Vision: the Marvel reboot Ta-Nehisi Coates called "the best comic going right now"


Originally published at:

When ex-CIA agent Tom King teamed up with a group of extremely talented writers to reboot Marvel’s “Vision” in 2015, he had a lot of material to work with – the character had begun as a kind of super-android in the 1940s and had been reincarnated many times, through many twists and turns: what King & Co did with Vision both incorporated and transcended all that backstory, in an astounding tale that Ta-Nehisi Coates called “the best comic going right now.” With the whole run collected in two volumes, there’s never been a better time to see just how far comic storytelling can go.


The Vision solo book, while it’s ostensibly about Vision, has him play only a peripheral role to the story. Instead, Vision’s family – synthoids he constructed to give the facsimile of a stereotypical suburban nuclear family – take center stage. The entire story is about the family trying to fit in society, while Vision remains absent and aloof doing Avengers things. All the while the unseen narrator, makes it clear that nothing will go well for anyone. Every issue is filled with uncompromising palpable dread.

I really recommend it.

Io9 had a review of the book several months ago, which gives a better feel for what the comic is, complete with panels that illustrate the dread I’m talking about.


vol 1 on hold now. only 38 people ahead of me.


This is why I don’t like libraries


I love the Seattle Library and the King County one even though living in Seattle proper means I can’t place holds or get ebooks from KCLS. 38 people and 8 copies in circulation so it shouldn’t take too long as it isn’t War and Peace. Besides I have that dystopian Russian sci-fi recommended by @jlw to read right now.


People are slow readers. There’s enough hurry up and wait in my life where I read about three books per week, but most people don’t have that kind of luxury.


I love Ta-Nehisi Coates writing, and more than that I think he is an important writer at this time, with essentially important things to say to our world. His nonfiction is necessary to my world.

I also have loved Black Panther since a kid, especially as written by Christopher Priest and double-especially as written by Jonathan Hickman. Both those guys could and can tell incredible stories.

I don’t think Coates can yet. Not fictional ones, or at least not a superhero story that has been declared to be meant to do what his nonfiction does. Unlike Vision, which (very much like Westworld) hits issues of profound importance to the human condition and does so with masterful storytelling, Coates’ Black Panther story feels like it is collapsing under the weight of didacticism. It’s clumsy, stilted, and gets hung up on poorly-veiled exposition/moralization. The dialogue feels clumsy and clichéd in an early superhero comics sort of way.

It’s not that I don’t want his message… I DO! I love his message. But I think he’s got a long way to go to develop the skills to tell a fictional, serialized story well. And I look forward to watching that happen.

I also don’t much care for Stelfreeze’s art. I think the design is great, but whether it’s the (digital?) inking, coloring or the original drawings, I find it strangely static, as if they were all statues set in dynamic poses. Something I have felt about Alex Ross for most of his career, actually.

Back to King’s and Walta’s Vision: worth every bit of hype. Art and writing combine in a Philosopher’s Stone of mind-blowing and mind-expanding story that somehow manages to feel more subtle than either Grant Morrison of Ales Kot, two of my favorite mind-blowing, mind-expanding writers.


Ha! That sounds like the story of my life!


That is a hell of an observation. Universal, yet. I have to consider the fact that I expect fictional characters to somehow communicate “more realistically” than real people. And still, I feel something awkward there.


It still gives people who can’t afford to go out and buy a book access to knowledge. And that’s why I DO like libraries. Is it perfect, no, but if we assume that everyone can afford all the things that some of us can, we are leaving an awful lot of people out in the cold on a number of fronts.


It gives us all access to a lot more than we’d have if we had to buy everything (and borrowing and sharing makes more sense for most stuff). I love the Seattle library system, it’s great.

This series might be interesting too. I like Saladin Ahmed on twitter, have been meaning to check some of his stuff out.


I actually like them too. Don’t tell anyone :wink:

If there’s a new book out, I’ll buy it though, because I can afford to buy books. Now I literally have thousands that I need to get rid of.

If I want an older book, or if I can stand to wait, I’ll go to the library. I 'm there pretty much every week.


I know this isn’t on Coates but I think it was a big mistake to introduce the character to the MCU. Once you have a team member who possesses All The Powers it’s almost impossible to write a conflict that still makes narrative sense.

Oh, the guy who is really good at archery joined up with the guy who has a bulletproof shield? Yeah, that’s totally going to change the outcome of a fight in which one of the participants is effectively a God.


I like the comic but it has Arlington and northern Virginia geography all wrong. Since I live in Arlington it is hard to get over that fact. Cherrydale is very close to DC and is part of Arlington, what is shown and described is more like Fairfax County.


I just bought this on comixology based on this rec and it is quite good so far. I have grown pretty jaded with comics as most of them are … mediocre, but so far I am digging Vision’s postmodern robot family suburbia.


Someone need’s to tell his other wife…

Guess the divorce was hard for their kid’s tho…


That’s covered in the story. In depth.


Nah, they turned out to be pretty handy.


Holy crap, that’s intense.


Trufen. I had to look that up, seems like an odd word to casually drop and not explain.

About this Vision run, i’d consistently heard great things since it began. I’ll have to check it out :smiley: