Over the first five issues of “The Vision,” Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta slowly unreeled a suburban horror story involving the Vision’s attempt to establish a normal family life, even as his wife and children’s interactions with their Arlington neighborhood grew increasingly deadly. In “The Vision” #6, King and Walta take that to a whole new height when a neighbor’s dog comes to visit.
Each issue has carefully added another layer of disaster onto a rapidly teetering tower, but the Vision himself has managed to inadvertently steer clear of all of the bad things happening while he’s not at home. It’s hard not to see the irony here; after super-villain attacks and attempted blackmail, it’s a dog’s innocent visit to the Visions’ backyard that finally pushes the Vision himself into the center of the conspiracy of silence. It’s a truly sad moment, where you can’t help but feel for the Vision as he realizes how out of control things have become without his realizing, and that’s to say nothing of the dog. At the same time, though, the book continues to get creepier and creepier with each passing moment. The latest addition to the family is positively unnerving, and King continues to build that uneasy feeling with each new page.
With this issue, we’ve hit the halfway point of King and Walta’s story, and they provide the storytelling equivalent of a mic drop at the end of the issue. King’s script leads up to this moment perfectly, with the ever-present narration building up to a final page that reveals who has been proving the voice over, who has been listening and what it’s all aiming towards. The narration is as enthralling as ever — part explanation of a theory, part analogy to what’s going on inside the Vision’s head — but it hits a new level once you understand its overall purpose. The second half of “The Vision” promises to get that much more dangerous, not just for our suburban synthoid family but all of those around them.
Walta’s art continues to move from one strong point to the next. He’s able to make the Vision family look wonderfully alien one moment and extremely expressive the next, without ever changing their character designs. When Viv looks up at the dog and asks for its name, there’s such an expectation and hope on her face that it’s downright heartbreaking. Similarly, the way the Vision goes from impassive at dinner to genuinely startled when he discovers what’s literally lurking just under the surface of his backyard almost distracts from the horrific discovery — almost, but not quite; it’s a gruesome image that could have been played for laughs, but is instead horrible. Jordie Bellaire’s colors accentuate Walta’s art; for example, the yellows of the lawn work beautifully with the Vision’s red skin and the blue-white crackles of electricity. Walta and Bellaire also prove they can handle a more familiar sort of character design from the Marvel Universe; not only are the characters recognizable, they would fit in well in a regular superhero comic as well.
“The Vision” #6 is another installment of a series that triumphs month after month; this disturbing look into one of Marvel’s strangest characters is unlike anything else on the market right now. Now is as good a time as any to catch up and see just what you’ve been missing.