When I first started this series I'd put the newest issue on the top of my weekly pulls, each page nourishing my fandom with its depth and characters. Yet with each passing issue, the depth of the story grows ever more, the emotions keep escalating, and characters I have come to treasure have their lives ripped apart like a toddler with a newspaper. Now, I save this book for last, because it is so damn powerful that its story resonates with me, echoing over every other book I've read.
Today, however, I read it first.
The story picks up with the aftermath of Vin's decommission/death/synthezoid finality, as the Vision family struggles to come to grips with what the **** just happened. We see Virginia continue to float through existence as her life falls apart around her. We see Viv, portrayed by superstar Gabriel Walta with wide-eyed youthfulness, trying to come to terms with the losses that hit so close to her synthetic heart, trying to find a sense of peace despite logic telling her otherwise. And we see Vision himself, the Hero who has saved the world 37 times, desperately trying to make sense of what has come to pass.
It nearly gets tiresome talking about Walta and Bellaire's seamless work together, where Walta crafts subtle actions so delicately and with such care. The mere change of an angle on someone's head, or a few more lines to indicate a shift in interior emotions, show how artists like him or David Aja or Chris Samnee are able to manipulate a panel without going overboard. And Bellaire's colors stoke the fire of any scene, guiding the reader's emotions like a cinematic orchestra.
Even more compelling is the dialogue written by Tom King. The repeated words of the Visions show how they are on the verge of breaking, unable to process the power of human lives spiraling out of control. Viv explaining her logical understandings of prayer to her father is heart-breaking - despite all that has happened in the Marvel Universe, both Viv and Vision are still uncertain as to the presence of God, and yet they both so desperately want to believe that He is in heaven with Vin... The pacing alone of that scene shows how powerful this medium can be.
Ten issues in and there's not a question that this is Marvel's best book - nothing else has the emotional gravity, nor the density of story or characters, that this book has. Each issue sets up the next in a way that elicits as much dread as excitement, which is the most anyone can ask of a series; after that gut punch to the soul that issue 9 ended with, I had to read 10 first just because I have to know.
Sometimes when I'm reading a comic my brain will provide some kind of background music. It's weird, I know, but having a soundtrack to a story helps my mind plot an emotional course, and helps it to further invest in the story. As we know, films use a score to direct the viewer's emotion and drive the story forward, and only the truly most remarkable films let the actors, scenes, and conflict move the story forwards without music to move it along.
As for the Vision, there's nothing but the words and stone silence.