Virginia has taken a lot of shit in the Vision for her actions. She was, after all, the catalyst for this whole story, and seemed to be responsible for every notable (horrible) thing that happened. Yet in this issue, I found myself saying, "Oh. Oh dear, no. It's alright."
The opening details Virginia's confession to a series of deaths, and presents an angle to the story that every reader wants to believe, but can't: she tells the police that she's directly responsible for the Vision's actions, that she altered his central coding. We know it's not true, Vision knows it's not true, but by God, we all just want to believe it is, and that's tragic.
And when Vision finally finds Virginia after the confession, we learn that the weird floating water she drank from was a vase from Zenn-La (the Silver Surfer's homeworld), and that it's slowly killing her. What's even more powerful is that the Vision knows she can just phase the water through and she'll be fine -- Virginia knows it, too -- but she won't, because she wants to atone for what she's done.
What follows is emotional, heart-breaking stuff: Virginia rests her head on her husband's shoulder and explains why she did what she did. Then, our hearts break.
The ending of the book sees Viv coming to grips with what happened, talking with her father and a surprisingly sympathetic (and understanding) person. It's a nice note to leave her on - she seems to be more at ease with who she is and what the future holds for her. Her last sentiment to her father (and to the reading audience), announces a new direction for the character, which ties in with Mark Waid's new Champions series. Her arc was great, and it's nice to be able to see her growth as a character and not be crippled by all the shit happening to her and her family.
And then there's the last page that leaves the reader unsure of whether to feel happy or creeped out.
We've spent every review praising what the team of Tom King, Gabe Walta, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles have done, and every bit is deserved: they combined to make one of the most thought-provoking and earnest books on the shelves, a book that has left an indelible impression on its readers. It was a labor of love, and it's immensely depressing that it's over. Clayton Cowles never drew away from the panels with his word choice, always keeping the speech bubbles tight and fitting. Mike Del Mundo also presented the most gorgeous covers he's ever done, and this is a guy who was killing it on Elektra and Carnage among others.
Maybe we can hope that Marvel takes a look at the success of the Vision and decides to make more thoughtful books. Maybe we can hope that King, Walta, and Bellaire reunite for a new project. Maybe we can hope that Wil Moss champions another underdog book deserving a second chance.
Whatever we hope, we can't lose sight of the fact that this book is one of the best things Marvel has put out in over 20 years. It had pathos, it had tension, it had love, and it had a depth that so many other books can never hope to achieve. We're all better for having read this book, even if we're a little sadder for having done so.