Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I apparently typed the review for the first volume, but never posted it.

Vision, Vol. 1: Little Worse Than a Man
I wasn't interested in reading this, but I kept seeing glowing reviews of the comic, so, although I didn't read enough of the reviews to get the plot, I figured I'd give it a try. I also thought these first six issues were a complete story, but boy, was I wrong. This comic is nothing like I expected. I was thinking a light, fun story arc; what it is is a dark look at what it means to be human, how being different sets someone up to be a victim of bigotry, and how the desire to fit in can lead to horrible misunderstandings. I don't know much about Vision, beyond his appearance in the movie "Avengers: Age of Ultron." I have no idea how well this series by Tom King, with lovely art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, fits into his previous comic book life. What I do know is that this story really got under my skin. Horrible things are done to and done by the family Vision has constructed and I can't wait to read what comes next.

Vision, Vol. 2: Little Better Than a Beast
This volume begins with a digression, with a whirlwind recap of Vision's relationship and marriage with Scarlet Witch. Then back to the present as Vision's brother Victor pays him and his new family a visit. The Avengers, concerned about glimpses of the future in which Vision destroys the world, so they sent Victor to learn the truth about some troubling occurrences (as seen in the first volume). King uses an interesting narrative technique, summarizing not only Victor's history, but also his ultimate fate before we see it play out. And play out it does as Vision's perfect little family life unravels. This is a poignant story, a very human story about AIs. It's about programming, and how different, really, is electronic coding over what's coded into human DNA? Perhaps only the details, the methodology, as we all do what we can to survive. And in a way, this story is also about wish fulfillment, about how trying to stop something from happening often brings it about. The two volumes together tell an amazing story, one not typically seen in a superhero book. This isn't a big "good vs evil" story but a quiet tale about trying to be normal, to fit in, instead of embracing your specialness, and a whole lot more.

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