To be completely honest I was sure I was going to review Drifter this month. While I enjoyed the first issue, I didn’t fall in love with it. There wasn’t even a strange sense of continuing with the reviews for the sake of the audience like there is with some titles (my fellow reviewers know what I mean). I even had a hard time motivating myself to read it. But then I did read it. After I started reading the pacing never let up. I was sucked into the world and had to finish the ride all the way to the end. Oh and that ending, which invoked much of the same feeling and formula that the first issue used. I don’t know where I hit on an IQ scale, but I’m smart enough to see that it was the exact same story construction used to end the issue and yet it worked on me. Yet again I’m excited to read the next issue, but the next time I won’t be feeling the hesitation that I did before diving into this issue.
So what happens in this issue? Or the last for that matter. Drifter opens with the best possible recap of you can write for a comic book… it tells you absolutely everything that happens in the first issue. It doesn’t sugar coat it, rather anything you were speculating about it will answer for you. Let me tell you it’s a great feeling to read a recap like that and have your feelings and thoughts confirmed and I sure as hell hope that more comics start doing the same.
After the opening we pick up right where the first issue left off with Doc/Sherriff and Pollux standing in front of his ship that crashed years ago… yet he’s only been on the planet for three days. We dive into his thoughts which are as poetic as the opening from the first issue. Everything is interrupted by Scavengers on the ridge above them. Rather than run, Pollack jumps into the soup in front of him hellbent on seeing if it’s his ship… and the action doesn’t let up from that point on. I should point out that we’re basically only on the fourth page.
The story wow’d me. I don’t really know how else to describe the feeling I had while reading it. I couldn’t stop flipping the page and I never knew how it was going to go down. I may not understand the Doc’s character motivation to keep Pollack alive, but I also like her character for basically the same reason. It may just be the fact that Pollack is someone new and a bit of mystery that’s ever growing, but it could just be that she saved his life once and now he kind of owes her even if he doesn’t know it.
The narration is captivating. In reality the words that Pollack is narrating throughout the issue are slow, grudgingly slow, but it’s that counter speed to the action that makes it work. It allows the reader to breathe, but then it also builds the issue more and more to the final page. It’s not that the final page is some spectacular show, but damn if it doesn’t make you want more of this story right away.
The art is spectacular. I don’t remember it being this damn good, but I couldn’t stop staring at the pages. I’m almost scared to go back to the first issue in case my mind is playing tricks on me. The details and the coloring are impressive. What instantly caught my eye was the look on the Doc’s face as she looked at Pollack slumped on to the ground trying to figure out what’s happened to him. You instantly feel for him as much as she does which brings you right back to the emotions the first issue left with.
The coloring elevates the art and this series to the upper echelon of not just Image Comics, but comics in general. The entire issue has a purplish hue to it, but it gives the story a lot of personality and the world a uniqueness that’s important for science fiction.
I read a lot of good books this week, but Drifter surprised me the most. I was ready to write it off, but I’m glad I didn’t. I hope that others don’t make the mistake I nearly did because this is definitely on my must read monthly list.
Writer: Ivan Brandon Artist: Nic Klein Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/17/14 Format: Print/Digital