By Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles, and Mike del Mundo.
The Vision has always been the friendly Avenger, the one who has extraordinary power, but is also desperately seeking out human experiences and eager to gain approval from his fellow super-heroes. He has always been expressed and designed as a complicated tragic character, and King is certainly taking all of his potential and realizing it in this series. The Vision #11 ties together many loose threads that have been left throughout this series and this penultimate issue is an emotional one. We see Vision finally face to face with the man who killed his son, and who also happens to be another son of Ultron, Victor Mancha. He set his mind to get justice for his son’s death, even if it goes against everything he believed in as an Avenger. Meanwhile, his wife Virginia and daughter Viv are dealing with some unfinished business at home.
The art is this book has a real cinematic feel to it with intense shadowing on people revealing dark secrets, huge fight scenes featuring Marvel’s best and brightest, and the hero having some great moments of self-reflection depicted with narration during key scenes with Walta on art, Bellaire on colors, and Cowles on letters. The entire book is a series of pages flipping between events happening between Virginia and Viv at the house and Vision in his quest for revenge against his son’s murderer.
The slow burn of the tension between mother and daughter is a nice cut in between the action packed pages we get with the Vision. Walta brings such emotion to these android faces, that it is painful to watch Virginia unburden herself in front of her daughter with how CK died. The colors and shadows we get from Bellaire only add to the tension with Virginia’s face half covered in shadows, obscuring her usually brightly colored skin and hair. Virginia has taken on a transformation throughout the series to a more threatening, lethal version of herself and this issue highlights that the transformation might be complete.
We get some epic and tremendous fight scenes between Vision and tons of Marvel heroes. Vision makes it look quick and easy as he almost effortlessly goes through them to get to his main objective, Victor Mancha. We get to see Walta give us Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Medusa, Nova, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and more all fighting together to stop Vision, and it isn’t enough. Seeing Walta’s design of each character was nice to see, as each had their own moment attempting to thwart Vision. Walta’s panel and layouts really kept the focus on Vision over the heroes, with all angles focusing on Vision’s expression. These fight scenes in this issue really bring up some good comic shop talking points, like is there a combination of Marvel Heroes that could take down the Avengers? After this issue, the answer may currently be no.
King is laying out so many complex themes in this series that it is outright impressive. This issue will make you want to pick it up because of all the hype around someone dying, but it will make you reread it for all the subtleties you may have missed in the first reading. For the record, there is more than one death in this book. One death is often overlooked, but it very unsettling once the reader understands the full reasoning why this individual was killed. Throughout this issue, Vision is kicking tons of Avenger asses while he is recalling why he is named The Vision. In the narration that takes place during this action panels, he recalls his first moments of consciousness with Ultron where he was berated for having desires and questions outside of pure subservience to Ultron. He also recalled how the Wasp reacted after she saw him for the firs time and called him “Some sort of unearthly human vision”. He was coming full circle in his action against the Avengers, attacking the Avengers had always been what Ultron wanted of him and in doing so he became a different Vision.
There also needs to be major props to whoever decided to include the movie poster of Simon Williams as Omega the Unknown in the opening double splash page. This along with a later use of some movie footage of Simon Williams as Omega the Unknown is pure genius. Simon Williams as we all know was Wonder Man, and the Vision’s brain patterns were designed after his. This subtle nod to the humanity still present in Vision was beautifully done without spoon-feeding it to the readers.
This series will certainly go down as a classic, and with the next issue being the last there is still time to get caught up. After this series you may ask yourself why all comics can’t be complex and still engage with readers through non-stop action. King, Walta, Bellaire, and Cowles have really created a complex engaging story that is achieved through brilliantly drawn and laid out pages that have purpose amongst the narration and dialogue. The Vision is a true masterpiece and to miss it would be a true tragedy.