Vision has been something of a… well a revelation for lack of a better word (I refuse to make a pun) over the time it’s been coming out, and this issue goes even farther in a series that’s all about breaking hearts and expectations. Compared to previous issues filled with murders, blackmail, and superhuman battles this issue is considerably benign in terms of action, but it also represents a turning point in the life of the Vision himself. The plot of the comic has largely sidelined the Vision himself due to his day job as an Avenger, which wisely allowed the comic to build up the characters and foibles of his family. What the comic has taken great care to highlight is that while the Vision does desire the trappings of humanity and family that were denied to him, what makes the Vision functional as a person are his experiences. Every joy, every heartbreak, every wound, and every victory are a part of his emotional growth as a human being. The reason his family struggles in a way he doesn’t, is that they were dropped into the world and expected to integrate into a world they couldn’t possibly understand by themselves. With nothing but data and a lack of emotional maturity, it’s inevitable that the Vision family would start collapsing upon itself as more and more traumas are added into a volatile mixture.
One thing that continually needs to be reiterated about Vision. The writing is only part of what makes it so successful. While the prose, and the sheer mechanical horror of the narration by Tom King continually ease the reader towards the nihilism and doom that awaits, the narrative wouldn’t feel right without Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s pencils and Jordie Bellaire’s coloring. While Walta first came to most people’s attention for his run with Cullen Bunn on Magneto, his work on Vision hits some perhaps even darker notes than his time there. While that sounds strange attempting to compare a series starring a Holocaust survivor taking violent revenge upon the world, there’s something inherently more disturbing about what’s essentially an inversion about the popular conception of the nuclear family, as well as what’s on the surface an all-loving quest. The comic is ostensibly set in the superhero genre, but the text resembles that of an inevitable horror story more, and Walta only lends itself further to that interpretation. The emotional trauma suffered by the Visions, the Vision’s own emotional distance and fruitless attempts to make things right, and the fear of the people around them are all amplified by Walta’s pencils and the dark colors Bellaire bring to the table.
With all of this said though, there’s one thing that definitely needs to be said. For people who are looking for something different in comics: superheroes or in general, this is definitely the book to check out. For a book that’s basically about the psychological paralysis that suburban life can present, or how toxic being trapped in a life you don’t desire can be, it has far more oomph than your average superhero title. For that matter, it wrings every ounce of pain it can out of the characters as well as the reader. If you want a book that can surprise you even towards an inevitable end in style, then the Vision is definitely where you want to be.
5 Robot Dogs out of 5