The Vanishers

The Vanishers is an all-ages science-fiction adventure by Chuck Dixon and Andres Klacik. (Cover by Ashley Wood.) Andy’s fifth-grade classmates are disappearing, but no one notices, with the exception of the class weirdo, Arvis. Andy follows him home and discovers that Arvis is from the future and on the run from a group trying to destroy humanity. The boys flee through time to find the rest of Arvis’ family and defeat their pursuers.

The Vanishers cover
The Vanishers
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Many imaginative children dream of outrageous experiences like this one. Mr. Dixon perfectly captures that feel combined with the light-hearted approach of shows like Doctor Who or The Voyagers. The story also reminded me of some of the juvenile novels of Robert Heinlein, with its rapid pacing and sense that anything could happen. The resolution confused me a bit — I don’t think it quite pulls together — but the reason for the chase isn’t the point of the book. Enjoying the journey is what matters.

Andy and Arvis’ trip through the Old West, Medieval France, and Ancient Rome is well-rendered, historically informative, and exciting. The art is clear and realistic, reminding me of some of the masters of the 1970s era, like Dick Giordano or Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. It’s refreshing to see such a full world, with detailed vehicles and houses and wardrobes, so beautifully drawn.

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