Marvel Pick Of The Week – May 11, 2016


Pick Of The Week goes to The Vision for the seventh consecutive time, this week because the little horror book that could finds a new way to break our hearts.

Spoilers ahead!

Pick Of The Week: The Vision #7, by Tom King, Michael Walsh, and Jordie Bellaire

The Vision was a breakout character in the second Avengers movie, and he had a lot more screen time in this month’s Captain America: Civil War. Comic fans were delighted to see that the cinematic synthezoid seems to be developing romance with the Scarlet Witch. She has been a member of the team since the fifty year-old title was in single-digit numbering, and her life with The Vision is a defining part of her character. I started reading comics around the end of her marriage, so the story has always seemed dark and wonderful to me. I’ll try to summarize it: The Vision and the Scarlet Witch fell in love because even though he was mechanical, he had emotions. They married and moved to New Jersey and her magic allowed her to become pregnant with twin sons. But then the government gave The Vision a hard reboot and took away his feelings, and then Wanda learned that her magic had stolen the souls for her boys out of pieces of a demon lord named Master Pandemonium and he absorbed them back into himself but not before wearing them as terrifying hand puppets at their own mother. And after that, the Witch considered herself pretty much divorced. And she started dating Wonder Man, The Vision’s brother (that’s not quite true, but the real story is so much longer). She’s gotten a lot better since that traumatic time, but she’s scarred.

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What I didn’t realize until this week was that I had never heard their story from The Vision’s point of view. And I was ready for Tom King to tell this in the most horrific sequence of escalating tension until the final reveal had me jumping out of my seat. That’s how most of the issues of this book have been.

And instead, he broke my heart to pieces. And again, he’s found something new to say about love.

For six issues, readers have wondered whose brainwaves The Vision used to make his new wife, Virginia. When Ultron made brides, he used Wasp (his stepmother) and Mockingbird (because she was closest), so it was assumed that our favorite synthezoid made a metallic mate out of his ex. But Virginia hasn’t really given us a lot of clues there, and this issue shows that the truth is more complicated. Because to get to Virginia, we have to walk through The Vision’s love story. We have to see a man believe that love is going to save him, to make him real, to make him better than he was. We have to put that man through the arguments that readers never saw but that make perfect sense, the scenes where a couple takes everything out on each other because they just can’t not. We have to watch The Vision lose everything and become that toaster he’d always been suspected of, with the tragedy that he has lost the circuitry to mourn his own death, and then to have to walk his wife through the deaths of their infant sons at the time he is least capable of loving her. We have to watch him see her move on with the man he could have been, just when he has regained the emotional capacity to want to win her back. And we have to watch him start to love again, telling some of the same jokes and hoping, this time, for a happy ending.

This book isn’t scary. But I think I’d rather see that poor dead terrier from last issue again before I could handle the heartache of this book. It’s so honest. It’s every post-breakup date, telling your most winning stories but remembering the way you told them to the last person. It’s every move toward commitment, hopeful despite the death of the last trial. It’s the edge of every argument that you survive, the sigh of relief that this night is not what ends you.

Virginia isn’t Wanda. Virginia is everything we have to tell ourselves in order to love again. Virginia is our need to hope despite all historical evidence to the contrary. And even though the book has wrung me out with dark twists, I find in myself that feeble, shiny hope that maybe The Vision and his new wife might make it. May we all keep searching for that same hope, for a love that will make us better than we are, make us real, and stay with us to the end of our days.

Honorable Mentions:

Uncanny inhumans #8, because of course the queen of the Inhumans is too good to have seen Star Wars.

Web Warriors #7, because a team with the cartoony Spider-Ham is eventually going to face Ducktor Doom. Costa and Baldeon get this character to a scary place, but they don’t forget how cute and silly he needs to be.

Catch up on previous Marvel Picks of the Week here!