Vanish #1: Image Comics Review

Sep 19, 2022

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Look up Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman in the comic dictionary. You will find there names mashed between bonkers and insane. Vanish #1 from Image Comics brings about an all-star team of creators and tells a new and fresh take on the superhero genre.

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


There is so much going on in the first issue of Vanish, that under different circumstances, maybe different creators at the helm. This issue could have been a muddled mess. The story is full of exposition but because were dropped right into it with the first issue. The exposition is needed and helps the story.

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

The central conflict is one that for fans of capes and cowls -as well as the dark darts- will instantly gravitate towards. At times keeping track of the story can be difficult. Especially when there are multiple characters on the page at once. There is so much carnage in the first issue alone.


Ryan Stegman is one of the best in business at drawing superhero’s. With Vanish, Stegman rises beyond what he’s done before. With a laundry list of creators assisting with the art, Vanish #1 is bonkers and insane. And as always, for the better. The first issue reminded me a lot of Venom and Absolute Carnage (both from Cates and Stegman). Both are personal stories with the flare of having to pick your jaw up off the floor after reading.

With Venom and Absolute Carnage, the art worked so well because you could feel the emotion in Eddie Brock. No stories will work if they don’t hit some kind of emotional beat. They can be balls to wall action and the emotional beat will have your heart racing but then the mind is calm and not working. A story can be sad and dreary and can leave you in a muddled mess, but you may not “feel good” after it. What Vanish #1 does through its art is expresses the balls to wall action and blends it with the sad and dreary to create a prefect storm.

Overall Enjoyment

Vanish 1 from Cates, Stegman and co. is one of the most hyped books from Image Comics this year. At times hype can kill a book on arrival. It’s one of the most original and inspiring first issues from this year and a book that is a lot of fun to digest but if you chew a little longer, you will find something deeper. When it comes to Cates and co though there is always something to find in there books. Whether you like them or not, Cates and co start the conversation. With Vanish #1 the conversation will be, best of 2022?

Want more Vanish? Go check out Ryan Stegman’s conversation with Geeks WorldWide Radio‘s TLDR podcast. Joseph Gilmore and Nick Friar discuss comics weekly and talk to creators from the industry.

Listen and subscribe to the show on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Audible — wherever you listen to podcasts!


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