Friday, 10 July 2015

The Vision: Yesterday and Tomorrow Review (Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis)

Before becoming DC exclusive, Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis were making a hash of things over at Marvel, like this four issue Vision miniseries from 2003/04. And in true Johns fashion, his Vision is angry, brain-dead and violent in a badly plotted story that doesn’t hang together well - all qualities he would go on to imbue his DC books with!

Johns’ origin story for The Vision revolves around a 1939 science fair where a Professor Phineas T. Horton creates him using old-timey, yet remarkably futuristic, tech. But The Vision wasn’t his first creation and one of his prototypes, the Gremlin, is stolen by Nazi agents and used in WW2 against Allied pilots. It’s now the present day and The Vision must partner up with a young boy to destroy the bad robot, in a plot that’s basically T2: Judgement Day!

Professor Phineas T. Horton? Didn’t Ultron create The Vision? He did, both in the comics and the recent Avengers movie, as 1968’s Avengers #57, “Behold, the Vision” by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, The Vision’s first appearance where Ultron reveals himself as his creator, is also included in this volume! So what’s Geoff Johns playing at? Who knows, though if it’s a reimagining, it’s not anywhere near as good as the original. Also, when did The Vision get amnesia?

Ok, nitpickiness time so spoilers going ahead but you can tell I’m not recommending this one!

The Vision plays second banana to a dumb kid and a trampy sorority girl because Geoff Johns doesn’t know how to make The Vision interesting. So we have to hear the kid’s backstory which involves a father in the air force and a grandfather who flew planes in WW2 but got shot down by the Gremlin. But if the grandfather died in WW2, then the father must’ve been conceived in wartime - making him, in the present day (2003), at least in his 60s? But he’s drawn to look roughly 40 and his son is a teenager. Also, I’m pretty sure no air force in the world would employ a senior citizen to fly their planes!

Then later the hologram of Professor Horton activates. It’s a pre-recorded message from years ago before the professor’s death - that also has knowledge of a commercial German plane crashing a month ago?! And why exactly did the Gremlin lie dormant all this time, only to be awakened now? And how was it activated again? And why would the professor put it on his granddaughter - whom he’s never met before and doesn’t know is astoopid - to stop the Gremlin!? None of this makes sense!!

I’m not really an Ivan Reis fan and his art in this book doesn’t win me over. The Vision’s transparency is in flux so we sometimes see his robot skeleton which just looks gross for the sake of it. And Reis’ design of the Gremlin is a total rip-off of the Sentinels from The Matrix.

Johns ends the book making The Vision awkwardly and unconvincingly heroic. Up ‘til now he’s been an unemotional, angry and mega-angry force but in the last few pages Reis draws him smiling so he’s a good guy!… yeah, no.

The Roy Thomas/John Buscema comic isn’t much better. It’s cornball Silver-Age stuff full of bad dialogue and plotting on par with Johns and Reis’ poor effort. The Vision just shows up - uninspired stuff for a first appearance.

The Vision: Yesterday and Tomorrow is a pretty terrible comic all over - no wonder DC saw it and decided Geoff Johns was their man!

The Vision: Yesterday and Tomorrow

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