2016’s best surprise in the graphic novel world has to be Tom King’s sci-fi suburban drama “Vision“. Relatively new to the professional comic scene, King once was an assistant to the legendary “X-Men” writer, Chris Claremont. He put his comic career on hold to become a counterterrorism operations officer for the CIA after the September 11 tragedy. Once he transferred back to writing, he honed his craft primarily within the Batman family of the DC universe. However, none of this seems to preclude the science fiction genius that would be portrayed in his run on “Vision.”
The character has been riding the Pinocchio theme for most of its existence. He moves through reality in the most logical way. This causes tension among teammates and friends because to him the truth is logical. A flashback in volume 2 “Little Better than a Beast” shows a conversation between Scarlet Witch (his former wife) and Vision while their children accompany them. Vision reveals something devastating to the family that puts Scarlet Witch in tears. He only utters the phrase “Is the truth not kind?” in return. Does he have life or does he emulate life? The Vision became a dimensional hero and rarely is featured solo.
“They threw a character at me [King]. I was like whatever they say I’m going to say, ‘it’s my favorite character.’ When they said Vision, I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s my favorite character.’ It was nobody’s favorite character.”
In this series, King reexamines the roots of artificial intelligence. It accentuates the part of humanity that could be jarring to someone not used to it. Vision is the puppet that suddenly is a real boy (for the premise of the book, this means creating his own android family) and then realizes being a puppet might have been more suited to him. The instinct to protect his family has the potential to push him farther than he thought possible. The failure to do so will teach him the difference between avenging and revenge. The names of the two volumes, “Little Worse than a Man” and “Little Better than a Beast,” are a reflection of thought on Vision’s nature, but it is unknown from where these thoughts propagate. Do they come from the reader, The Avengers, his neighbors, or Vision himself?
Goodreads User Reviews:
“Good news is, you do not really need to know anything about The Vision, he is very well explained in this volume. Other good news is that you do not need to like superheroes to actually enjoy this volume.”
“Yeah, I thought that premise was kinda dumb, too. Who knew this comic would be such a revelation.”