Title: Vision Machine #3
Publisher: Pak Man Productions
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: R. B. Silva
Colors: Java Tartaglia
Letters: Charles Pritchett
Release Date: 01/12/11
There are spoilers in this review! If you don’t want any spoilers, skip to the last paragraph of the review for my recommendation.
If you don’t know anything about Vision Machine check out my review of issue two. Or better yet, go read issues one and two for free at visionmachine.net. Vision Machine #3 brings the story to it’s conclusion. We get to see corporations versus the little guy, technology versus freedom and friend versus friend. Sprout goes to the extreme to stop hackers and the hackers are pushed to the extreme as well.
Buddy, Liz and the OOTON hackers are still hard at work trying to break the world free of Sprout’s domination and infiltration of everyday life. The hackers have succeeded in breaking out of the Sprout system and using the iEYE for their own purposes. Their most popular use is creating virtual worlds in which to live in. Obviously, Sprout doesn’t want people using the iEYE off the official network. Sprout can’t keep up with the hackers around the world using traditional methods. Fortunately, they have an ace up their sleeve. Jane, one of Buddy’s friends has incredible power in the virtual world. Even Sprout doesn’t know exactly how or why. What they do know is that she doesn’t have to follow any of the rules others do in the network.
The art in this book is fantastic. I love the style of R. B. Silva. Java Tartaglia’s colors pop of the screen. R. B. Silva works in subtle details so readers know the story is happening in the future but doesn’t hit them over the head with it. Silva makes the mix of real and virtual worlds fit perfectly, like orcs meeting in a cafe. You can tell Silva had fun with the freedom the virtual world gave him. In a showdown between the two, Jane kills Buddy in tons of virtual worlds and we get to see Buddy die a different virtual death in each panel. Buddy gets eaten by zombies, shot in a duel, blown up in a car chase and more. Each panel is perfectly over the top.
The writing in Vision Machine 3 is just as strong as the first two issues. Pak again does a great job making sure there is a great story to go along with his message. The characters are multilayered. No one is completely good or bad. The people we are rooting for do some questionable things to achieve their goals. Even the person in charge of Sprout’s immense and corrupt influence sees the beauty in completely pure communication. A moment I really enjoyed was when Sprout’s iEYE network gets completely shut down. It shows how reliant we are on technology but also all the amazingly great things we do with it. From surgical operations to simply getting a recipe online. It’s easy to say the technology in the book is evil but this moment reminds you how much good it can do.
I think the ending of the book will divide people. It goes from purely technological to a little supernatural. I understand why Pak wrote this ending but it took me off guard and out of the story. I would have rather had an ending more in line with the rest of the book. The ending isn’t bad, just jarring.
At the price of FREE I recommend this book to everyone. Even if it was a full priced comic I would recommend it to anyone. Pak delivers a great story with compelling characters, an amazingly realized world, and plenty of twists and turns. The art in each issue is consistently fantastic. Vision Machine and the iEYE might seem far fetched at first but it is closer to real life than you think. Let’s hope Pak’s vision of the future goes a little better once we reach it. Go to visionmachine.net starting 01/12/11 to read all three issues for free!