Title: Vision Machine #2
Writer: Greg Pak
Pencils: R.B. Silva
Colors: Java Tartaglia
Letters: Charles Pritchett
Release Date: 11/17/10
Before my review I want everyone reading to know that Vision Machine #1 is completely free to read and available at visionmachine.net, the Comixology app on iPad and soon Platform Nation will have it available for all of our readers. Go read it! It’s great! Vision Machine #2 will also be available for free on November 17.
Vision Machine #1 (which you should have read by now!) introduced us to the iEYE. It showed us the amazing things that people could do with such advanced technology. You can create movies, chat with your friends, see the world however you want to see it, rate other people’s content and even make money from your own. Vision Machine #2 shows us how corrupt that technology could become. The iEYE can track your movements, record your website visits, bombard you with ads and even track what you look at. The iEYE owns everything that you upload to the web and can take away anything digital that you buy on it. Vision Machine shows us what a company can do with all of that power.
The world in Vision Machine is very believable. It seems like every week there is a news story about digital media or social networking. Technology is changing the way we live. These changes force us to deal with issues of privacy, piracy, ownership, copyright, obsession and more. Do I really own the book I just downloaded onto my Kindle? Should I be fired because of something I put on Twitter? How many people can see my status updates? Vision Machine takes these questions and amplifies them by introducing a piece of technology that blurs the line between real life and the digital world.
Greg Pak doesn’t just comment on these issues. He does a great job of injecting them into an interesting story. This issue focuses in on Buddy who in the first issue is all for the iEYE. Now though, Buddy is trying to show the world the truth behind the technology. Sprout Computers, the company behind the iEYE, isn’t going to just sit on the bench while that happens. They are willing to go to some pretty extreme lengths to keep Buddy quiet. We also see Dr. Elizabeth Chitkala Evers, one of the minds behind the creation of the iEYE, actually trying to stop Sprout Computers as well. Her vision for the iEYE has been corrupted. She can’t let her creation be used for evil.
Greg Pak’s writing is great in this issue. All of the characters have their own voice and point of view. I enjoyed a conversation between Buddy and his friend Dave. Dave knows about all the potential pitfalls that the iEYE may have, but he is willing to overlook them because he loves what they can do. Buddy can’t convince him that the price for the iEYE may be too high. Dave’s point of view is important because I believe most people would think the same way he does. If your product is good enough, people are willing to give up a little privacy and ownership. I like that you see every side of the story, from the politician that is capitalizing on the iEYE to the average person who is getting screwed out of his content.
At one point Buddy’s friend, quite embarrassingly, finds out that Buddy is obsessing over a girl they were friends with. It comes out of nowhere, but does a great job of reminding you there is more to the characters than just conspiracies and iEYEs. There are other things these people want and think about.
The art is Vision Machine is fantastic. R.B. Silva really made this world its own. Subtle things like the way cars and buildings look. They are just futuristic enough so you instantly know this isn’t 2010, but familiar enough to keep you grounded in the reality. He’s also able to create the fantastic settings that people see through their iEYEs.
Every panel is packed with detail. He really gets the feel for what the story is trying to convey. The iEYE interface feels packed and jumbled right before Buddy comments that it is unusable and distracting. There is even a classic comic book moment when someone comes to the rescue that R.B. Silva nails. The last panel is fantastic and leaves me hating the wait for the next issue in December. Java Tartaglia on colors did a great job. They really pop off the screen (I read the issue on my iPad) and look great.
Hopefully you can tell, Vision Machine #2 is fabulous. It would be a must buy if you could buy it. Since it’s free there is absolutely no reason to not try this series out. Greg Pak has created a world that feels like it could really be coming. More importantly, he has used that world to create a compelling story. Perhaps the best compliment you can give a comic book, I can’t wait for the next issue.