Vanish #1 review – Superhero/Wizard mashup

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Thanks to Image Comics for the review copy!

Image Comics describes new their series Vanish as a “brutal as hell tale of magical worlds, gifted youth, evil sorcerers, superheroes, war, blood, guts, and death that punches you right in the face!” As over the top as that description sounds, it turns out to be quite accurate. Vanish is the story of Oliver Harrison, a mythical chosen one style hero who has fallen on hard times to such an extent that he’s probably best described as an anti-hero.  

The issue uses the framing technique, starting with the present day before moving back in time to explain how we got here, ultimately returning to the present. The middle section of the issue is where the universe’s background (complete with the promised war, blood, guts, and wizards) is provided. The final third of the book makes a brilliant pivot from wizards to superheroes and sets the future story into motion. Vanish is one of those stories written ambiguously so you aren’t sure who is good and who is bad. I’m curious to see if the writer ultimately clarifies this, or they allow the reader to draw their own conclusions as the story progresses.

Vanish is dark, both in terms of color palette (a lot of shadows and darkness) and tone. There’s enough vomiting and bloody violence (complete with the promised guts) to warrant parental discretion. The heavy use of dark colors accentuates the lighting effects used. From eye beams to magic lightning attacks, the sparks of light really pop off the page.

Vanish is a clever mashup of sorcerer and superhero stories. If you like The Boys I think you will enjoy this title as well!

Vanish #1 is set for release on September 21st, 2022.


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