It’s hard to imagine things could become more intense for the Visions, given the climactic events of issue #1 – the attack on the twins and Virginia by Grim Reaper, which resulted in the mortal wounding of Viv, and the death of Reaper – but the next issue amplifies the tension for our would-be modern family.
The book opens with a lonely three tiers of individual panels, wherein we see Vin standing isolated in front of his high school locker. As we move downward, panel to panel, we observe the unmarred Vision-child phasing below the hallway floor with the weight of his recent trauma, his head in his hands.
What will become of his twin sister, Vivian?
The second issue in Tom King’s The Vision does hint at an answer, and the following image of Vivian’s bisected, stuttering form proves that King and interior artist, Walta, are no one-trick ponies when it comes to a dramatic use of the splash. Once more, the colors used by Jordie Bellaire add a familiar consistency, especially in the saturated warmth of the panels that recount Virginia’s struggle with Grim Reaper, however inaccurate that recounting may be. The one thing is clear, however; Grim Reaper was none too pleased about Ultron having used the brainwaves of his brother, Wonderman, to create the Vision and, by extension, the Visions.
As hinted in the previous issue, the struggle for normalcy is going to be a battle hard-won for the Vision; King’s preference for substance above overt style helps illustrate this point tremendously, as he tends to narrate minimally over striking, emotive panels. Only upon occasion do word balloons fill a page, such as when both Virginia and the Vision converse with their son’s principal, following Vin’s physical altercation with another student. In this instance, the Vision proposes an alternative to expulsion by playing the A-card: the Vision has, after all, saved the planet (a highly specific) thirty-seven times over, and the principal, nay, the world, owes him their lives.
Do we believe a standard suspension is a just punishment for what was, for all intents and purpose, an attempted homicide? To the Vision, it seems so, and that judgement call is only another measured step atop the wobbling pendulum of what he is certain to be a normal, American life. In a strange inversion, we empathize with the principal – while his attitude may be shortsighted, his powerlessness to govern within his domain was made quite clear, and one can’t help but wonder if they’d do things differently.
Despite the fact that the Visions feel that they’ve handled their affairs efficiently, and with the Vision patriarch floating the possibility of Viv’s full recovery, the issue still manages to end on a hell of a dour note. Nevertheless, the way the story builds feelings of joy and relief prior to such a stinging blow, is emotional manipulation at its finest.