“There is no end to it”
In it’s final issue, The Vision #12 caps off one of comics most excellent series in recent memory as it’s always been; expertly crafted and profoundly heartfelt. A mediation on love and family told through the prism of artificial intelligence, The Vision has proved to be a standout of it’s era.
Coming out of the recent post-Hawkguy tradition of re-contextualizing it’s sub a-list superhero’s in the voice of the book’s creators filtered through the tropes of it’s character, at the conclusion of the series; The Vision may be the high water mark of that phenomenon as writer Tom King, illustrator Gabriel Hernandez Walta and colorist Jordie Bellaire created a harrowing story about the Vision character’s attempts to create a makeshift family and in doing so, explores the inherent desire of humanities need for love and community in and of itself. While the issue preceding this one was the big action piece, #12 is even better in that it works to be a fitting palette cleanser to last issue’s plot twist while closing the circle and crystallizing the books thematic structure as a whole. Yes, this a hallmark of writer Tom King’s style and he’s mastered it’s execution. But perhaps what’s elevated The Vision in a way that is unique and necessary to the series is how that was applied and realized by the creative team as a whole by making a truly epic comic focused on subject matter that is deceptively low stakes on the surface yet universally paramount to the core of our humanity.
“All the rest….just…..goes….goes”
Far from the epic brutality that most readers were introduced to from Walta’s time on the Magneto ongoing, the illustrator has been able to zero in on small moments for maximum emotional impact in his superb character work, acting and expressions. That Walta does so in a style that leans towards an cartoonish angular and boxy style more akin to John Romita Jr as opposed to a more traditional aesthetic is it’s own kind of remarkable achievement. Meanwhile, it’s well established that Jordie Bellaire is the greatest colorist of her generation and one of comics most important color artists of all time for a variety of reasons that go far beyond her excellent work on Vision. At the same time, her contribution to Vision has been crucial in the comic’s world building and mood. Her palette for The Vision was often muted in tone in a way that perfectly encapsulated the feeling of classic East Coast suburban bedroom communities. Her work in the issue’s core scenes in the family room with the lights off and the shades drawn down, that dark blue hue that is instantly recognizable and the perfect mood setter for what ends up being the emotional crux of the series. It’s a beautiful moment that Bellaire executes to perfection.
“Life is but a dream”
There are so many thematic elements of The Vision that I could explore further; there’s it’s connection to Watchmen, idea’s about humanity, AI and the nature of life, it’s deconstruction of Americana idealism and more. And while all of that is worthy of analysis in this space, I’ll opt to keep this simple as possible; at the conclusion of the series I can tell you that The Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta & Jordie Bellarie is unequivocally excellent. If you haven’t read it yet, read it. If you haven’t read the final issue, read it. If you’ve already read the entire series, read it again. The Vision is comics at it’s best; it was in it’s first issue, it was in the middle of the series, it was in the last issue and it is here. Androids dream of more then electric sheep; here they envision life in all it’s beauty and darkness. Let The Vision share it with you.