Avengers #24.1 Review: Vision Quest
So, it's time to check back in with the main Avengers books now that Avengers vs. X-Men is nearly upon us, and thankfully, Marvel has given us a point-one issue with which to do that. Avengers #24.1 lets us know that the Vision is back and functioning, after being torn apart during Avengers: Disassembled and reincarnated as a teenager with the Young Avengers, only to be destroyed by Iron Lad at the end of Avengers: The Children's Crusade. I won't pretend to understand why he hadn't been rebuilt before now, but apparently, Tony Stark's figured it out and he's back, with all his old memories… and immediately, he learns that his ex-wife Wanda Maximoff went crazy and was the reason he was torn apart by a mind-muddled She-Hulk way back when.
The issue follows the Vision as he tries to understand the post-Bendisassembled world that the Marvel Universe now is, and the first thing he does is find She-Hulk, who apologizes profusely, and the two part with their friendship restored. Jen then mentions that he shouldn't take it out on Wanda, because she never had a chance due to how she was raised by Magneto (which, technically, she wasn't RAISED by him and didn't even know he was her father until she was well into young adulthood, but this is a Brian Michael Bendis story and it's been well established that 'continuity is a shackle' to him. Or maybe Jen just doesn't know her that well). Vision then goes to take it out on Magneto, heading to Utopia to talk trash and threaten to kill him. Of course, being an android, Vision could be easily re-killed by Magneto, and he only lets him live because there's a small chance he might be able to bring Wanda happiness again. That deposits him back on Avengers Mansion doorstep to cry into the arms of Captain America, who understands what he's going through now that he's awakened to find a drastically changed world.
And Cap gives Vision some advice that sounds exactly like the Brian Michael Bendis philiosphy on continuity in general and the fanboys he angers. "This is the best, truest advice I can give you. There's nothing back there for you now. For people like us, everything is THAT way – forward. You need to look forward."
Forward, in this case, would be Avengers vs. X-Men #0, wherein Vision has a complete about-face in tone, and when Wanda shows up at Avengers Mansion, Vision greets her at the door and essentially says "fuck you, go away forever."
And both of those stories are written by Bendis. And they were both released on the same day.
This is why my brain hurts when I try to read his books.
You can read Iann Robinson's review of AvX #0 here, but at least in that one, it appears Bendis may have actually read Avengers: The Children's Crusade, as Vision off-handedly mentions that Wanda may have suffered 'manipulations.' Here, however, Magneto insists that Wanda makes her own choices and it's her responsiblitly, not his, for what she's become… which doesn't even sound like something Magneto would say, especially after Avengers: TCC. But again, "look foward." Don't look back. Don't even look sideways.
Brandon Peterson's art is solid for the most part, although the book opens by directly reprinting the She-Hulk Tears Vision In Half art from Avengers: Disassembled. Peterson, however, is big on sneers. One panel in particular has a sneering Captain America lookling like he's 80-years-old and arthritic, and another has Vision with some spittle connecting his teeth. I guess Vision can have spittle.
If you peel away all the inconsistencies between writers (and between the same writer, for pete's sake) and stories that have gone before and just take it as it is, just looking forward at the book in front of you without looking backwards or sideways or up or down, it's okay. Bendis has fun with dialog – particularly with Hawkeye and Spider-Woman pawing each other on a few pages – relationship banter is his wheelhouse. It's also interesting to see Bendis actually writing characters he unceremoniously destroyed when he first showed up on Avengers books. It's like you're always waiting for him to re-destroy them.
It's okay. It's a decent restart for Vision. If you peel all that context away. That is something Bendis would seem to want you to do with every new issue of every comic you ever read. Read it as is, with no thought to what's come before. Just imagine the potential of what could spring from this. Of course, whenever you read the next issue, you shouldn't ever think of this thing you read five minutes ago. That's looking back. Look forward. Always. ALWAYS. STOP WITH THE WHINING ALL OF YOU!
Actually, it's not all of us. Just some of us. Most of us are still reveling in everything he does, so he's used to all of this noise. I'm through with screaming. I'm just not a big fan of his style. Your mileage may vary.