Script: Mark Millar
Art: John Romita Jr. & Jimmy Palmiotti
This is one of those rare cases where numbering a book issue “0” is appropriate since this kickoff is really just a prologue to whatever will take place in the rest of the series. Here we’re given a little Vision/Gah Lak Tus backstory to frame up the soon to come five issue mini series, through a narrative “vision” presented to Sam Wilson by the freshly re-animated robot hottie. Vision was built by some long-extinct race to warn others of the coming danger, with the ability to “assume the shape and language of whatever world” she visited. I guess our world’s shape is brick shithouse.
This book takes place somewhere before the final issue of ULTIMATE EXTINCTION, making for a bit of awkwardness early on as we wonder why Sam Wilson and Reed Richards are sweating a Gah Lak Tus threat already resolved in our up-to-speed Ultimate universe minds. That passes as the book quickly moves to what I guess you would call Vision’s origin story. What doesn’t pass is the awkward transition from the work of Warren Ellis and Brandon Peterson in ULTIMATE EXTINCTION to Millar and Romita’s effort here. I like a lot of Romita’s work – I’m particularly enjoying ETERNALS – but he doesn’t have the attention to detail Peterson (or Steve McNiven) have shown for the technical backdrops this Ultimate run calls for. Peterson will draw the main series, making the point moot.
“His name could best be described as the shape of a DNA strand multiplied by something that smelled like meat burning.” Ellis has shown a flair for pulling off lines like this, but from Millar it seems somehow silly and flat. Maybe it’s just me, but this type of script calls for a bit of eloquence combined with a knack for turning quasi-scientific factoids into oddly believable dialog – it’s just not in Millar’s wheel house. In the end we get a serviceable, if somewhat forced, story that does its job of setting the table for the mini series without giving much away.
Okay, I know I’ve sort of buried the lede on this one. Yes, the Vision is female, and, well, hubba, hubba. Like most of you I did scratch my head for a brief second wondering why it had to take the form of an intergalactic hooker. Truth is, I’ve given up worrying on this kind of nonsense (although they did take the robot mammary thing to heretofore unreached levels of goofiness in this book), it is what it is. I’m not sure how this one will play out in the Ultimate universe but I’m laying even money on a Tony Stark/Vision hookup before it’s all over. Either way, I look forward to a wealth of metal and robotic related sexual puns from blogosphere.