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VANISH: VOLUME ONE PRIMER
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE ISSUE #5!
VANISH returns to store shelves NEXT WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22nd, with ISSUE #5!
In preparation, we have put together this primer to get the Chain Gang back up to speed!
Of course, this post is merely meant to refresh your memory. We encourage everyone to actually READ THE BOOK. Comics are a visual medium after all, and you would be a fool (a fool!) to not feast your eyes on this title.
The entire team is bringing the heat on this book— writer DONNY CATES’ script tells a brutal tale of revenge and artist RYAN STEGMAN is turning in career defining, standard shattering art with each issue. Art that is made even better by the ink work of JP MAYER and colors from SONIA OBACK. Art that you truly must see to believe. And all this is packaged up by the visual mastermind JOHN J. HILL.
If you haven’t read the book yet, there are so many ways to enter the world of VANISH…
-SUBSCRIBE TO KLC PRESS! You’ll gain instant access to DIGITAL COPIES of each issue so far, plus new ones as they come out, before they hit stores!
-ORDER PHYSICAL COPIES FROM STEGWORLD! There you can pick from a slew of EXCLUSIVE COVERS and BUNDLES.
-HEAD TO YOUR LOCAL COMIC SHOP! They may still have copies of each issue, or you can ask them to pre-order you a copy of the VANISH VOLUME 1 TRADE PAPERBACK, which drops APRIL 12th!
Okay. With all that said and out of the way, lets begin…
*SPOILERS FOR VANISH ISSUES #1-4 AHEAD!*
Years ago, OLIVER HARRISON was no mere teenage wizard. He was The Chosen One. When the evil BARON VANISH and his followers, THE HOLLOW, sought to lay ruin to THE MISTLANDS OF EVERKEEP, THE OUT-WORLD OF MAGIC they were met with an army of children— students trained under HEADMASTER ORRIN to take on Vanish and his forces of darkness. Among them, Oliver and his friends DEACON DUST and ELYNOR IVY. After a magical object known as THE ORACULUM provides Oliver with a vision of the future, the young wizard takes matters into his own hands and brings Baron Vanish’s life to a swift end himself. And while the students celebrated the vanquishing, The Hollow slipped away. Nobody seemed to notice. Nobody seemed to care. But Oliver did…
In the present day, Oliver finds himself living in the human world, but darkness has found him once again in the form of an intense addiction to medication and substances. While heading home in a drunken stupor one night, he is mugged and beaten by a pair of humans. It is clear: Oliver is no hero these days. But this human world is no stranger to heroes. In fact, a team of superheroes known as THE PRESTIGE have recently arrived on the scene and seem to be doing a lot of good. It’s a member of this team, a young hero known as BATTLE ROCKET, who shows up to save Oliver. The heroes methods are brutal, however. It does not take Oliver long to realize that the sigil he was branded with by Orrin is burning, just as it used to when he was in the presence of a dark wizard like Vanish… or his followers. Oliver attacks Battle Rocket, who is revealed to be BALON CONSTANCE, a now elderly member of The Hollow who had disguised himself as a child superhero by wearing a magical disguise known as a GLAMOUR. Oliver proceeds to beat the everliving shit out of Constance.
Oliver finally returns home. While Elynor— now Oliver’s wife— sleeps, he feels more “awake” than he has in ages. He accesses his own private DARK ARCANA, a magic cabinet where his old school cloak hides away, still covered in Vanish’s blood. Oliver dons the cloak once more and declares himself “the bad guy” as he sets out on a new mission: hunt down and destroy the remaining members of The Hollow who got away all those years ago, aka… The Prestige!
READ IT HERE:
Oliver reflects on the unorthodox teaching methods of the late Headmaster Orrin before his revenge tour begins. He then finds himself in front of a theatre, where his estranged friends Deacon Dust now performs as an illusionist. After the show, Deacon seeks solace in his dressing room, where Oliver waits for him. Deacon and Oliver move to the roof of the theatre, where Oliver details what he has discovered to Deacon, who is in disbelief at both the supposed reappearance of The Hollow and Oliver’s determination to hunt them down. The human world has been home to superheroes ever since THE GOLDEN WAR, each one an outcast of Everkeep. Oliver insists these wizards are still dangerous and must be destroyed. Deacon notices that Oliver is wearing Elynor’s SIGNET RING, the object with which wizards channel their magic. Appalled that Oliver would leave his own wife in the dark on something as terrible as this new crusade of his, Deacon decides he wants nothing to do with this “war” Oliver has just started. He is perfectly content continuing his career as a stage act for the “idiots” of the human world to enjoy. His only advice to Oliver is to go home.
Oliver returns to Elynor, who is relieved to see him, albeit frustrated by what he did. During the reunion, she notices Oliver is wearing a glamour, which she removes to reveal Oliver’s beaten and bruised face. Elynor demands the truth of what has happened to him and Oliver complies, telling her everything. Elynor is furious to hear Oliver used magic in the human world, which puts both him and their family in danger. She takes back her signet ring and asks Oliver a simple question: are they safe?
Meanwhile, back at the headquarters of The Prestige, the entire team has gathered at the request of Battle Rocket (aka Balon Constance). He reveals the extent of his injuries to the team and their apparent leader, HALCYON, stating that Oliver Harrison is back and he knows of their dark secret. Simply put, they are fucked.
