Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review - Drifter #1


"Law here's a relative concept."

Ever find yourself crash-landed on a strange planet with no recollection of why or how you got there? If so, you may not the only one. When in that situation, it's best to stay calm and try to piece things together as to what it will take to get out of there. Even if you happen to be a little on the injured side like Abram Pollux in Drifter #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Ivan Brandon, illustrated by Nic Klein and lettered by Clem Robins.
Abram Pollux has a problem. After his ship is struck by space debris, he barely survives the crash on Ouro. It's here that he's tended to in Ghost Town by the town marshal Carter and reverend, both of whom seem to do this type of thing on a rather daily basis. It's here that he learns a little more about himself and his situation, yet the answers he's seeking might be a little different than what he was expecting.

Drifter #1 is an interesting entry into the interstellar space travel genre. Brandon's script reads with an air of etherealness to it, as the story and exchanges feel as if they're reaching for philosophical undertones. There's a lot of mystery surrounding Abram and his situation, all of which doesn't seem to be getting resolved anytime soon. Brandon's presenting a very bleak living situation for the inhabitants of Ghost Town, even if Abram doesn't fully comprehend that picture at the moment. The dialogue is delivered with an emphasis on the abstract, as everyone's lines feel as if they're reaching for a certain level of allegory or morality.

The world of Ouro is one of desolation and lawlessness to some extent, despite the presence of some law enforcement. Ghost Town is a very barren looking town that evokes memories of the wild west, when people settled there to be on the frontier more than anything. Klein captures this very well through his use of dark colors and shades. The book is peppered with strange transitions from night to day and inside to outside which are bolstered by some of the color choices. There are some instances where the shading or lack of variation makes it a little difficult to discern the precise emotion being parlayed by the characters. For instance, Abram's expression remains largely unchanged throughout the issue, despite him going through quite a bit.

Drifter #1 feels as a book much like its main character: drifting. There's a lot of potential in the story about a man waking up in a new world with little recollection of what got him there in the first place; potential made even more intriguing by the cast of characters surrounding him. Brandon relies on this potential to carry the book, not really giving the reader much to grab onto with Abram that will resonate with them. Klein's illustrations capture the bleak reality that is Ghost Town, but there are places where characters would be a little better served if they expressed a bit more emotion and detail. Drifter #1 is the kind of ambitious book Image Comics is known for, but the first issue is light on enough of a hook to keep you curious and heavy on what appears to be a tale of morality.

Drifter #1 is in stores now with interiors below.




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