The Vision isn’t my favourite hero. He might not even make my Top Five. But I’ve always liked the Vision; for me, the appeal’s been there from the moment waaay back in my early comic-collecting days when I first discovered him. Though I can’t remember where I first came upon him (most probably in an issue of Avengers), from those early times back in the 1980s, I enjoyed the stories that included him—I even committed to collecting the entire Vision and Scarlet Witch limited series!
The Vision is one of those heroes that has worked his way under my skin: when I used to play the City of Heroes MMO, the only time I used the game’s excellent character customisation tools to make my own homage-to-an-actual-comic-book-character character was the time I made my own versin of Vision. I even took the word “vision” in all its myraid meanings and used the power of thesaurus-izing it to name my character “The Mortal Veil.”
A couple years ago, following the soft reboot of the Marvel Universe which they dubbed “Marvel Now,” there was the rather epic, plot-twist infested, time-traveling comic event / limited series called Age of Ultron (no plot relation to the movie). The series went through a few twists and turns before it ended…and somewhat weakly at that: instead of tying up loose ends the mini-series had instead launched a new comic title: Avengers AI. I was mildly disappointed with Age of Ultron‘s less-than-stellar ending (a weak ending that had capped a pretty strong mini series), so I was skeptical about the Avengers AI …up until I learned that Vision was one of the main characters. Well. I jumped in with both feet and was never disappointed.
Undfortunately, Avengers AI only lasted twelve issues; and because I’ve written my thoughts about that series elsewhere on the Imaginary Wars blog, so I won’t go into it again here. But that was the last time I read any books with the Vision in it until now.
The Vision (2015)
Writer: Tom King Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire Letterer & Production: VC’s Clayton Cowles
As described by Marvel:
“The Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? He goes to the laboratory where he was created, where Ultron molded him into a weapon, where he first rebelled against his given destiny, where he first imagined that he could be more, that he could be good, that he could be a man, a normal, ordinary man. And he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition or perhaps obsession: the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold The Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong?”
First, some geneology. Unlike in the Age of Ultron movie, in the comic universe, the Vision’s original brainwaves were an imprint of Wonder Man’s brain waves, and the two regard each other as, essentially, brothers. Wonder Man also has a biological brother, who just happens to be the super-villain, The Grim Reaper. After spending most of the comic’s first issue showing how the Vision and his family are trying to integrate into a suburban American lifestyle, the issue ends with the Grim Reaper, the Vision’s evil quasi-brother, making an entrance by attacking the Vision’s household with only the mother and kids there. I’ll let the book’s last couple pages do the rest:
And she’s serious: the murdering of Grim Reaper is kept secret. Just like that, this story has gone from being a comic book to being a for-adults HBO night-time drama. And believe me it’s been great so far! The tone of the book captures what I imagine would be the disinterested nature of the androids, while still being intelligent and witty. Though the narration shows this disinterest, the dialogue itself isn’t boring–and the plot is meaty enough to proficiently juxtapose itself against the analytical tone of the androids’ point of view.
This is one of those below-the-radar titles you should be seriously considering picking up …which might be tricky seeing as how Marvel is now sold out of issues one, three and four. Though I have only the slimmest of hopes for second printings of those issues, I’m betting we’ll see a trade paperback for the first story arc show up sooner rather than later.