READ IT HERE:
Oliver finds himself halfway through a fight with another member of The Prestige, WORMHOLE, with no recollection of how he got there. Wormhole was formerly known as HARO DIOSGATE, one half of the DIOSGATE TWINS. She practices what is known as WRAITH MAGIC, which gives her immense speed. Wormhole serves Oliver with several severe injuries with ease. Oliver finds that he can’t channel his magic due to his simultaneous injuries, intoxication, and opioid withdrawal. He resorts to using blunt force. Before he can plunge a broken tree branch through Wormhole, he is sent flying through the air by some invisible force. This force is revealed to be the powers of ARIS DIOSGATE, Haro’s twin brother and the superhero known as SILKWORM. Unlike his sister, he has the ability to conjure and control nanoscopic razor wire with his mind. One of these invisible lines of razor wire now traps Oliver against a streetlight by his wrist.
The twins try to convince Oliver that they have changed their ways for the better and that there is no need for his brutality to continue. They point to Oliver himself as an example that people can change. They even go as far as to thank Oliver for saving them from Baron Vanish all those years ago. They give him one final warning to stop his hunt, but it is no use. Oliver rips his trapped wrist right through the invisible razor wire, severing his own hand. With one swift movement, Oliver catches the shard of wood his trapped hand was holding, shatters Wormhole’s leg, and stabs Silkworm in the abdomen… all before his own hand hits the ground. The Diosgate twins, now completely incapacitated, plead for mercy. The only mercy Oliver gives them is the promise of a swift death. He eviscerates Haro and absorbs her magic, making himself even stronger. The surge of power is enough to help Oliver take on the scorned Aris, who attacks Oliver once again. It is no use.
The public display of magic catches the attention of a local news crew. A helicopter witnesses Oliver in the act, broadcasting the attack on human television. Elynor sees the broadcast as she leaves a voicemail for Oliver. She immediately calls Deacon. Back in the fight, Silkworm makes a final plea. A plea for Oliver to stop. A plea that will do him no good. Oliver conjures a large blade and pushes it straight through Aris’ chest, killing him immediately. The magic that courses through Oliver’s veins makes him feel whole. Several police officers corner Oliver, but before either can make a move, Oliver drops through the ground into the sewers below where a hulking “hero” known as BATTERY awaits him. Oliver relishes in the opportunity to taste the fuckton of DARK MAGIC coursing through the creature.
After wrapping another performance, Deacon Dust finds a voicemail from the concerned Elynor… and Halcyon, the leader of The Prestige, waiting for him in his dressing room.
READ IT HERE:
Oliver and Battery fight to the death. Battery empathizes with Oliver being trained as a soldier from such a young age, stating that “no child should have to fight the wars of grown men.” For a moment, Battery holds the upper hand. For a moment. Oliver quickly sends a spike through it’s head, causing the glamour to disintegrate and reveal the person within: ILYNNA CAVEA, former Hollow member, Vanish’s ex-lover, and one of the darkest magicians in Everkeep. It is the darkest magic Oliver has ever encountered. As he drowns her, he feels that dark magic course through him, sending him into a state of euphoria. It doesn’t last, as Ilynna resurfaces as a demon. She points out that the magic transfer Oliver preformed was a “two-way street" and that she felt something inside Oliver… something that she has not felt in decades. When Oliver claims she is attempting to resurrect Baron Vanish, she points out that it is not her who is going to do this and that Oliver— and the entire world— is in grave danger. She reveals that she was sent as a distraction for Oliver while Halcyon searches for Elynor. Upon hearing this, Oliver dismembers Ilynna.
Elsewhere, Halcyon corners Deacon Dust, demanding he tell him where Oliver is, where he and his family live. Deacon refuses. Halcyon then implores Deacon to recall his true identity: ASTRUM DIABOLUS, Baron Vanish’s judge, jury, and executioner. The two have crossed paths before, in a bloody battle. Deacon remembers this and, in fury, sends Halcyon through a wall with a blast of magic. Halcyon, in return, picks Deacon up by the throat and brings him high above the theatre. Halcyon’s threats and beatings don’t phase Deacon, who spits in his face. Halcyon realizes Deacon has made his choice and obliterates him completely, leaving nothing but a heap of blood and organs.
Halcyon finds Deacon’s phone, which continues to ring with calls from Elynor. He has the call traced back to the home of Oliver and Elynor, where he sends Battle Rocket to pay a surprise visit.
READ IT HERE:
And there it is. A comprehensive breakdown of the events, characters, and lore of VANISH #1-4, the first world-shattering arc in this epic tale.
A bunch of that probably sounded like it would look pretty fuckin’ sweet, right? RIGHT. Again, we implore you to crack open those digital or physical copies of the book and experience it first hand.
And if you are absolutely itching to know what happens next…
If you’re dying to start the second arc and read ISSUE #5…
Well, what if I told you…
YOU CAN DO THAT RIGHT NOW.
If you are a paid subscriber of this newsletter, you can read VANISH #5 right now, a full week before it hits shops! Simply click the post linked below.
And if you’re saving yourself for the physical copy (we get it), you better sprint to your LCS and be sure they’re going to reserve a copy for you when it drops NEXT WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22nd!
If you’re lucky enough to live near our friends THIRD EYE COMICS in Annapolis, you can catch RYAN STEGMAN, LIVE AND IN-PERSON, for a signing to celebrate the launch of the issue. Get all the details on the event [HERE].
In the meantime, remember to share the VANISH and KLC PRESS love. If you think you know someone that might dig this stuff, send them our way.
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Until next time, friends, remember…
Kids Love Chains. And we love you.