Vision has always been an intriguing character because his humanity is always in question. By extension good and evil is at play and it’s a fascinating story element, much like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein explored nearly two centuries ago. Can the new Vision-centric comic explore those elements well? Is it good?
Vision #1 (Marvel Comics)
This new series takes Vision and turns him into a family. Then it sticks him, his wife and two children in suburbia where all eyes are judging and watching you. That’s the rub and why this series is off to a good start. We all know what it’s like to be judged, but what if you’re not even human trying to do the right thing and fit in? It probably won’t work.
Why does this comic book matter?
Well for starters Vision is probably the most popular character right now as far as movie fans are concerned. He downright stole the show in Avengers: Age of Ultron and we’re all greatly anticipating his return in Civil War. On top of that his character is clearly getting a major reboot based on what the story appears to be selling. Exciting stuff.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Any fan of science fiction will appreciate what writer Tom King has done here. With a cold and robotic narration underpinning the story and foreshadowing calamity for the characters it’s without a doubt tragedy is going to strike these “unfeeling” robots. The story opens with neighbors welcoming the Visions to the neighborhood with cookies. The fact that they don’t eat food already makes this endeavor awkward, but the Visions answer the door with open arms. King consistently shows us these characters are at least trying to be normal and as we have learned from many other fictitious stories it’s an impossible task.
Throughout the story we slowly learn more about each member of the family and how human they actually are. The characters use logic to understand the human world, even though logic really can’t explain a lot of things. One such conversation between Vision and his wife explores the use of nice or kind. It’s actually a fascinating talk that is great fun to follow. Later we see the kids go to school for the first time and Vision has a sort of crisis as he has doubts and even fears of his wife. It’s heavy stuff, all told with a deft hand and a well paced story.
The art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta is very good and casts a measured hand across the page. Panels have very strict and steady angles on the scenes which feel impeccably chosen and important. The blocking of the characters is quite nice and adds just a bit more to the story as you look over a character’s shoulder or up into the sky as the Vision kids float down. The perspective always seems to put things at a bit of a distance which helps us distance ourselves from these characters and make them feel foreign.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
My only gripe is where these family members come from. We know Vision is a complicated character and can pop in and out of continuity freely, but who and why these characters were created is a mystery. The comic doesn’t seem to even hint at why this arrangement has come about and I doubt the end of Secret Wars will divulge much detail either.
This can’t end well.
Is It Good?
The fact is this is a perfectly told comic which dances between expert brooding and dark narration and deeply flawed characters. And yet they pretend not to be. Mixed with some powerful art this is as compelling as comics can get.