"Drifter #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Ivan Brandon
Illustrated by Nic Klein
2014, 32 Pages, $3.50
Comic released on November 12th, 2014
Abram Pollux's spaceship crash lands on Ouro, a backwater planet with little in the way of law and order. He barely makes it out of the wreck alive and that was before someone shot him. When he wakes up, he's in a small town and trying to figure out how he can get out of this mess...and probably get some revenge for that shot on the way. This is how Drifter by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein begins. You're trying to figure out what's going on just as like Abram is in the story.
Drifter has been described as a cross between Unforgiven and Dune. Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but the comic manages to do so with the grandiose nature of Ouro. You don't get to appreciate the full scale of the desperation that this planet contains until Klein pulls back in an impressive double- page spread to show the entire town sitting alone amid a desert wasteland. It really drives home this feeling that Abram is lost to the universe, as if he's in some sort of purgatory, stuck here with other adrift souls. Klein's artwork is absolutely gorgeous, whether it's a close up of Abram as he reaches for his gun or a full page shot of his ship crashing into the ground in a huge blast.
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Brandon does a great job in mixing the sci-fi and western genres. There is a nice balance between them. One doesn't overpower the other. Abram arrives in a beat-up spaceship before making his way through an even more beat-up town. After he gets his bullet wounds patched up, he ends up in a bar that would make the Star Wars cantina look like the bar from Cheers. It doesn't take long for Abram to get into a fight with the locals.
Speaking of Abram, little is revealed of his background or how he came to crash land on Ouro. You get the sense that he's a badass that has a tendency to act without thinking things through. This is evident in his attack of an alien creature that comes near him just after he gets out of his ship. He's not out to make friends.
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Drifter has the makings of the next great sci-fi western. It has the best elements of both genres mixed together in a peanut butter cup of a comic. Plus, this debut issue builds up to a closing piece of dialogue that is an amazing cliffhanger that will have you demanding the next issue.