Ultimate Vision

Ultimate Vision
Ultimate Vision graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Marvel - 0-7851-2173-2
  • Release date: 2008
  • UPC: 9780785121732
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

The Vision of the Ultimate universe differs considerably from the version created by Ultron to infiltrate the Avengers. As seen in Ultimate Nightmare, she remains an artificial life form, but one trapped on Earth for decades as her technology was reverse-engineered. When eventually discovered by Nick Fury and Sam Wilson, much of her had been dismantled, and the opening chapter concerns reconstruction and the warning the Vision was originally sent to deliver from a doomed alien race. Mark Millar and John Romita Jr provide a novel twisting of the Superman origin story with a further surprise at the end after the Vision’s past has been related.

That, though, isn’t the main story, which is by Mike Carey and Brandon Peterson, and is a form of sequel to Ultimate Extinction, to which there’s considerable connection, although everything it’s necessary to know is explained along the way. The Vision is waylaid by a scientific engineer in a space station orbiting Earth. One George Tarleton intends to control a module separated from Gah-Lak-Tus, and the Vision is his means of access.

As was the case for Ultimate Extinction, Peterson’s art is stunning, incredibly detailed, yet as good with people as with the machinery. His design for the Vision stands out, an updated version of Fritz Lang’s robot from Metropolis with gaps in a sleek metal body through which the technology enabling joints to move is seen in complex fashion.

There were biblical undertones to the arrival of Gah-Lak-Tus, but Carey’s moral message is more along the Roman myth of Icarus in which mankind over-reaches, and once the menace has evolved the question becomes whether the Vision can do anything about it. Carey briefly channels Aliens, then switches tack for a desperate battle back on Earth, and a clever way of solving the threat. This is heavy on theoretical science, Carey backing up his technobabble a little more than most superhero comic writers do, but it’s otherwise an extremely satisfying adventure that betters the prelude story by the higher profile creative team.