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Wednesday, September 07, 2016 

Marvel's writers put the Vision through misery

The writer Tom King's dredged up a cliche of making superheroes' lives nothing but sorrow, as seen in a new Vision series described as their answer to the Breaking Bad TV series:
The arrival of Victor Mancha — brother, uncle, Runaway — filled the last issue of “Vision” with hope. He acted like Vibranium near mechanics, soothing and pulling the family into a more functional unit. King made readers feel just safe enough that the revelation of Victor’s undercover operation for the Avengers was shocking and thrilling; it felt like the moment Hank Schrader discovered Walter White’s secret in “Breaking Bad.” It’s accidental, but it’s the kind of moment where you can almost feel the Earth move out from under the characters. Vic reacts in a panic when he’s discovered talking to the Avengers, and — in a second — the whole story changes.

As seen in “The Vision” #9, Victor isn’t as straight and narrow as we’d thought. While he struggles to calm Vin in the present (we’ll get to that kick in the feels in a moment), we flash back to Vic’s recent past. As it turns out, his Vibranium thing wasn’t just a random occurrence; he’s an addict now, hooked on the calming effect of the precious metal.
It sounds like a metaphor for drug addiction. I don't see what's so great about that. And things get worse. The fawning CBR review goes on to tell the following:
The last time death threatened Vision’s family, he tore his damned house to pieces; in a stroke of genius, the creative team didn’t show us this violence, only the aftermath. This feels like another catalyst moment, and I am terrified to see what is going to happen next — but this is what King and Walta have done for nine issues. [...]
Even if they don't show us the Vision going on a rampage, the whole notion of putting the synthezoid in such awful situations only for the sake of it is already terrible. Yet this is one of many things gone wrong with superhero comics, as misery becomes one of the few ideas modern writers can think of, and editors might only allow that direction.
From the jump, King let readers know that this story was going to end badly. In the first issue, he told us the Visions’ neighbors would die in a fire — which is exactly what happens here. It’s heartbreaking in that Chris Claremont way, which uses minor characters as fodder, collateral damage of the familial drama down the street. It’s like making friends with a chicken, then having to kill and eat it.
If Claremont ever did that, this story is enough to reevaluate those moments and wonder just where things went wrong.
The whole series has built towards what happens in this issue, which climaxes with the catalyst for the third act of King’s story. He has dragged Vision through the muck, and for good reason. The idea of this series was for the Avenger to have a “real” life, but here’s the catch: a normal life is unpredictable and full of as much tragedy as normalcy. While unpredictability has never been Vision’s strong suit, it has been King and Walta’s. Every time I pick up this book, I have absolutely no idea what to expect, and that’s great storytelling.
No, it's not. If tragedy and misery are what they think is the best kind of storytelling, that's absolutely ludicrous. Corporate owned products tend to be the biggest victims of these approaches, and it's just what destroyed them - because none of the higher echelons care about the products. I don't see how predictability or lack thereof matters, because as noted here, King actually said what would happen next, as though it validates the direction to the fullest. At the end, the reviewer says:
The Vision’s pain is our gain.
Nope. Only the reviewer's. Putting heroes through nothing more than dismal experiences has only made a mockery of superhero comics.

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It is very interesting to read the post "Marvel's writers put the Vision through misery". King made readers feel just safe enough that the revelation of Victor’s undercover operation for the Avengers was shocking and thrilling; it felt like the moment Hank Schrader discovered Walter White’s secret in “Breaking Bad.It is the more powerful words in the article. I get the writer King Tom's new here. Thanks for sharing.
phd thesis

So what's your take on the new Ultimates series: good, bad, so-so?

It's also predictable and boring as shit.

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