Friday, August 28, 2015

Review - Dr1ve #1 (@IDWPublishing)

"Maybe for now...three bodies is enough."

Stunt drivers are a lot more talented than many people realize. Their abilities to make car chases thrilling and dangerous is a testament to their decision-making and quick thinking. Some drivers use their skills for slightly more nefarious ends, such as in Dr1ve #1 from IDW Publishing. The issue is written by Michael Benedetto, penciled by Antonio Fuso, inked by Emilio Lecce, colored by Jason Lewis and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic.

A hard-boiled pop-culture sensation re-created for comics. In L.A., there's one man you want behind the wheel. Just tell him where and when. He doesn't take part, doesn't know anyone, doesn't carry a weapon. He drives and he's the best. He's as good as he can be until things go wrong.

Dr1ve #1 is an adaptation of the James Sallis novel of the same name, which gained even more notoriety courtesy of the film starring Ryan Gosling as the main character. Knowing all that, if you've read the book or seen the movie, then Dr1ve #1 really isn't going to offer much new in the way of story. Benedetto successfully captures the stoic nature of the main character, presenting him as a man who's phenomenal at driving and wants no part of any other aspect of criminal endeavors. Benedetto reminds the reader of his general disdain for getting into trouble, but he's got an interesting moral compass in that he'll drive criminals to and from the crime scene. Los Angeles serves as an effective backdrop for the action as well, offering a setting that is reminiscent of a different time.

Sharp angles define the characters in Dr1ve #1, with Fuso relying on strong lines to that allow the characters to cut against the backdrops. Everything in the work feels very angular, which provides an additional layer of kinetic action to the car chases and street violence. There's a distinct 80s flair to the work that's further emboldened by the inks by Lecce and colors by Lewis. Bright pinks contrast against dark blues and greens, mimicking the vibrant, neon feel effectively portrayed in the film. There's also a lot of emphasis placed on action via Cvetkovic's lettering, much of which pops off the page for added effect.

Dr1ve #1 is a fast-paced first issue that doesn't necessarily tread new ground, but still feels fresh as a comic. The first issue traverses from a seemingly simple job to something that gets completely out of hand. Bendetto captures the spirit of the novel/film well, giving readers a strong character confident in his abilities and aware of the limits of his satisfaction. Fuso's pencils are vibrant and clean, offering characters who present striking poses amidst the LA nightlife. Dr1ve #1 is a good read from start to finish.

Dr1ve #1 is in stores now.


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