‘If You Prick Us Do We Not Bleed?’: Marvel Comics’ Vision: Director’s Cut Re-Evaluating What It Means to Be Human
Vision: Director’s Cut (2017) is a short comic series about Vision, a lonely robot Avenger superhero who builds his own robotic family out of his desire for love and happiness. The story focuses on the Vision family as they struggle to lead a ‘normal’ suburban life under Vision’s tutelage. As beings of artificial intelligence (AI), they are subject to social ostracism and abuse by a neighbourhood that refuses to accept them as part of the human community. In doing so, Director’s Cut enters into the long-standing literary debate about humanness versus monstrousness, what it means to be a human, and who gets to dictate the definition. The storyline is a contemporary science-fiction rendition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), which dramatises the dangers of trying to artificially create a human life. Both texts are in agreement that once these beings are created, because they are sentient and self-aware, then they ought to be treated with dignity, respect and equality. Director’s Cut is additionally comparable to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in exploring the act of vengeance by the traumatised outsider, and how said acts ironically prove their humanness because revenge is a motive inimitable by any other life form.