The Vision: Little Worse Than A Man spins the veteran Avenger into a startling new direction.
Following up on developments in All New, All Different Avengers, the Vision, who had erased his emotions, seeks to start new. To that end, he uses the technology that created him to fashion a new synthezoid family for himself: wife Virginia and twin teens Vin and Viv. The new family moves into a Washington, DC suburb and strives to be “ordinary.” An attack by villain Grim Reaper, who bears a longstanding grudge against Vision, sets off a calamitous series of events that compromises the Vision and builds toward an inevitable tragedy.
Tom King is one of the more interesting writers to arrive on the comic book scene in recent years. With this series, he pulls off the neat trick of crafting an original take on a well-known hero that’s still well-grounded in the character’s lengthy, complex history. King channels years of Vision’s identity struggles into a powerful domestic drama. Seeing the synthetic family navigating the ups and downs of “normalcy” is fascinating, and often quite poignant.
Virginia, Vin and Viv could have been mere props for Vision’s story. Instead, King infuses them with gratifying complexities. Viewing the concept of the nuclear family through this unique prism is a strong idea that King executes very well. The reactions of those around the family play out in some surprising and dynamic ways. By the arc’s end, Vision is poised for conflict with his teammates, including his ex-wife, Scarlet Witch. But it’s not all doom and gloom. King mines some appreciated humor from this scenario and even injects some moments of sweet-natured domesticity.
Gabriel Hernandez Walta is the perfect artist for The Vision. He deploys a clean, fluid style that effectively contrasts the Sci Fi nature of the Vision and his family against the backdrop of life in an “ordinary” suburb. The characters are interesting and expressive, heightening the sense of drama that runs through the web of slowly constricting tragedy. Colorist Jordie Bellaire is a godsend, as always. She uses a very subtle, specific palette that wraps the art in a soft shimmer, giving off equal hints of idealism and fantasy. The artists combine powerfully to sell the dramatic heart of the story.
The Vision is another fine example of Marvel’s recent trend toward offbeat approaches to solo series. It’s an original, compelling book that demands your attention.