Every time I sit down to review a book I flip back through or at the very least keep the cover up in front of me. It helps me to see what it is I’m writing about. With Drifter I always end up reading the issue again. On one hand that says everything you need to know about the book that it easily sucks you in and reading it a second time always brings up something new. It’s also annoying because it can honestly happen more than once during the course of a review for Drifter. To the point that I can’t look at the issue because I’ll start to speed read it. I’ve re-read other comics before. I’ve even re-read them while reviewing them, but never have I had a comic do that to me multiple times on multiple issues. In total I have read all four chapters of Drifter four times each, but I’m considering another entire read through after this chapter. The only thing you need to take from that last paragraph is that this book is so damn good that I would rather be reading it than reviewing it, but I don’t want it to go unreviewed.
This issue again starts with a great recap. It tells you 100% what happened in the last issue and I love that it doesn’t hold back. It’s a great refresher and this time it’s from the POV of our main character Pollux, whose name I constantly forget.
As for the issue itself I’m going to jump ahead and let’s just say that Pollux doesn’t let the events of the last issue… go. It was exactly what I wanted to see happen and it lead to an even better scene. Meanwhile we meet Lima, a young girl with what looks like a baby version of the worm we saw in the last issue. She’s a bit mature for her age which tells me there’s something up with her. She comes into the bar to bug Emmerich. It seems that he’s not just a mystery to us the reader, but to the entire town.
I feel like I’ve already told you too much, but let’s just say that this is the best issue of the series. I KNOW! I KNOW! I said that last time, but fuck its true.
Ivan Brandon is writing his ass off and I don’t know how he and Nic Klein manage to top themselves each time, but they do. The last time I read a series that consistently produced issues of this level was Mind MGMT. If you know anything about me and that series then you know that it is without a doubt my top ongoing series… though Drifter is coming for the belt.
Brandon’s story pacing is perfect. It is 100% how the story should go and even though there are these other little scenes in which not much happens they serve to build the world and the bigger picture. That’s the thing about the world of Drifter I feel like I know it. I feel like I’m a fly on the wall in the town just soaking up all I can about its people.
But it’s nothing without Klein’s artwork. The two work in perfect tandem, but with any other artist this series just wouldn’t be as good. You would never replace Fiona Staples on Saga and you better not replace Nic Klein on Drifter. Klein’s linework and coloring bring this world to life. I get lost in the pages and in particular the work he does on the final pages is just… ah it’s just so damn good, but I won’t say anything more.
What’s also great about this issue is that Klein walks you through how the logo was created and being a font/logo guy I couldn’t help but love it. To read the process and see it unfold in the visual examples. If you want some real inter-workings of comics, these pages supply that. It’s way better than just a script and some thumbnails.
After talking about this series on our comic book podcast the CBMFP, people have told me that they went out and bought the series. I hope that more people will discover and buy the series because it is already one of my top picks of the year. I thought Kevin was crazy for picking it as his issue of the year last year, but with three more added to the pile since then… well maybe I was crazy for not picking it as well. Buy this damn issue because I need more people to talk to about it.
Drifter #4 Writer: Ivan Brandon Artist: Nic Klein Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 2/18/15 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital
Want to hear Dustin talk about the third issue of Drifter? Listen to our comic book podcast the CBMFP!