You know that socially awkward android played by Paul Bettany in the Marvel movies? His name is Vision, and he's been around for years, but he's hardly ever been a lead character. Sure, writers have tried to make him a leading man—or, uh, sentient machine—but none of his standalone series have managed to strike much of a chord with readers.
Until recently, when writer Tom King took the reins for a new Vision title. It might not have been inspired by anything more than Marvel's desire to take advantage of the character's onscreen arrival in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but the result is nothing short of masterful, a superhero story unlike anything else on the market today. Perhaps ever.
In King's ongoing series, Vision has taken a wife—or more to the point, created one. Years ago, Scarlet Witch (with whom Vision has had a long-running, on-again/off-again relationship) gave Vision a sample of her her brainwaves, essentially telling him to make a version of her that's better for him. Following her wishes, he created his new android spouse, Virginia. Once united, the pair combined their brainwaves and created their children, Vin and Viv. Desperate for some semblance of human normalcy, Vision bought his family a house in suburbs and started commuting to his Avengers job, building a new life for himself as well as the core of King's story: it's about what happens when god-like beings aspire to be something much less than they are.
Vision juggles a lot of ideas: the bland complexity of suburban life, crumbling marriages, the nature of love and the definition of humanity, and the horrific lengths people will go to in order to protect their own. This isn't a comic book, it's a stunning HBO hourlong drama in comic book form that happens to star an Avenger. This is American Beauty with Kevin Spacey's family replaced by robots, and an unsettling domestic horror story that demands to be read.