Review: Drifter #1

Sci-fi books are all the hotness right now at Image. Really they’ve been the hotness for a year now and so Drifter adds to the ranks of titles like Planetoid (which it reminds me a lot of), East of West, Saga and many others. While it shares some similarities of Planetoid, there is something honestly very different about Drifter that makes it stand out from the other Image sci-fi titles.  Maybe it’s a bit video gameish, maybe it’s just the artwork, but whatever it is I liked it. The issue opens with a spaceship crashing and a dope narration. We find our main character Abram Pollux putting his head between his knees and all but kissing his ass goodbye as his ship goes down and hard. He finds himself being dragged underwater with the ship and he fights his way to the surface. The planet’s air is rough on his lungs, but he attempts to catch his breath. That is until an alien (alien to him) life form pops up in front of him and he stabs it in the neck. Another shows up and Pollux draws his gun, but the thing won’t shoot. The alien ignores him and goes to his fallen brethren and carries them away. After that he finds himself suddenly shot in the gut and not really sure why. When he wakes up again he’s strapped to a medical table and being cared for by the Doctor/sheriff of the town.

Drifter-#1-11.12.14The ending is the best part of the book, but I won’t spoil that for you. Not that the rest of the book isn’t great because without it the ending wouldn’t be as good.

Writer Ivan Brandon has a wonderful pacing for the story as it pushes forward constantly moving on to the next scene. The story never lingers nor does it bore. There isn’t a ton of dialogue, but then there doesn’t need to be. What is there is very realistic and flows nicely. In particular the narration and captions are very effective throughout the issue.

When Pollux wakes up and the sheriff asks him about the injury and the illustrations jump back to the past, it’s very poetic. It really doesn’t come across as attempting to show you what actually happened, but rather capture the emotion coming from Pollux. Artist Nic Klein does a tremendous job on the art keeping everything visually interesting. He also makes the world alien and that effectively makes this story feel as if it were taking place on an alien planet. Are their influences for the planet? Maybe, but Klein keeps them closely guarded to his chest making the imagery unique.

I really went into this issue expecting nothing and came out with a new series to follow. Honestly having that bit of Planetoid vibe, but with a different character journey really helped. At the end of the day though the creators sucked me into their world and made me want to stay and so that’s why I’ll be back for the second issue.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Ivan Brandon Artist: Nic Klein Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 11/12/14 Format: Print/Digital