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Comic Book / The Vision (2015)

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Behold ... The Visions! note 

"Vision's quixotic quest for the normal will be the central theme of this book. We will look at how the world reacts to his noble attempt, how that reaction warps him and his family, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. It is a tale of blood and kisses, of brothers and sisters, daughters and sons, husbands and wives, of betrayals and high school and guns and lasers and bureaucrats and Avengers and neighbors and suspicion and robots, red skinned robots peacefully living amongst us, red skinned robots trying to live peacefully amongst us."
Tom King

The Vision was a twelve-issue 2015-2016 Marvel comic book, written by Tom King with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and colors by Jordie Bellaire. It was part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative that rose from the aftermath of Secret Wars.

The Vision is a synthezoid, an "android composed of synthetic human blood and organs." He was created by Ultron to destroy the Avengers, but rebelled against him and instead became one of the Avengers. He has been through many things (even dying), but he has always wanted one thing: to be normal and have a family.

So he built one.

The Vision, his synthezoid wife Virginia and children Viv and Vin have now all moved into a suburb of Washington, DC, where the Vision works. The children go to school, while Virginia stays at home. Everything is fine, everything is normal. Except for the fact that they are not human and everyone knows it. Except for the fact that something very, very bad is going to happen. Or perhaps it has already happened.

Along with King's run on Omega Men and the first arc of Sheriff of Babylon, The Vision forms the "Trilogy of Best Intentions", three of King's works connected by recurring themes.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe series WandaVision adapts elements of this comic book, the most apparent ones being Vision having a married couple life and the Stepford Suburbia setting.

Tropes that appear in The Vision:

