Marvel steps into the world of suburban horror with this chilling tale of the Vision and his Synthezoid family – wife Virginia, daughter Viv and son Vin. Originally created by Ultron, the Vision has become a much-recognised character over the years, but few have delved into his psyche in such an accessible way.
Indeed, this is a rare thing – a Marvel comic that requires little to no prior knowledge of the characters or world, as King creates a complete tale of Shakespearian tragedy and Neil Gaiman-esque pathos.
The Vision once had a family, cruelly torn from him, and he yearns to recreate that sense of stability and belonging even as his memories of those times are deleted. But creating a family from scratch – a family designed to love and belong – is hardly the act of a sane individual, and the way in which cracks start to show is genuinely heartbreaking.
Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s art captures the unease of this tale with an effortless hand, elevating a somewhat classic sci-fi tale into the higher reaches of the superhero genre. Bellaire infuses Walta’s classic lines and detailed backgrounds with a pulpish flair, creating pages that ooze atmosphere and chilling dread.
As Virginia sits alone, fascinated by the pre-loaded memories that often bring her to tears, darkness floods into the room around her, highlighting her acute loneliness.
The oppressive quiet of watching windows of suburbia are familiar to anyone who has walked silent streets at night, and serve to truly infuse the moments of unexpected violence with shocking brutality.
There are missteps here; hammering a metaphor of racism onto these red synthetic beings at one stage is clunky and unwise, and an understandable point of contention for some readers.
Overall, this is an unexpected modern classic from Marvel, and unquestionably their greatest comic this year.