Longstanding Avengers powerhouse the Vision was ripped in two by teammate She-Hulk, while she was under the influence of his mad missus, the Scarlet Witch. Now he’s back, repaired by Iron Man, and understandably confused. Why would Wanda, his beloved wife, do this? Iron Man has no answers.
He seeks out She-Hulk and she’s thrilled to see he’s back, ready to accept any beating he cares to give her. But that’s not why he’s there, and the pair, each haunted by the horror of that day years ago, make their peace.
Vision travels to the X-Men’s isle of Utopia, thinking he might find Wanda there, with her father, Magneto, and get some answers from her. But she’s not there. There follows a tense confrontation with the Master of Magnetism, with the Vison and Magneto nearly killing one another. The Vision returns to Avengers Mansion, where Captain America advises him to look to the future, because trying to understand the past won’t give him peace.
And there you have it, a pretty decent focus on the Vision. The best scene is his meeting with She-Hulk, in which the emotions – guilt, shame, joy, confusion – are palpable. Mind, the Vision does have a great moment with Magneto (click on image to enlarge).
I really could have lived without Spider-Woman and Hawkeye slobbering over one another like randy teens in Avengers Mansion garden, though. Especially as it sets up the stupidest moment of the issue, as Spider-Woman asks Hawkeye who ‘Wanda’ is – the heroines knew each other for years! And seeing the notoriously formal Vision remark: ‘I have a ways to go’ made me cringe. Was Iron Man rat-arsed when he put Vision’s brainwaves back together? Yeah, that has to be it, give me a No-Prize, Marvel. But seriously, associate editor Lauren Sankovitch and editor Tom Brevoort should not let this kind of thing through, it makes writer Brian Michael Bendis look sloppy, and them appear to be asleep at the wheel.
As I say, though, this isn’t a bad issue. Bendis’s story makes some kind of sense, while artist Brandon Peterson translates his narrative onto the page with precision. The Vision looks as imposing as a ghostly ‘synthezoid’ should, and the other characters are nicely on model. Sadly, the issue’s money shot splash – Vision phasing into Magneto to grab his black heart – is wrecked, as random special effects obscure our view of the event. You don’t have to use all the crayons in the packet, chaps.
And speaking of colouring, there seems to be a production problem; all the White characters are a sickly, sunburnt pink. Otherwise, Sonia Oback’s tones work well in print.
Overall, this comic functions as a character piece, showing us how thoroughly confusing coming back from the dead must be. It’s the sort of story we should have seen a lot more of down the years, and Bendis sells it. As a .1 issue, though, it’s a bit dubious. The .1’s are meant to serve as an introduction to a series and gently lead new or returning readers into the next big storyline. Well, this does set things up for Avengers vs X-Men, with Vision a proper cat among the pigeons on Utopia, and rounds out his reaction to Wanda in this week’s Avengers vs X-Men #0. But as a nice clean entry point to the world of the Avengers, it’s ropey to say the least, mired in a decade’s worth of continuity.
Then again, how many of the ‘1s actually have served the advertised purpose? Maybe I should just be glad of a more than half-decent Vision story?