A Review of The Vision #4 – From Bad to Worse

The Vision #4 (2016)TITLE: The Vision #4
AUTHOR: Tom King
PENCILLER: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: February 3, 2016

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

When I looked at the first issue of The Vision a few months back, I talked about an ominous, unsettling vibe that something very bad was going to happen. And make no mistake about it, bad things have happened, and it only seems to be getting worse.

The Vision’s children are sent back to school following Vin’s violent incident with another student. Thus, it’s all the more unlikely when Viv shares a sweet moment with that same student. But what isn’t so sweet is what’s happening with Virginia, and the mysterious voyeur who captured her burying Grim Reaper’s corpse mere minutes after she killed him. Before this issue ends, blood is shed once again.

The Vision #4, football sceneAs usual, King and Walta give us the Vision family’s warped version of suburban life. That creepy, bizarre, Twilight Zone-ish spin on things is a huge part of what’s made this series such a creative success. We open the issue with Vin and Viv playing with a football, and Vision joins them moments later. It’s a nice Rockwellian scenario that’s perfect for what King and Walta have created for us. We even get a Peanuts homage with a bait-and-switch about kicking the ball. But what makes it a great Vision scene is the way the characters talk to each other. They’re trying to be a family, but they talk like the machines they are.

Let’s look at some dialogue from Vin and Viv…

– “That was entirely unfair! The ball was thrown by father for me!”

– “Now brother, fairness is a simple mathematically determined balance, the lowest form of justice. Preeminence, however, is the assertion of complex covenants over instinctual norms. The highest form of justice.” 

Who talks like this? No one human, that’s for sure. This scene is also a great illustration of the inherent element of tragedy in this book. We know no matter how hard this family tries, they’ll never truly achieve the normalcy they’re striving for. But they keep trying…

The Vision #4, Viv and Chris, Gabriel Hernandez WaltzKing seems to tease a romance between Viv and Chris, the boy Vin had a conflict with. Yet again, it’s painfully obvious just how robotic Viv is. Chris is obviously trying to connect with her, and the narration indicates she’s receptive to it. But it’s a delightfully awkward exchange, which leads me to hope Vin and Viv are around long enough to take a crack at high school romance. It’ll be doomed to fail, of course. But I’d still love to see it.

The drama in this issue comes from Virgina’s plot thread. For the sake of staying spoiler-free, I can’t say much about it. But to say the least, it succeeds in upping the tension. Virginia won’t be able to keep her secrets much longer…

On the lighter side of things, toward the middle of the issue husband and wife have a marriage-by-the-books conversation about scheduling as Vision and The Avengers are facing Giganto. And it’s done with the same robotic dialogue we saw from Vision and his kids. What’s more, we briefly get to see Walta draw Iron Man and Captain America. It’s a nice little interlude, as we haven’t seen any Avengers-scale stuff in this book yet.

The Vision continues to be one of the most compelling books Marvel has on the stands right now. Things are going from bad to worse. I suspect those of us who love great comic books will want to be here when it all falls apart for the Vision family.

Images from author’s collection.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition/

A Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 Review – Marvel’s Bromantic Comedy

Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 (2016), Ed McGuinnessTITLE: Spider-Man/Deadpool #1
AUTHOR: Joe Kelly
PENCILLER: Ed McGuinness
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: January 6, 2016

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

The best thing about this issue is Marvel using Spidey and Deadpool’s name value to promote The Vision. They include the entire first issue in this book as a bonus. Seriously, pick it up. It’s awesome.

Of course, having Joe Kelly back on a Deadpool book is nothing to sneeze at, with his old cohort Ed McGuinness no less. These two made Deapool a force to be reckoned with in the ’90s, and are now back for a romp with the mouthy merc, with Spider-Man in tow!

When we join our heroes, they’re tied up and at the mercy of the demonic Dormammu. Deadpool BAMFed them out of New York City in the middle of a fight between Spidey and Hydro-Man. Thus, they have not one but two threats to face. But why is Deadpool suddenly butting into Spidey’s business? What does he have that Wade Wilson wants?

Spider-Man/Deadpool #1, 2016, Ed McGuinnessSpider-Man/Deadpool is, first and foremost, a bromantic comedy. Kelly delivers on the banter front from both Spidey and Wade. But for me the banter takes a backseat in terms of humor in this issue. At one point, our heroes are facing a Hydro-Man made out of sewage. Call me juvenile if you must, but that’s a funny idea. But what I got the biggest kick out of was the panel to the right. Something about his (pardon the term) body language, mixed with how his hand and lower half are regenerating makes this a very amusing image. Kudos to Ed McGuinness for what I’ll call subtle humor here.

Like a lot of great bromances, the core of this issue ends up being about friendship, feelings, and all that stuff. I don’t expect a lot of heart to be on display in these pages. But it is there. Naturally, Wade’s heart takes him in entirely the wrong direction, as we find out at the cliffhanger.

Ed McGuinness is one of the innovators of the Deadpool character, so he’s as natural a fit on this book as anybody. But even when you don’t factor that in, his uber-musculed, highly expressive, and hyper-dynamic style make him a great choice for anything that’s taken tongue-in-cheek. McGuineess’ art has a great versatility about it. If you want him to play it straight, he can do that. If you want him to be silly, he can do that too. Often times, he’ll give you a combination of the two.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 (2016)The question with Spider-Man/Deadpool isn’t necessarily about where they’ll go with things. Rather, it’s where can’t they go? Whether he’s duking it out with the entire Marvel Universe, cutting up zombified presidents, or even taking on Thanos himself, Deadpool has plenty of versatility in his own right. It looks like they’ll be staying in Spidey’s world for the immediate future, as next issue they’ll be joined by none other than Miles Morales. There’s some potential there for Kelly to have a lot of fun breaking the fourth wall. So even if you’re not a big Deadpool fan, next issue may be worth a glance. And if you are, odds are this book has a big upside for you.

Images from author’s collection.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition/

A Review of The Vision #1 – Family Matters

The Vision #1, 2015TITLE: The Vision #1
AUTHOR: Tom King
PENCILLER: Gabriel Hernandez Walta. Cover by Mike Del Mundo.
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASED: November 4, 2015

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Well this isn’t creepy at all…

Marvel’s “All New, All Different” take on The Vision sees our human-ish robot hero living an entirely different life than he’s ever known. Having recently erased his “emotional memories,” Vision is now working as a liason between The Avengers and the United States Government. What’s more, he’s created a family for himself. He now has a wife named Virgina, and two teenaged children named Vin and Viv. But what Vision has done, both to himself and with the creation of his bizarre family, will come with repercussions. And he will face them much sooner than he thinks.

There’s a very ominous, unsettling vibe about this issue. As the pages go by, you feel something very bad lingering under the surface. Granted, our narrator (whose identity is unknown) flat out tells you something bad happens later. But it goes beyond that. The issue has that same tension that comes with a lot of scary suburbia stories where the house, the family, and the kids are an illusion for something dark and mysterious. We know Vision isn’t evil, but bad things happen when you play God. And to an extent, that’s what he’s done with his family.

The Vision #1, title pageVirginia, Vin, and Viv are starting to get existential. Bad things tend to happen when robots do that. We get some really nice visuals during Vin and Viv’s first day at high school. One of which has the students looking up and see these two mysterious pink and green teenagers hovering in the sky. But it’s topped on the next page, as a girl asks Vin via her lap top screen: “R U NORMAL?” There’s a great irony there, as she’s asking him via a computer (shown below).

Much of the creepy, Twilight Zone-ish sci-fi vibe that comes with this book can be attributed to how Gabriel Hernandez Walta draws the Visions. You wouldn’t necessarily expect his more scratchy style to fit with a story like this. But what he puts on the page very much delivers on the sort of twisted Leave it to Beaver concept that makes this book intriguing. The simple white circles for the eyeballs go a long way in that respect. Jordie Bellaire’s colors compliment Walta’s figures very well, as the bright pink skin and green hair are very eerie. It’s almost as if someone took one of the supporting characters from Nickelodeon’s Doug and transplanted them into the real world. They look great in the flamboyant and colorful world they come from. But in the real world it’s a different story.

I won’t spoil the how or why of it, but Grim Reaper shows up in this issue. I was sadly ignorant of Grim Reaper’s history before I picked up this issue. So what happens with him doesn’t make much sense until you type his name into Google. It makes a lot of sense, then. But my only major critique with this issue is that we don’t get any kind of context with him. With it, the end would have been much more meaningful.

The Vision #1, R U Normal?Supposedly, Vision’s new family will have a big impact on the Marvel Universe in the near future. If this issue is any indication, that’s a good thing. There’s a good amount of meat to this concept. And in a way it makes sense. Ultron created Vision. Now Vision is creating “life” in the same way he was created.

Either way, I recommend a visit with the Visions.

Images courtesy of newsarama.com.

Follow Primary Ignition on Twitter @PrimaryIgnition, or at Facebook.com/PrimaryIgnition.