Vision is a legend of the Avenger’s line-up and a good solo series has been a long time coming. The problem is that such a one-dimensional character can make it very hard to write an interesting story with him at the centre. Finally, a way has been found around that.
On paper the concept of this title sounds like a throwaway one with very little to offer to the comic world. It sounds self-indulgent and pretentious, there is no hook to lure you in, no enticing action or malevolent villain to grip readers, and quite simply no reason to read it. However, if you can get past all of that and find your way to picking up issue one then you are guaranteed to want to read more of this imaginative creation.
The book is a welcome, refreshing break from the typical super-powered fare that is abound in the world of comic books. It offers an insight into the day to day lives of these fantastical beings in a way that no other title has ever really managed to do. What readers are treated to here is a trip into the mundane ‘real’ world as Vision and his family try to find their place amongst regular people.
The way in which the book is written by Tom King puts one in the mind of Edward Scissorhands in that it uses a voice over to paint the picture of an idyllic, sleepy little suburb that has just a touch of menace to it. The descriptions offered here are, on the face of it, perfectly normal but there is a sense of unease expertly portrayed through every carefully chosen word. This atmosphere is compounded by the conversation had between a couple who come to bring The Vision’s cookies. This interaction has all the hallmarks of an ordinary couple bickering before meeting their equally normal neighbours but there is something off about the whole thing.
Once Vision and his family finally appear that feeling you will have been having is confirmed as you find that they are what is off about this scenario. They are trying to act in as human a manner as possible but their movements are too static, their false expressions too creepy, and their disassembly of human interactions betrays their robotic nature. The children try to get along with their human counterparts but they move and act unnaturally, showing that they do not grasp idioms commonly used by the youths around them.
All of this detail is captured expertly by Gabriel Hernandez Walta. He proves to be an excellent choice to work on this title as he draws the Vision’s with a cold distance from the rest of the world around them. You truly feel as though they are on the outside looking in, trying to make sense of something that they can never fully comprehend. It is spectacular how he has gotten that almost- human-but-not-quite look down to a fine art and it is due to this that the story comes across as perfectly as it does. The way that each of them seems fake in when they smile creates an eerie feeling and again adds to the idea that these characters are not human no matter how hard they may be trying to replicate humanity.
This is a not a standard super story, instead it is a stripped back, haunting journey that has so much to offer. Despite seeming to be one of the less intriguing books when it was announced, The Vision has come out of nowhere to deliver a riveting read that questions humanity, the nature of the Superhero, and what normality actually is. The creative *ahem* vision behind this comic is stunning and it is one that should be on everyone’s reading list for a slice of something a little different.
Score: 4 out of 5.