  • Accidental Murder:
    • After the Grim Reaper attacks them and stabs Viv through the chest, Virginia whacks him with a pan to the head...and then keeps hitting him over and over again until he's dead.
    • Issue 4 combines this with Shooting Superman. The person blackmailing Virginia with a video of her burying the Grim Reaper grows increasingly paranoid of her and attempts to shoot Virginia. Virginia was intangible so the bullet flies through her and hits the shooter's son, killing him.
    • In issue #9, Victor tries to subdue Vin and shut him up after he keeps screaming for his dad. Unfortunately, Victor is so high that he misjudges the strength of his attacks, and kills Vin.
  • Alien Catnip: The series presents the retcon that vibranium is apparently an addictive substance to robots, and can cause them to behave like a human who has a drug problem. Issue #9 reveals that Victor has a severe vibranium addiction, and he accidentally kills Vin after getting high.
  • All of Them: When Vision leaves his home while under house arrest and makes a beeline for the prison in which Victor is incarcerated, Iron Man summons all of the Avengers to stop him.
    Iron Man: Nova! Everybody! Get everybody now! We launch for D.C. in five!
    Nova: Okay, but by "everybody", you mean—
    Iron Man: Everybody! Now!
  • All of the Other Reindeer: The synthezoids' neighbors are suspicious of them, and at least one wants them to leave town. Vin and Viv are outsiders at school. The children's principal still sees the synthezoids as dangerous and subhuman "guns", even though Vision has helped save the world over three dozen times.
  • Alliterative Family: All of Visions family names begin with "Vi" in an alliterative fashion.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: All of the synthezoids have magenta skin.
  • An Aesop:
    • Trying to recreate the past is a bad idea. Trying to do so using other people is an even worse idea.
    • Acknowledge your own "normal". Trying to conform to someone else's idea of "normal" will only result in heartache.
  • Androids Are People, Too: This is what the Vision is trying to prove, especially in the second issue when he stands up the principal of the high school after he calls the Visions "guns."
  • Arc Words: "Behold ____" used to introduce new characters by the narration.
  • Artificial Human: All of the Visions are "synthezoids."
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Vision is the Avengers' White House liaison.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The synthezoids love each other and are polite to their neighbors. However, they are all capable of shocking violence if provoked.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Virginia, the Vision's wife, is content to sit around all day and explore her memories (often crying). But when the Grim Reaper threatens her family, she will take a metal pan and kill him with it.
  • Blackmail: Leon Kinzky, the father of one of Viv's classmates, saw Virginia burying the Grim Reaper and recorded it. He later sent her the video and called several times until she gave in and agreed to arrange a meeting. Leon threatened with making the video public unless Virginia and her family move out of their home.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Leon Kizky tries to use blackmail to get the Visions to leave their home. He ends up in a coma Virginia theorizes he will never come out of, and with his son Chris dead.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Despite Vision's attempt to escape from this he ends up making another one.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The events that lead to a Bad Future in which Vision has become a supervillain are thwarted. Also, the Scarlet Witch and Iron Man repair and revive Sparky, who reunites with a much more stable and self-assured Viv. On the other hand, Vin and Victor are dead, while Virginia ends up taking the blame for everything that happened and pulls a Heroic Suicide to get everyone off the Vision's back. And according to the last few panels, Vision hasn't learned anything, since he has secretly started to rebuild Virginia.
  • Book Ends: The last issue repeats the starting narration of the first.
  • Broken Record: The Visions tend to repeat themselves when in shock.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Deconstructed. On the one hand, the various attempts to bully, harass and drive out the superstrong invulnerable laser-shooting robots go about as well as expected. On the other hand, not only does attacking people- even bigots- have serious consequences in and of itself, the fact people hate the Visions that much causes them serious psychological harm even if they're never in physical danger.
  • Call-Back: In issue 3 where it is revealed that the narrator is Agatha Harness having a vision of the future, she recites the first lines of narration from the first issue.
  • Cannot Dream: The synthezoids shut down during the night so that their systems can process the previous day's input, but they do not dream.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Until now the incredible dysfunction of the Pym/Maximoff clans was treated casually; this series shows how it would objectively have damaged all the members.
  • Cessation of Existence: After Vision and Viv pray for Vin's soul to find rest, the narration comments that in the Marvel Universe, there is an afterlife and death is not the end...for humans. Not robots. Vin "simply ends".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The first issue contains an impressive five guns.
    • In the first issue, George and Nora give the synthezoids a tray of cookies. It's the same tray that Virginia uses to beat Grim Reaper to death.
    • The Visions have a stringless piano, a gift from the Black Panther, that Virginia often plays. It functions via Wakandan vibranium, which Victor is high on when he accidentally kills Vin.
