Saturday, February 2, 2013

Still Not Avenging Anything Though

West Coast Avengers: VisionQuest: written and pencilled by John Byrne; inked by Mike Machlan (1989; collected 2005): Fun bit of revisionist Avengers history, as John Byrne tries to reconcile 20 years of inconsistencies in the story of the android superhero Vision's origin story. That origin story initially posited that the Vision was a new artificial personality implanted in the WWII Human Torch's android body.

But the established story of the Torch's construction (a quasi-biological body) never synchronized with the written and artistic depictions of the Vision's construction (a synthetic 'synthezoid' with both mechanical and quasi-biological parts). Until 1989!!! Because Byrne got bugged by stuff like that!

Along the way, we also meet a secret intelligence agency headed by a person with a surprising country of origin. The Vision gets kidnapped. Weird things happen with the children of the Vision and mutant Scarlet Witch. A mysterious enemy who would get referenced by Grant Morrison during his run on the X-Men ten years later shows up for the first time. Wonder Man sports a mullet and continues to have terrible fashion sense when it comes to superhero costumes. And Byrne's funniest superhero group, the Great Lakes Avengers, make their surprisingly effective first appearance.

Byrne's art is clean and well-laid-out, as it usually is, and his science-fictional interests really add to the story. Mike Machlan does a nice job inking Byrne, putting a nice sheen on the whole thing. Recommended.

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