Disappearance #1: Image Comics Review

Look up Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman in the comic book dictionary. You will find names crushed between crazy and crazy. Image Comics’ Vanish #1 brings together an all-star creative team and tells a new and fresh take on the superhero genre.

Picture Comics
Written by: Donny Cates
Pencils by: Ryan Stegman
Inks by: JP Mayer
Colors by: Sonia Oback
Letters from: John J Hill

Story

There’s so much going on in the first issue of Vanish that, under different circumstances, maybe different creators at the helm. This problem could have been a confusing mess. The story is full of exposition, but because we fell right into it with the first issue. The exposition is necessary and helps the story.

Our protagonist Oliver is sold as an ordinary man, but as the story unfolds and the world is revealed to us, he is so much more than that. There is tragedy and grief from his past that now in the present rears its ugly head. For our amusement, the turmoil and extreme nature of his childhood is one hell of an experience.

The central conflict is one that fans of capes and hoods – as well as dark darts – will instantly gravitate towards. Sometimes keeping track of history can be difficult. Especially when there are multiple characters on the page at once. There’s so much carnage in the first issue alone.

Art

Ryan Stegman is one of the best in the business for drawing superheroes. With Vanish, Stegman rises above what he has done before. With a long list of creators helping with the art, Vanish #1 is bonkers and crazy. And as always, for the better. The first issue reminded me a lot Venom and Absolute Carnage (both by Cates and Stegman). Both are personal stories with the escapism of having to lift your jaw off the ground after reading.

With Venom and Absolute Carnage, the art worked so well because you could feel the emotion in Eddie Brock. No story will work if it doesn’t hit some kind of emotional beat. They may be balls against the wall and the emotional beat will make your heart race, but the mind will be still and not working. A story can be sad and dreary and can leave you in a confused mess, but you might not feel good afterwards. What Vanish #1 does through his art is express the action of the bullets on the wall and mix it with the sad and gloomy to create the perfect storm.

General pleasure

Vanish 1 by Cates, Stegman and co. is one of Image Comics’ most hyped books this year. Sometimes the hype can kill a book when it arrives. It’s one of the most original and inspiring first issues of this year and a very fun book to digest, but if you chew a little longer you’ll find something deeper. When it comes to Cates and co there is always something to be found in their books. Whether you like them or not, Cates and co strike up the conversation. With Vanish #1, the conversation will be, Best of 2022?

Want more Vanish? Go check it out Talk of Ryan Stegman with Geeks World Radioit is TLDR Podcast. Joseph Gilmore and Nick Friar discuss comics weekly and chat with industry creators.

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