    • Captain America's adamantium lighter appears throughout the series. In issue #10, Vision uses the lighter to break through the containment field that Tony Stark installed around his house.
    • A planter full of magical flowers sits in the synthezoids' living room throughout the comic. In issue #11, Virginia uses a petal from the flowers in a magical formula for seeing the future.
    • The floating water vase of Zenn-La, which the narration mentions cannot contain flowers because the process renders the water toxic. In issue #12, Virginia commits suicide by drinking some of the vase.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: In issue #11, the Vision is confronted by over a dozen superheroes, some of whom are so powerful he'd have trouble with them on their own. No points for guessing how the fight goes.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: The series contains a lot of philosophical discussions from all members of the family about what it means to be a living, thinking being and interacting with others alike. For example, Vin and Viv have a discussion about what the difference is between being able to predict someone will do something, and trusting that person will do it. At another point Vision and Vin have an argument about schooling, with Vin saying it would be far more efficient to just gain the same information by downloading it into his mind, and Vision upholds the importance of the learning experience.
  • Cool Uncle: Victor Mancha. He engages Vin and Viv about their problems better than their parents have so far.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: Vision is fond of saying that he's saved the world 37 times. In one issue, those thirty-seven times are actually ennumerated - and it's not surprising to see how many are "Ultron (again)"
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Visions' home address is 616 Hickory Branch Lane.
    • The series has flashbacks following Vision's entire history, including his marriage to Scarlet Witch and the period where he was rebuilt with a new color scheme.
    • Issue #9 has flashbacks to Victor's time with the Runaways and his short stint as an Avenger. It also reveals that his vibranium addiction began shortly after the Runaways' battle with Ultron.
  • Covers Always Lie: The covers are more metaphorical than literal, so things like illustrating Vision's arrest by a policeman as his family looks on more stands for his questioning and suspicion from the police in that same issue.
  • Creepy Monotone: For many years in the comics, Vision was said to speak with an near-inflectionless monotone, and it's implied the rest of them may as well.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Avengers try to stop Vision from killing Victor. Vision effortlessly defeats them all.
  • Cutesy Name Town: Cherrydale.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Vision has clearly snapped, he had made his own family so he can be normal, the first issue ends with Virginia killing the Grim Reaper... Yeah, if this trope doesn't apply here, then...
  • Disappeared Dad: Leaving Wanda and ignoring the kids he already has with her for an entirely new family kinda qualifies Vision for this trope. Explored in issue 7, flashbacks show him trying to have an intervention with Wanda about the twins not being real and much later (in his white, emotionless form) decisively removing himself from their lives by claiming he is not their father anymore, when they were like four years-old.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Viv slams her fist through the staircase when brawling with Vin. Virginia accidentally smashes the kitchen table out of anxiety when law enforcement questions Vision.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In keeping with Tom King's repertoire of instilling his personal experiences into his writing, Vision's attempts to acclimate to suburban normalcy after being an Avenger for decades can easily be seen as reflective of military veterans returning from service but having little to no luck adjusting back to a peaceful domestic life.
    • The synthezoids endure suspicion, threats, and hate crimes because they're different from those living around them. One can draw parallels between anti-synthezoid bigotry and racism.
  • Dom Com: A subversion: Vision wants a domestic, quiet life with a nuclear family again, as he had when he was at his happiest. So he quite literally makes one and ignores the implication of what it means to make people who he requires to fill specific roles in his life.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title may refer to Vision as a protagonist but it also may be applicable to the narrative as a whole being a revelation of Agatha's vision of the future. The latter makes it a Pun-Based Title as well.
  • The Face: When the Avengers appear, Tony Stark gets most prominence out of all of them.
  • Fantastic Aesop:
    • Androids/synthezoids are not human, no matter how hard they try to be "normal", and will not be at ease in human society.
    • Creating synthetic humans with super strength AND bad tempers will result in trouble.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Virginia seemingly starts developing one as her Sanity Slippage continues, repeating words over and over.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Vision family endures this as synthezoids living among suspicious and sometimes hostile humans.
    • In issue #1, the Grim Reaper tries to kill Virginia, Viv, and Vin out of hatred. Virginia beats him to death before he can succeed.
    • In issue #2, Principal Waxman calls them "guns" and "shaped @#$%ing metal". Two kids spray paint "Go Home Socket Lovers" on their house in issue three. Leon Kinsky refers to Vin and Viv as Virginia's "things".
