This is part of Marvel’s new revamp of their universe, one that I felt was much needed. I have to admit that for a while I was totally into all things Marvel and knew what was going on in almost every aspect of their universe. But recently I have sort of fallen off the wagon, so to speak. The main reason was that it is very expensive to try and read all these different stories and follow every one. There were so many tie-in’s and just almost too much to read to actually enjoy. It felt like I was just trying to get through it all rather then enjoy the story itself. With that mini-rant out of the way I have read on a few separate occasions that this series, along with a hand full of others, is really cool so I decided to check it out.
Tom King is an American comic writer, I am not sure where he is from though. He has had a somewhat unusual path to make it in the industry. In his early career he interned at both DC and Marvel before joining the CIA Counterterrorism Unit after the September 11th attacks, yes you heard that right, the CIA! That might be the most bizarre path to comic writing that I have seen. King is most known for his novel A Once Crowded Sky, which I will checking out in the near future hopefully, The Visions, and Batman series for DC. He has also worked on quite a few other series including The Omega Men, Teen Titans, and Nightwing among so many others.
So this story opens up with the famous character the Vision who now works for the government in Washington DC and has created himself a family, because…why not. His wife Virginia, his son Vin, and his daughter Viv. The family are trying their hardest to fit in with normal people yet finding it difficult to understand the simple things that make humans human. There is also an attack by the Grim Reaper on the family that opens up another can of worms. There are also what I like to call “normal people problems,” the kids getting into fights at school, trying to fit in, and just trying to be normal. All of which makes for a very interesting read.
I have to say that it is not too often that I am really quite enamored by a story and this is certainly one of them. This is by far one of the neatest ideas I have seen in superhero comics and could only be accomplished with a character like Vision. The creative team at Marvel really knocked this one out of the park. There are so many fun and interesting ideas that are at play with this book that it is going to be hard to discuss them all.
To me the most fascinating aspect of this book is the Synthaziods (this is what Vision and his family are, I always thought they were just androids but I guess I was wrong) trying to fit in. At the base of this argument is, what does it mean to be normal, which is almost impossible to answer, as the answer would be different for everyone. And honestly what the hell does “normal” even mean? The quest of just trying to be a “normal human” is almost impossible to comprehend. Well, now give that question to a calculated super intelligent being capable of just about anything it can imagine, you can see where this might become somewhat complicated. The question becomes infinitely more complex. What else is fun is to watch at a distance how the children try and understand this very bizarre and sometimes cruel experience that is called high school. High school can often be a very difficult time for children as they try to understand the world as well as develop social skills and above all try and fit in. As you can imagine again thrown in the Vision’s children and this again becomes more complex.
I loved watching these characters as they interacted with other normal humans and try to understand their motives. It reminded me of something along the lines or a mixture of Her, Chappie, and Ex Manchia. For some reason I find it facintating to watch machines try and learn human social skills or just try and understand our simple day to day lives. There is this awkwardness that I think most people can relate to in any aspect of their lives. There is so much about human life that seems beyond simple and is easy for the rest of us to understand because we all live it, but thrown in an outsider and it becomes almost impossible to explain these ideas to another being.
Another aspect of this story that I find interesting is that no matter how much the Vision family tries to stay out of trouble, it seems to follow them. Sometimes showing up on their door step and other times just plain old bad luck. But still I felt there was a very depressing tone to the story regardless of all that is going on. The story reminds me of a somewhat cliché family where everyone thinks that family is perfect and have it made and on the surface everything looks that way. But when you start pealing back the layers you start to see that the family is miserable and teetering on the edge of disaster.
Something that is really cool and I have only seen a hand full of times is that from a pure superhero hero comic this one is very unique. There is almost no real action or fight scenes in this book that you would normally see when reading this genre. Yet, despite this absence, I still think it is one of the best superhero hero books I have read. I have said this many times, but the real problems in this book are what make it so easy to dive into and understand. Fighting an alien race and saving the planet, or having super strength are really cool, but those things are hard to relate too. This is a really cool unique spin on an age old genre.
The artwork in this one is a traditional style for the most part, but I will also say that it is not as polished as I would have liked. I am not saying that it is bad by any means, but certainly not up to the high quality standards that I have seen out there. The artwork is a little rough around the edges and lacks a little polishing (I know I keep using that word but it’s the best way to describe it), still it is not cartoony in any way so that is always a plus in my opinion. The colors in this book are really great and I think really help get the artwork on another level. Without the color scheme I think the artwork in the book could very well be below average. I felt there were some very different colors used where a simple red or green would have been used normally. Instead a sort of hot pinkish red was used and a lime green making this very real but almost hyper colorful world, and it works great with the story. The page layouts are nothing much to speak about, mostly traditional and nothing over the top. Again the main focus of this book is the story so the visuals are somewhat playing second fiddle.
There are a few other things worth mentioning with this series. The main one is that it is ongoing and I do not know how many issues Marvel plans on making. Last I saw I think there at least 10 at the moment. It is also worth mentioning the cost and somewhat rarity of this book. Vision #1 is going for $10 or more on Ebay and some of the other issues are hard to find. Even on Mycomicshop.com each issue is selling for about $5 or more. So if you want to read them all it will cost you upwards of $50 or more. But you can still look for a deal on Ebay. I have not seen anything out for a TPB collecting the first few issues. So until that is release be prepared to pay above cover price for these issues.
I highly recommend checking this one out. It is one of the best superhero hero comics that I have read in a while. There is a great story that any fan can jump into and enjoy to go along with some neat colors that help bring to life an interesting world. I would even say that if you hate superhero comics you will certainly like this one, I would label it as the non-superhero superhero comic. You really need to check this one out.