Drifter is a mystery right from the beginning but will have you coming back for more. Read on to find out why.
Official description from Image:
In its frantic rush to survive itself, mankind has spread across the universe, colonizing and strip-mining countless planets. Abram Pollux barely survives a crash landing on Ouro, a lawless backwater world where life is cheap. What starts as a struggle for survival quickly becomes a journey to the very edges of what it means to be human.
Abram Pollux crashes his ship on an unknown planet, nearly burns, drowns, fights off aliens and finally is shot several times before blacking out. This is all just in the first few pages. By the end you will have no more answers than Pollux did prior to his initial crash. Writer Ivan Brandon freely refers to this book as his and artist, and co-creator, Nic Klien’s “multi-armed little mutant weirdo.” And in the end that’s exactly what it is but it’s a weirdo you can fall in love with. By page ten it seems as though Pollux fate is sealed but he wakes in a makeshift medical facility struggling to find answers to where he is and why he’s still alive. The answers he gets are cryptic and misleading and the person that saved him is untrustworthy even though they are a Marshall and a medic.
Pollux has one goal once he awakes from his violent start on this planet and that’s to get off and get answers later. What he discovers by the final page is that all the questions he had at the beginning are punctuated by an even more earth shattering revelation once he makes it back to his ship. Brandon is certainly setting up some weird scenarios to play out and many more to come but gives the reader just enough to make you come back for more. And honestly, for a number one issue, that’s the ultimate goal is to get readers to come back for issue two.
This is the first work of Nic Klien’s that I have seen and his style is reminiscent of an artist like Matteo Scalera and his work on another Image title Black Science. Great attention to detail with loose pencils and a gritty yet fluid motion to each panel. His colors are more grounded in earth tones but with enough splash and tones that fits well within a sci-fi story as well.
I don’t think Drifter is a “weirdo” but it is strange and mysterious with enough of an interesting main character and twist ending to make me come back for more. Brandon’s dialogue is solid with an equal balance of narrative perspective from a character lost in a maze without much hope of having answers simply handed to him on a silver platter. Some readers may find the lack of direction in the mass of confusion a little off-putting but for me Brandon is off to a great start by dropping the reader off smack dab in an alien environment with a gritty and tough pilot such as Pollux. Drifter is setting up to be a huge, complex story and one, again through Brandon’s own words, a place where the universe cares very little about a your intentions, explores personal mythologies and what it means to be human.
Drifter is well worth your time and investment in characters that are just now scratching the surface of what this sci-fi world has to offer.