    • In Issue #8, a "for sale" sign is shown in front of a house in their neighborhood, suggesting that at least one family is moving to get away from the synthezoids.
  • Fantastic Slurs: Vandals spray paints "Go Home Socket Lovers" on their house, picked out of the search results for "bad names for robots". The principal at Vin and Viv's school refers to the synthezoids as "guns".
  • Floating Water: The Visions have a vase made of floating water from Zenn-La. Ironically the process renders the water corrosive and toxic, meaning it can never be used to hold flowers.
  • Flying Firepower: The synthezoids can levitate and fly, as well as fire lasers from the jewels in their foreheads.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since the book is narrated by some omniscient third person, they often interject things that will happen in the future. For example, the neighbors who go to greet the Visions will later die in a fire set by one of them.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Victor, realizing that his death meant he could never become Victorious
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Not everyone can or should be shoehorned into middle class suburban life.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The synthezoids encounter prejudice, threats, and violence from the humans around them.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Grim Reaper (Wonder Man's brother) attacks the Visions as revenge for their patriarch using Simon's brain patterns and impales Viv with his Blade Below the Shoulder.
  • Innocent Bystander: The Visions neighbors, George and Nora, die in a fire set by one of the Visions. Though it initially seems it could be another instance of Vision doing anything to safeguard his family, it turns out to be an accident, as the fire starts when Vin's laser activates as Victor is trying to contain him.
  • Invisible President: Vision is shown talking to an unidentified president in the Oval Office; we don't actually see his face. It's worth noting that President Barack Obama does exist in the Marvel Universe, but we don't know if he's the one working with Vision here.
  • Ironic Echo: When Detective Lin questions Vision about his whereabouts, he asks if anyone can confirm Vision's story, to which Vision replied "I can confirm it." When Virgina calls Lin and confesses to her crimes, he asks if anyone can confirm her story, and she replies "I can confirm it."
  • Jerkass: Apparently Vision wanted his family to live in Avengers' new headquarters, but his teammates reaction caused them to moved to suburbs. When they find out what is happening, they sent Victor Mancha to spy on them, instead of confronting Vision and talking with him like a long-time friend he is to many of them. And when that ends with Victor accidentally killing Vin, they just throw him into prison and put rest of Visions on home arrest.
  • Killed Off for Real: Mancha accidentally kills Vin with his electromagnetic powers. The narrator explains that, since the charge overloaded the victim's nervous system, the damage was irreversible and he could not be revived by any means.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Vision purges the emotions associated with his memories in order to make his new family.
  • Lemony Narrator: The book utilizes these to eerie effect. Each half of the series uses a different narrator (Agatha Harkness and Wanda Maximoff), both of whom used the Wundagore Everbloom to get premonitions of coming disasters which they share with an unknown listener (The Avengers and Viv).
  • Lock Down: After Vin's death, Victor is incarcerated and the synthezoids are placed under house arrest. Tony Stark installs a containment field around their house. Vision finds a way to escape.
  • Magic Pants: Justified in that the synthezoids wear "clothes that phase" to preserve their modesty when they phase out.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: The synthezoids eyes are white with no irises or pupils.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • The first issue has the two children come home to tell their mother all about their day at school... and then the Grim Reaper bursts into the house and stabs Viv through the chest, claiming that they are all "frauds" and "imposters."
    • In general, this is also one of the outcomes of having an omniscient third person narrator. When George and Nora, the neighbors, are leaving the Vision's house, they talk about how creepy the family is. And then the narration says: "Later, near the end of our story, one of the Visions will set George and Nora's house on fire. They will die in the flames."
  • My Eyes Are Leaking: Virginia often cries to herself and isn't sure why.
  • The Needless: The synthezoids don't require food or water. While they do shut down at night so that their systems can process the day's events, they don't technically need sleep.
  • Nuclear Family: The Visions as a unit — husband, wife, son, daughter, and later dog. Invoked by Vision, who created them to fill a "normal family" mold, and definitely a deconstruction of the concept.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Vision is beside himself as he tries to revive Viv, and when he successfully saves her life, his relief is palpable. Unfortunately, when Vin later dies, his death causes Vision to go insane and turn against the Avengers.
  • Plot Armor: Despite the fact the narrator implied a character's early death, it wasn't hard to readers to determine they'd survive once they were advertised as part of the new Champions book.
