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Comics Review

Comic Book Review – The Vision #1

It’s not surprising in the least that the Vision would get a title in Marvel’s “All-New, All-Different” lineup.  He made his big-screen debut in this summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron after all.  When this sort of thing has happened before, you have often seen changes made to the comic book version of the character or characters involved, for better synergy.  Peter Parker develops organic web-shooters, or the X-Men wear leather costumes, what have you.  What writer Tom King, artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, and colorist Jordie Bellaire created here is something VERY different, and it’s got me hooked from the jump.

If you need to know the basics about the comic book version of the Vision, he is a synthezoid, which is basically a synthetic human, who had originally been created by Ultron to infiltrate and destroy the Avengers.  He turned on Ultron and ended up joining them.  Vision’s emotional capabilities have changed numerous times, and currently he has his memories (more or less) but has purged the associated emotions from them.  I don’t think it means he’s purged ALL emotion however.

As you can guess from that history it would take a lot for things to get stranger for the Vision, but Vision #1 certainly does exactly that.  It seems that Viz has created a while family for himself and settled down to a ‘normal’ life in a DC suburb.  He’s doing liaison work for the Avengers to the White House.  His wife Virginia, and children Viv and Vin seem like a perfect simulacrum of a normal family…which is exactly why they are so darn creepy.  Add in the fact that it’s implied that Vision used the Scarlet Witch’s brain patterns to create Virginia – and who’s more stable than Wanda! – and combined his and hers to make the kids, and you fall straight into the Uncanny Valley.  The Visions’ blank eyes and 50’s style politeness are unsettling and as you read deeper it becomes clear that there are some serious problems with Vision’s plan.

Vision Panels 1

Punctuating the story and adding to the creepy tone are the captions, matter-of-factly describing both the mundane and the horrific.  As the story goes along, you begin to get a sense that the Vision family have the same sorts of problems we have – the kids don’t fit in at school, the mom is depressed, and Vision himself seems to be having a nightmare and doubting his ‘love’.

Much like aVision SWny other super hero’s family, the Visions come under attack by a supervillain – who it is and why stems from Vision’s own creation, using the memories of Wonder Man.  The story ends with Virginia telling the children to lie to their father about what happens and yeah, when is issue 2 out?  I love when one of the big companies is willing to go experimental on us, and while I can’t see this being a long-running book, I HAVE to know what happens next.

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Movies Review

Lightning Movie Reviews – Ant-Man, Ultron, Minions

I have some catching up to do, so you get some quick thoughts on some recent flicks.

Avengers: Age of Ultron – The first movie was so successful, so it would’ve been difficult to meet expectations here. Ultron definitely was a half-step down but still had some great action and humor. Ultron himself could’ve used a bit more menace – something Spader would’ve been capable of, and in the end Ultron comes off a bit odd. I loved the Vision though, and for all the worry about Quicksilver and the comparison to the X-Men movie version, he and Wanda were great in their limited role. Special shout-out to Hawkeye who filled the ‘heart of the team’ role admirably, and was probably the funniest of the Avengers.

Ant-Man – Okay, I really enjoyed Ant-Man. Thought of as the riskiest project in the MCU after Guardians of the Galaxy, especially with all the turmoil surrounding Edgar Wright’s departure. It didn’t catch fire like Guardians but has performed solidly, tracking to match or exceed Captain America: The First Avenger. The visuals were a ton of fun and seemed to keep some of the Edgar Wright weirdness around. I wish Hope could’ve been Wasp here but I’ll deal as long as they get her in for future MCU movies. I also hope we get to see more Hank Pym – I’d love to see Michael Douglas as Hank going toe to toe with Tony Stark.

Minions – Minions is the classic example of something that is funny in small bursts but drags when expanded out to feature-length. Like how Pinky and the Brain were funny on Animaniacs but significantly less so with their own 30 minute show. There were a few chuckles and it certainly wasn’t so bad as to be painful, but it’s telling that the biggest smile for me came from when (spoiler alert) young Gru appeared at the end. Catch it when it’s on FX or whatever.