Marvel’s comic’s The Vision series has been the publisher’s best comic by a wide margin for almost the entirety of it’s publishing history and this week’s penultimate issue is every bit the smart and gripping tour de-force that’s come to be expected from the title while the issue comes as close as it can in the present to cementing it’s status as classic material.
Issue #11 of The Vision is the moment the entire series has been built for. It’s the event that’s been explicitly referenced from the comics first issue while the book has consistently confounded those pre-set expectations. It stay’s true to those etho’s here as it’s plot is everything that could’ve been expected based on the books past continuity while also completely upending those same pre-conceived notions. This lends itself to writer Tom King’s unreal gift for structure and in that sense, The Vision is his magnum opus. The Vision as an entire series is masterfully plotted and it’s all that came before that makes this week’s installment all the more powerful. Thematically, The Vision has been about blurring the line between artificial and human intelligence; it’s an exploration of that contrast that lives between the two states. King has consistently contrasted the series present with the character’s past continuity and it’s perhaps most apparent in this issue as the book goes all the way back to the character and his wife’s origin. In doing so, it reveals so much about the couple in the present and heightens what is already an intense battle of The Vision versus the best of Marvel’s Avenger’s, Inhuman’s and Ultimate’s. This again harking’s back to another of The Vision’s theme’s in how the context of the past is central to every aspect of the present. So much of the comic is based on The Vision and the books expanded cast’s history and it’s all the more richer for it. The Vision is Tom Kings best work so far as issue #11 makes undoubtedly clear at this point.
Meanwhile, issue #11’s art is as stellar and even handed as it’s always been in spite of the plot’s inherent bombast for this installment. Foregoing a more showy style of visual storytelling, illustrator Gabriel Hernandez-Walta’s cartooning is a study in subtlety with a firm line and round character style contrasting with sharp perspective shots that is instantly recognizable and completely singular.
Hernandez-Walta is a master in terms of pure visual story telling as he gives the books plot a sharp yet natural fluidity. It’s especially dynamic in #11 where so much of the issue is action based. Hernandez-Walta’s understanding of scale is supreme is it’s precision and execution. As always, colorist Jordie Bellaire adds the final dimension to the comic with her superb coloring skills. What’s become apparent in Bellarie’s work is how it manages to be instantly recognizable while still making her art on each title completely distinct from her others. The Vision is no different in that sense where her use of texture in the dull suburban hue’s gives the book an engrossing naturalism. Bellaire remains the best and most innovative colorist of her generation with The Vision #11 making as good an argument as anything else for that status.
The Vision #11 is another incredible single issue of an incredible series that pays off on almost everything that happened in the book prior. King, Hernadez-Walta & Bellaire have created something remarkable here with one of the most purely satisfying and multilayered experiences that the medium has offered since the books start. Daring, innovative and engrossing; The Vision #11 is yet another example of comics excellence.