As more and more of our life happens in the digital cloud, we have to worry about who owns our tweets, Facebook updates and Youtube clips. Greg Pak’s Vision Machine #1 begins 50 years in the future as an Apple-like company comes out with the greatest digital device: Glasses that record what you see, allow for your own imagination to edit that video and to share that vision with everyone else who owns a pair of those glasses. The glasses quickly go from being the latest digital toy to being a life saving device to being something much more insidious, which was perhaps the plan all along of the Sprout Corporation. Somewhere on the cynicism scale between Warren Ellis and Cory Doctorow, Greg Pak creates a story that makes you reexamine your iPhones and Twitter feeds, wondering, just whose future are they truly benefiting?
Greg Pak is one of my favorite writers in comics today; a big reason for that is that he seems like one of the few real sci-fi writers out there making real sci-fi comics. I know every other comic on the stands has wild, fantastic science in it, but Pak actually approaches his stories with a considered eye toward classic sci-fi storytelling. Planet Hulk is an amazing example of sustained world-building, and Vision Machine utilizes the classic “technology parable” trope in which a new bit of innovation is used to illustrate truths about our world and human nature. The iEye seems a little “on the nose” as a parody/satire of Apple’s products; at the same time, it’s a handy device for exploring issues of personal boundaries, evaporating “privacy,” and reality versus virtual worlds. A smart, satisfying read.
This is a really interesting near-future, sci-fi tale from Greg Pak and RB Silva. A new product is rolled out by the Sprout Corporation, one that seems to be a logical extension of our current society’s obsession with both documenting the minutiae of our lives and becoming a “star” by doing nothing more than being. The iEye allows you to record and edit the world you see around you, literally allowing you to change the world as you see fit, and for others around you to see it. Meanwhile, others see the benefits of this technology for both benevolent and diabolical ends. Pak and co. create a great world here both with the broad strokes and the subtle touches (such as Times Square being under a foot of water). The art is great, invoking the feel of Stuart Immonen. Really looking forward to more.