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‘Vanish’ #2 opens with a 9/11 scene everyone will be talking about
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Comic Books

‘Vanish’ #2 opens with a 9/11 scene everyone will be talking about

‘Vanish’ #2 comes out of the gate, focusing more on character than action or magical powers.

Vanish #1 exploded onto the scene, blending a magical world with superhero stylings. Crafted over Substack for a year, Ryan Stegman and Donny Cates thought this series through with a robust world worth exploring. The second issue is out today and features tons of character work, more info on the protagonist’s love life, and 9/11. Yes, you read that correctly.

Vanish #2 opens with a group of magic students in an orb that can’t be seen by ordinary people. They’ve zipped over to the Twin Towers on, you guessed it, September 11th. It’s a bold start to a story, and honestly, you wouldn’t get something like this from just anybody, but since Cates and Stegman own this series, they can take chances like this. The scene is compelling as it postulates what a world with magic wielders would do, even if they knew terrorists would fly planes into the Twin Towers.

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This scene doesn’t feel exploitive, but instead a reminder of how we all felt a bit stuck in time when it happened. It also adds context to this universe as we’re learning about real-world things that happened, yet the magic wielders did nothing. It’s a nihilistic view on magic and super-powered beings, further cementing that Vanish is a darker world than most cape comic universes.

‘Vanish’ #2 opens with a 9/11 scene everyone will be talking about

What kind of field trips does this school go on?
Credit: Image

From there, the story picks up where we left off after Oliver Harrison gets into his costume and heads out into the city. From what we know, he just killed a superhero who is an evil magic-wielding jerkoff. Spearheading from that, Cates and Stegman explore a friend of Oliver’s who is reminiscent of Criss Angel. It’s a fun idea to take a familiar goth magician type who actually does do magic, but even those working his show don’t know it. Magical wielders are among us!

Cates and Stegman get to play around with character work here. In a conversation between Oliver and his friend, we get to know him better. They also help inform us about Oliver and his wife and get a general read on magic-wielding folks in the real world. Most don’t know they exist, the evil magicians acting as superheroes included, and you get a sense that there’s much more to explore.

Stegman is backed up by JP Mayer on inks and Sonia Oback on colors. Stegman’s style is in strong form here, with a lighter inking than usual but just as loud with facial expressions and framing. I say lighter inking as the book doesn’t quite look as sharp or dynamic as the last issue. Colors bring out lighting well, though, and the darker tone of the book is obvious throughout.

Plot progression is a touch slow, especially after the first extra-sized issue. Oliver basically chats with two people, we get a hook revealing the superhero’s status and a flashback to 9/11. That might sound like a lot, but ultimately Oliver has barely left the house after fighting in the first issue.

Vanish #2 spends most of its time revealing the personality of its lead character. A big splashy and somewhat shocking opening scene is the standout element as it informs us of a more negative outlook on magic wielders and superpowered folks. In some respects, this issue feels like it’s holding back a bit, but rest assured, the cliffhanger should up the ante next issue.

‘Vanish’ #2 opens with a 9/11 scene everyone will be talking about
‘Vanish’ #2 opens with a 9/11 scene everyone will be talking about
Vanish #2
Vanish #2 spends most of its time revealing the personality of its lead character. A big splashy and somewhat shocking opening scene is the standout element as it informs us of a more negative outlook on magic wielders and superpowered folks. In some respects, this issue feels like it's holding back a bit, but rest assured, the cliffhanger should up the ante next issue.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
A bold opening will shock some, but also inform us of a world with powers and how atrocities still occur
Stegman's acting for the characters is loud and so him
Oliver as a person is fleshed out
Holds back big moments and action for character work...but a slow moving plot too
Art doesn't look quite as clean as the first issue…is it the inking?
7.5
Good
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