Written by Tom King
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
“For a moment, as she listened to her family argue and laugh, Virginia felt content.
She belonged here. They belonged here. Everything in the end would be good.
This moment lasted 1.72 seconds.”
When Marvel first announced a Vision book I wasn’t the slightest interested. It’s not that I hate the character but rather I didn’t know much about the character and therefore had no interest. So much so that I skipped issue one and had to go back to get it once I learned Tom King was writing it. King has been writing the fantastic Grayson with Tim Seeley over at DC Comics, so I needed to check out this book. I’m so excited to state that King is doing an even greater job with The Vision.
There are a good number of books that deal with what it means to be human. However, King is asking, what does it mean to be normal? We have Vision and his family, who are supposed to be nearly human, except all their organs are synthetic, trying to change the world’s perception about them. To them they are human, in every sense of the word. They can generate emotions, feel pain, think for themselves, and communicate socially with other humans. The rest of the world however, only sees them as not human. But as machines trying to be human. As machines who know everything a human should do, so they react in the same way. But does reacting like a human, make you human?
Virginia messed up. She killed Grim Reaper and hid his body in the backyard. Her reasoning? She feared her husband’s reaction to this interruption to their normal life. Now someone is blackmailing her and threatening to expose her little secret. She likes what she had with her family and killing the Grim Reaper might put an end to their “normal” lives.
The art from Walta throughout this series has been tremendous. The book has a nice Vonnegut narrative going on and Walta’s art seems fitting for such a story. Jordie Bellaire on colors is amazing as always. I actually didn’t know the colors were by Bellaire until writing this review, but once I found out, there was no mistaking her great work. If you’ve seen great coloring in comics in the last few years, it’s most likely from Bellaire.
The first few pages we see Vin and Viv have a discussion of trust vs. prediction. Vin is asking Viv to hold a football so he can kick it. 7 times in a row he doesn’t kick it and actually phases through the ball. On the eighth attempt after asking Viv to trust him, he does it again. This really is the crux of the whole book in two pages. Vision and his family can use their amazing intellect to figure out what is going to happen or the optimal response to something. But they are trying to be more human and therefore are allowing their feeling to take over. To err more, to feel more, and to be less predictable. Killing Grim Reaper was the optimal response. He was threatening her family and she needed to solve a problem. Virginia hiding it from Vision was also optimal. She needed to keep their normal family going and this would not be working toward that goal. To continue on the goal to be more human, she needed to do the optimal thing.
We get a nice few panels later on with Chris Kinzky (the boy who Vin beat up last issue) and his former lab partner, Viv. He tells Viv he always liked her as a partner and just because his dad wants him to stay away from her, doesn’t mean he’s going to do that. Viv’s response are very optimal. “Yes, I know” she says as Chris bares his soul to her. He asked if the rain bothers her but she states, “It just goes through me”. Is she talking about the rain? Or the words that Chris just poured out to her?
Virginia meets up with her blackmailer later and it turns out to be Chris’ father. He wants Virginia to take her whole family and move away. He doesn’t find them normal and he wants them to move away. He wants to make the neighborhood normal again. However, Virginia knows this can’t stand. This will interrupt her husband’s mission to lead a normal life. So she scares Chris’ father by trying to intimidate him. She’s trying to do the optimal thing. She’s trying to keep her normal family safe. She wants to stay and to keep building toward having a normal family. But what she can’t understand is that people aren’t optimal. They make mistakes. They don’t get to be optimal. As she moves towards Chris’ father, he fires on her. She phases so the bullets miss her but hits Chris. She made a mistake. Chris’ father threatens to kill her and get everyone involved. She can’t let this happen, so she hits Chris’ father and breaks his neck.
The Vision and his family just want to lead a normal life. However, the world around them is having a hard time seeing them as normal. Virginia knows nothing can disrupt the work being put into this mission. She’s resorting to doing the optimal thing to keep them on the path to normalcy, but they’re struggling. It doesn’t make sense why humans do what they do. It’s not the perfect thing to do. Feelings that humans have for each other and for themselves just fog the facts. Being normal should be easy, but Virginia is finding out that being normal is not anything but.
Marvin’s Rating – 10/10