wanda leaves him to go and help her husband, and her spells mixed with the Vision’s solar eye beams create a dazzling show as they lash out at Isbisa.
Forgotten as the battle rages on, the elderly Whizzer slowly drags himself towards his only true child. ‘Nuklo!’ he calls. ‘Nuklo! Son! It’s your father!’ Nuklo looks at the old man, confused. ‘Father?’ he asks. The Whizzer tells Nuklo that despite all he has done, he loves him. ‘Love?’ asks Nuklo. Motioning to the Avengers as they battle Isbisa, Robert tells his son that the Scarlet Witch and the Vision love him too - that is why they are fighting for him. Tears in his eyes, the Whizzer tells his son that they are willing to lay down their lives for him, not because of some blood tie, but because it is their duty.
Suddenly, there is a mighty scream from the Vision. ‘Duty?’ asks Nuklo. Wanda races over to her husband who has fallen to the ground and sees that his arm has been badly burnt. Wanda understands that Isbisa did this to her husband when he tried to reach inside him, and tells him that she will make him pay. ‘Will you, Witch? Will you?!’ Isbisa exclaims, sending down a mighty blast of power, which knocks Wanda to the ground. Robert Frank gets to his feet and calls out to the Scarlet Witch. In his prime, Robert Frank was a super hero. A transfusion of mongoose blood was the catalyst that transformed the Whizzer into the fastest man on Earth. Of course, that was in the 1940’s. Lately, his doctors had warned him never to run again, let alone fight. But as the aged Whizzer rushes towards Isbisa, only to be shunted backwards, landing some feet away from Nuklo. ‘Father?’ Nuklo asks, before turning to the platform where Isbisa is standing, and beginning to attack it…
Vision watches Nuklo and Isbisa fight. The pain in his arm is overwhelming, though he is a synthozoid, a creature of synthetic organs and parts, even he could not withstand the searing atomic fire that now rages at the core of Isbisa’s being. Looking at his left hand, the Vision knows that it is functionally useless, but the pain immobilizes him - and immobile, he cannot save Wanda. He thinks to himself that he must cut it off, after all, it is a logical decision made by a being has been called logic incarnate, a thinking machine. But the Vision is no emotionless machine who trains his solar energy beam upon the stump that was his arm…or screams in soul-rending agony as he cauterizes his own wound.
Moments later, the screaming stops, and it is done. The Vision places his remaining hand on his wife, who stirs. At first she does not notice - but then the Vision’s cape falls aside. ‘Oh, Vision!’ she exclaims, embracing her husband. The Vision tells Wanda that the pain has eased, before motioning to the still-raging battle. ‘But it shall not for long!’ Wanda declares, before hurling a hex bolt right at Isbisa, bursting open his suit.
Radiation begins to pour out from Isbisa, and it returns to where it came from - Nuklo. Isbisa is horrified, and exclaims that soon they will be equals in power, and admits that he dare not face Nuklo’s wraith, nor that of the two Avengers whom he has harmed. ‘You have no choice in the matter, old man!’ the Vision exclaims. ‘No choice at all!’ Suddenly, the nursery is illuminated in an incredible release of energy as Isbisa expends it all in a desperate attempt to save himself.
Isbisa fails - but the attempt has an unexpected side-effect, for it totally siphons both Isbisa’s and Nuklo’s atomic power, leaving them…human! Wanda sits by the Whizzer and exclaims that Nuklo is cured, that the man whose villainy caused Robert Frank to father a monster has made good his promise in defeat.
Soon, Bishoff is led away by the authorities, while Wanda, the Vision and Nuklo watch the Whizzer being carried away. ‘If only Robert Frank had lived to see it!’ Wanda exclaims. ‘Father?’ asks Nuklo. Solemnly, Wanda explains to Nuklo that Robert Frank was is father, and although he denied his responsibility for years, he learned it in the end. ‘In time to pass that lesson of love on to his only begotten son!’