  • Prophet Eyes: All of the Visions have these.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Early on, C.K. tries to ask Vin about how to reach Viv, since she's his partner in chemistry and he needs to communicate with her. Vin is in the middle of a Heroic BSoD and only answers C.K.'s questions with a vague and repeated "She is out. She is ill." C.K. loses his temper and insults Vin, who snaps in turn. This starts the cascade that drives the drama of the rest of the book: C.K.'s father to attempt to blackmail Virginia, resulting in his son's accidental death and Virginia placing him in a coma. The investigation causes the Avengers to look in on him, which results in Vin's own death, etc... With a more clear answer from Vin, specifying that his sister was in critical condition, effectively unconscious, and couldn't be communicated with, could very well have changed the whole direction of events.
  • The Reveal: For the first three issues, the omniscient third person narrator has been narrating things in the present while dropping hints about the future. The end of the third issue shows why: the narrator is Agatha Harkness, seeing visions of the future.
  • Religious Robot: Viv becomes one after Vin's death, musing that the premises of Christianity seem unlikely but finding comfort in it anyway. The comic bleakly notes that God (presumably here the One-Above-All) does in fact exist...but has no interest in robots and gives them no path to any afterlife.
  • Rule of Symbolism: One of the main engines of the series. The first issue handily introduced three different items used as visual metaphors through the story.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Avengers send Victor Mancha to keep an eye on the Vision, as Agatha has foretold them that Vision will go berserk; unfortunately, Victor going to keep an eye on Vision is what will cause Vision to go berserk after Victor accidentally kills Vin.
  • Sequel Series: Nearly received one in 2018, co-written by Chelsea Cain (Mockingbird) and Marc Mohan & drawn by Aud Koch. Unfortunately, it was cancelled abruptly two months before it was to be released.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The synthezoids speech is stilted compared to baseline humans, and their vocabulary is much larger.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: In issue 4, when Virginia attempts to contact the Vision to discuss how his family needs him as much as the Avengers do, Vision is shown fighting Giganto alongside the adults of the All-New All-Different Avengers which takes place in Nova (2015) #3 and #4. In addition, Vision subtly references the fact that he's blackmailing Nova.
  • Stepford Smiler: The entire Vision family but Virginia especially; it takes all of one issue for her to display behavior typical of the "Empty" variant. Justified in that Virginia's was created to be one by Vision himself.
  • Stepford Suburbia: The Arlington, Virginia neighborhood Vision moves his new family into.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It's strongly implied that Virginia's brain patterns are based on Wanda's, then confirmed in issue 7.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The rather convoluted lineage of Vision's "family" as it were is brought when Victor comes in. It's even illustrated on the cover of issue 10 and that's just the simplified version.
  • Token Houseguest: The comic is initially about the Vision's family not fitting in, but the arrival of Vision's sort-of brother Victor Mancha, who comes to live with them for a while, is the beginning of the end.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Grim Reaper thought he could successfully kill a family of superpowered synthezoids. Virginia quickly beat him to death.
  • Tranquil Fury: The Visions, particularly the adults, rarely express emotion, mostly keeping neutral facial expressions and seemingly neutral voice (highly formal speech with only full stops) throughout the series. This makes the moments when they are clearly furious (especially Vision's rampage after his son's death) far more terrifying
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The reveal of the line-up for new team book Champions spoiled the ending of this series by revealing that Viv survives.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The Vision family suffers one misfortune after another, each more horrifying than the next.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Chase attempting to help Victor by giving him vibranium to relax with inadvertently makes him an addict as described under Alien Catnip above. He was aware it was an impermanent solution that left his machines worse off when it stopped working but he never made the connection.
    • George and Martha's dog Zeke digs up Grim Reaper's remains in the synthezoid's backyard, forcing Vision to lie to protect his family.
    • Years before, Scarlet Witch gave Vision a chip containing data on her brainwaves so that he could fashion a synthezoid companion for himself. The rest is history.
  • Yo-Yo Plot Point: Vision is taking a crack at normal suburban life again, this time with an entire family of his own construction along for the ride. This is also the most recent time he's effectively deleted or otherwise lost memories related to his emotions and past relationships. Grim Reaper shows up later to antagonize the synthezoids because he finds them pale imitations affronting the real people they're modeled after.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Issue #6. The Vision finally discovers that Virginia killed the Grim Reaper and hid his body. He decides to completely cover it up and lie in order to protect his family. According to Agatha Harkness, this means that the Vision will do anything to protect his family... even raze the world.
    • Issue #11. Vision leaves the house while under house arrest, ploughs through dozens of Avengers, and almost murders Victor out of revenge for killing Vin. Virginia (who had killed Sparky moments before as part of a magical formula for seeing the future) kills Victor instead.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Issue #7. It's drawn by a guest artist and covers the long and convoluted romance of Vision and Scarlet Witch.