Much More Than Adequate: Marvel’s “Vision” by Tom King
One of the best comics that marvel has been publishing has to be “The Vision” by Tom King. It’s an odd book…the central premise being that the Vision, an android, has constructed an android family for himself, and moved to the suburbs. He and his ensemble cast (the family) deal simultaneously with Avengers style problems (very much in the background) and normal, suburban problems. Things like high school, bullying, racism, and crummy neighbors.
The Vision himself rarely wears his new uniform. I would argue that in part that is because it is a @#$%& to draw, but also…whenever he puts it on, he is “at work.” The book doesn’t really focus on that much at all. Instead, it looks at ideas such as the Vision and his android wife going to a conference with the school principal, or conversations between the Vision’s daughter and a boy at school.
It took me a few issues to really understand the point of the book. King is setting up the Visions as the ultimate impartial outsiders, desperately trying to assimilate. The humor is subtle, but the satire is clear…there’s a huge amount of depth to a book that I considered not picking up, because quite frankly, the Vision is a boring character to me.
The Vision’s daughter, Viv, is intended to be a breakout character in the new big book from Marvel, “The Champions.” It has been a long, long time since Marvel published a book with that name, and they are pushing it with variants, retailer incentives, and massive, massive hype. The inclusion of Viv Vision ensures two things for Marvel: that “The Vision Vol. 3” is definitely in continuity, despite its oddness, and secondly, that the use of the new character from the book might haul some loyal readers over to “Champions.”
That may be a tough sell, because “Champions” is being pitched as a pretty standard superhero team comic. By contrast, Tom King’s “Vision” is a work of psychological horror, where one tragic event begets a series of other tragic actions and occurrences, and you watch the characters in the story respond and cause further tragedies, all with a sort of horrible, but very understandable and realistic, inevitability.
Sounds upbeat, huh?
I highly recommend it. So much so that here’s a link, that will let you buy it for your Kindle right now. Just click here.
Why is the post on Sunday, you ask? Because I got home at close to midnight on Friday, after the football game and the school dance and all of that. I was tired. It happens.
I was going for a more…”clean” look with the art, with fewer extraneous lines and shading. Since I draw from left to right, that worked on the left…but the Vision’s current superhero look almost completely prevents you from doing what I was after. It has all kinds of little details and doodads on it, and was a real hassle to even plan, much less execute. If I had to draw that costume monthly, in a comic for Marvel….I would be very, very unhappy.
I had considered a more “romance” style cover treatment, instead of the single panel with ambiguous dialogue…but I couldn’t find a way to execute it that made me happy. I was also still pretty tired.
If I needed to do the art over, I’m pretty sure I’d go with Vizh’s “classic” uniform…way easier to draw, and the whole look is easier to execute. I’ve used it twice in the strip already, in fact…Vizh has had a couple of appearances in the past. For someone that the protagonist doesn’t seem to like too much, he seems to have done well enough.
“The Vision” by Tom King wraps up in October…King signed an exclusive deal with DC, and had to leave the book. He said in a tweet that he’d finish “The Vision” without compromising an inch on the story he set out to tell. The link above is for a collection of the first six issues…another collection should follow pretty quickly after the last issue ships in about a month. The first six issues hold together well as a story on their own…but definitely not for kids.
Much like how the protagonist and Vizh spend their alone time, the series is very much intended for adults. Bear that in mind, True Believers.