By Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles, and Mike del Mundo.
Amidst the growing resurgence in comic interests following many successful events this summer, there are some sleeper hits that many may overlook on their comic shop shelves. One such book is The Vision, a great story being told by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. King and Walta are crafting a tremendous storyline with striking art that will alter the course of the Vision and his relationship with the Avengers. The story so far is centered on a synthesized android family that the Vision envisioned and built for himself. He has his wife, Virginia, and his two children Vin and Viv. He took his new family, moved to the DC suburbs, and he is attempting the family life. In The Vision #9 things start to get complicated when secrets and hidden agendas attempt to interrupt Vision and his family.
Vision has always been a very interesting and complicated comic book character and King is taking this character to the next level. So far, Vision has sacrificed relationships, lied, and experienced extreme loss. This book is loaded with all the feels and King seems to want to take Vision through having it all and then losing it all, to come out a man/android with nothing to lose. The Avengers are reacting to a prophecy from Agatha Harkness that paints a bleak picture of Vision’s plans for the future. The action the Avengers take really sets the whole prophecy inadvertently into motion, and there are fortunately still three more issues to see how this will unfold.
Do not let this premise fool you, this book and series have been inundated with great thematic plot lines and great character development. It has commentary on a lot of social aspects related to family, growing up, marriage, and acceptance. This book is deep and may require a few reads to fully comprehend the work and plot lines King is laying out for us. We all probably know about Vision’s “family” before he went and made a new one with Hank Pym as his “Dad”, and Wonder Man, Grim Reaper, Victor Mancha, and Ultron all as his “brothers”, Scarlet Witch his former lover, and their “children” Wiccan and Speed. We have watched as Vision has gone through how to relate and build relationships with each one. This story shows how relatable the human experience is to Vision and his android family. The desire to fit in, protect, and bond is what really drives this story with a lot of focus on Vision’s new family, Virginia, Vin, and Viv.
This issue dedicates a lot of focus on Victor Mancha, a “brother” of the Vision who was created by Ultron. He attempts to be an Uncle to Vin and Viv and a brother to Vision and Virginia, but he is dealing with his own demons and a secret agenda. He is a synthesized being, but looks human. In other words, he can “pass.” His own issues almost contrast those of the Vision family, people are more willing to accept him, but are surprised of his pre-installed software in his metal brain. King inserts these themes with such ease that it reads so effortlessly, but there is so much context and meaning in this issue that is requires a second read.
Creating emotion on synthesized beings sounds like a challenge but this creative team knocks it out of the park. The Vision #9 features Walta on art with Bellaire on colors, and Cowles on letters. Each member of the Visions has the classic green hair and red skin we have associated with the Vision, and the facial emotion that is painted on our characters, but especially Virginia, is tremendous. The panel layouts are terrific, intersecting current timelines of one family member with another. We have Virginia and Viv’s interactions being highlighted around what is currently happening to another member of the family, creating urgency and concern during an otherwise non-eventful moment. The use of color by Bellaire is so important is this book; we have Victor Mancha’s story and flashbacks utilizing colors with blue hues and highlighted with golden and blood-red text, which really created a sense of foreboding throughout the issue. The sense of doubt and conflicted emotions really come across with Mancha throughout this issue, his descent into calamity is marked with his human face beginning to appear more synthesized as the issue unfolds. The cover art for this series has been really beautiful as well, with this issue being another awesome cover from del Mundo. This cover perfectly sets the tone for the issue, while also playing on some choice key words that will leave you wondering about the complex theme laid out.
The Vision #9 is a great, standout issue from this great, standout series from Walta, Bellaire, and King, that deserves a read from all comic fans. Yes, we know there is a Rebirth and a Civil War happening right now, but this is a fresh, fun, and new concept that deserves your attention. The heavy plot lines and stylized art are going to make this a classic storyline that will influence these characters and their development for years to come.