Since the events of “Avengers Disassembled”, Marvel comics fans have not seen much of everyone’s favorite Synthezoid, the Vision. Often called as one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe's Earth, one would expect a more active role upon his return; but ever since then, despite some appearances in the pages of the Avengers, The Vision seems to have taken a the role of a non-major player in the famed comic book. His part was minor during the return of Norman Osborn and he barely even played a part in 2012’s “Avengers Vs. X-Men”. Well, writer Christos Gage and artist Tomm Coker now brings the android avenger back into the spotlight in 2013’s “Avengers Assemble” Annual # 1.
For those of you who have little knowledge of the Vision’s history, he was created to be a weapon for destruction against the Earth’s Mightiest heroes. He overcame his villainous origins and purpose to become a force for good that he became one of the most active members in the Avengers roster. Despite being an android, the Vision proved to be just as human as anyone of the team, perhaps even more that he was married to Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. Many years of being married to her and through her magic, he even sired two children; children he eventually lost after Wanda had realized that they were products of her subconscious. Soon after, his marriage to Wanda fell apart.
Avengers Assemble Annual # 1 brings the story called “Company Man” and it begins sometime after the Vision’s reawakening into a new world where the Avengers are the primary force for good with a lot more responsibility than ever before. In this issue, the assemblers are called upon to fight off the menace of Sunturion, a once-loyal employee of the Roxxon corporation who has taken it upon himself to destroy the many offices of the corporation. The Avengers team led by Iron Man were able to drive off Sunturion only to find that the man’s grievances may actually have just cause. Sunturion is on the verge of his own potential destruction, as the company that he served for many years seemingly has abandoned all efforts to cure him, or may just see such ‘cure’ to be not ‘cost-effective’. The Vision sees several things of himself in Sunturion’s plight as the Avengers attempt to help the former Roxxon employee.
Being promoted as a “turning point for the android avenger”, writer Christos Gage in this 2013 annual incorporates several sequences that definitively defined the humanity of the Vision. This annual is more a dramatic tale just how an android can come so respected in the ranks of the Avengers. The Vision is a man, despite the fact that his parts are synthetic, he often demonstrates just how human he is in the way he always seeks to know himself, identify his flaws and learn how to work pass them. One may even say that the Vision is more human than an actual human being, and as such he has often been envied by Wonder Man.
Being an annual issue for the series “Avengers Assemble”, there is action to be had with this issue as it also features the return of Sunturion, more imbalanced and more powerful than ever before. Yes, this is a ‘turning point” and as expected, the Vision becomes the one being that could actually engage Sunturion in combat. This Sunturion knew exactly how to use his powers to their maximum advantage, and while the fights were short, they made perfect balance to its narrative. The emotions of the struggle come from the fact that the Vision perceives a parallel to his own existence to that of Sunturion’s’ where Sunturion has been absolutely loyal to Roxxon, the Vision’s definition of purpose have always been found either with the Avengers or with Wanda.
The art with Tomm Coker was good, but admittedly it wasn’t what I have come to expect when dealing with a book about the Avengers. There were times that I felt that the style was reminiscent of Jae Lee, mixed with Leinil Yu, with the different approaches in inking (with Mike Deodato, Luke Ross, Valentine De Landro and Mike Mayhew in the mix) tend to reflect the mood and atmosphere of a scene. Colors are sometimes made to look dirty and gloomy while at times made to be a little cartoonish. I am not sure, annuals these days have such mixed talents behind them that it is hard to put a finger at where their intentions are at. Perhaps it is the curse of the ‘deadline’ that renders such things a little uneven.
All in all, while I didn’t exactly get what I expected, I was somewhat pleased with what I read. To appreciate this annual, one would’ve followed the Vision in his journey; with his many attempts in reuniting with his ex-wife, the loss of their children, and how it explained just what took them so long to be able to get the Vision back on his feet, this was a worthwhile read. The Vision is trying to find a life outside the team and he intends to tie up loose ends. I am just glad to see the Vision return, the Young Avengers’ “Vision” was alright but really, never as interesting or as sympathetic as everyone’s favorite android avenger. The enigmatic, unlimited Vision has finally returned, and let’s hope that Marvel knows what to do with him.
Story: 4/5 Art: 3.5/5 Overall: [3 ½ Out of 5 Stars]
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