Do Androids Dream of Electric Families?

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Guest post by Delaney N., ‘18.

The first thing I noticed about The Vision was the covers. Mike Del Mundo, one of my all-time favorite comic book artists, has a command of color and a unique style of painting that creates beautiful and intriguing images. The comic’s inside art, by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, is strikingly complimentary. A reader could simply stare at the pictures and still get a lot out of the comic. That activity, however, would discount the quality of Tom King’s storytelling. He brings the character of the Vision, a longtime novelty of ensemble Avengers comics (and ex-husband of the Scarlet Witch), to “life” in something that doesn’t fit the traditional superhero comic mold– it’s a dark drama about family, outsiders, and humanity.

The comic follows the home life of Avenger synthezoid Vision and the family he has created for himself. He, together with his wife, Virginia, and his children, Viv and Vin, grapple with what it means to be robots in a human world, and whether they can ever be accepted as they are. Vision has his responsibilities as an Avenger that he must balance with his new family’s’ life, and must determine what it is to love something he has created for himself. Viv and Vin attend high school, and must reconcile their differences from the other students and figure out what it is to be normal. Virginia, lacking a profession or anything to do during the day, spends time reviewing her fabricated memories and descends into what could be called depression in humans. As the story progresses, Vision’s world starts to unravel with Virginia at the center.

As hateful whispers turn into violence, the reader is captivated by King’s haunting narrative. My only criticism of the comic is that it feels cruelly short, ending after only 12 issues. The reasoning behind the comic’s cancellation is also frustrating: Tom King left Marvel to become DC exclusive, meaning that he won’t be picking The Vision up again any time soon. Overall, the Vision is a masterful series that has much more creative and emotional depth than most comics out there today.

The Vision was published monthly by Marvel Comics from November 2015 to October 2016, and collected in two trade paperback volumes: The Vision Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man and The Vision Volume 2: Little Better Than A Beast. It was written by Tom King, and has art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Michael Walsh, coloring by Jordie Bellaire, and lettering by Clayton Cowles.

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Now available at the MA Library: The Vision vol 1 “Little Worse than a Man” and The Vision vol 2 “Little Better than a Beast”.

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