The Vision #1 – Best Comic of the Year (so far)

Between moving my family across the country and taking care of a few side projects, I’ve been neglecting this blog. But, in addition to all the personal business, there just hasn’t been that much for a casual comics fan to rave about. Until now, that is…

The first issue of “The Vision” is a revelation. This single issue is the epitome of what a superhero / sci-fi comic can be – twisting what we think we know about heroes to create a mind-bending, thought-provoking, and slightly creepy tale.

The Vision #1. Writer: Tom King; Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Marvel Comics.

I’m not sure what people who only know of the character from Avengers: Age of Ultron will make of this book. It’s tough to say what the title can become, but one issue in it’s definitely not a standard superhero adventure book. Calling to mind both my favorite movie (Ex Machina) and comic (Alex + Ada) of the year, this comic dissects what it means to be a “normal” person by examining artificial intelligence constructs connecting with humans and observing their interactions.

Calling to mind the old Vision and Scarlet Witch series that I loved so much from the 80s/90s, The Vision centers on the day-to-day life of The Vision as he (again) tries to establish a normal life in the suburbs. In the prior two series, he was trying to settle into suburbia with his wife, the Scarlet Witch, while soap opera-level drama unfolded – both superhuman (like Magento showing up for Thanksgiving dinner) and mundane (like Quicksilver’s wife cheating on him with a local real estate agent).

What makes the current version sparkle, though, is the Vision’s new family. Coming into this series, Vision has built a synthezoid wife (VIrginia) and constructed twin teens (Viv and Vin). Fans of the old comics will appreciate the nods to the charater’s history (twin children didn’t work out so hot for Vision and Wanda), but there’s so much new and odd that novices will be in the same boat as most readers in uncovering the delights of this weird nuclear family.

There’s also an ominous sense of dread – “The Visions” are a family, yes, but they’re also a collective of non-human beings living in the suburbs.

The Vision was constructed by Ultron to destroy the Avengers. Over the years, he’s been on the side of the heroes… mostly. As an artificial intelligence, though, he was always susceptible to damage, hacking, viruses, etc. Where the new title, The Vision, starts picking up steam is in examining Vision – not as a construct of Ultron, but as a father and creator in his own right. What happens when an artificial intelligence who has been struggling for decades to become “human” creates his own family and counsels them in his ideal of humanity.

How would a computer tell other computers how to “be human”? The revelations are often powerful. For example, check out the following sequence.

Vision 1

Here’s my guess – this series is so good that Marvel has no choice but to cancel it after 6 to 10 issues. My favorite series from 2014, She-Hulk, was also so far outside the norm that it couldn’t last.

In addition, The Vision #1 is the first single issue of a comic so good that I immediately wanted to set it aside for a re-read the following day. Combine that with the fact that this is sure to be a short-lived series, and I’m hoping that this is a series I’ll be savoring for a long time to come.


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