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Collective Consciousness: Drifter #1

by F.D. White on November 12, 2014

Here it is! The very first edition of "COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS" a massive review board where we gather as many of our reviewers as possible to review one specific book! Due to the diversity of tastes amongst our reviewers this should give a you a pretty good look at one book each week and whether it's the right fit for you!

This week our staff will be taking a look at the new IMAGE book, Drifter #1!

It's not typically something I'd choose for myself, and to be honest, we've seen a lot of adventurers in space kind of stories as of late but if the premise is particularly unique or I'm familiar with the creators I'll give it a shot. Off the bat Nic Klein's art style is one that I enjoy, well detailed without being hyper realistic, and tells the story well. The story itself though is a bit jumpy, trying to cover a lot of information and characters for its first issue, while I still have little interest in the main character, who hasn't done much to evoke any sort of reaction from me-- beyond his typical ship crashing into another planet story, in fact I'm much more interested in the two aliens we see in the first couple of pages, than anything else so far. But the hook at the end is almost intriguing enough to warrant picking up the next issue; there's potential but not quite enough.

Stephen Gervais
This sci-fi adventure written by Ivan Brandon revolves around a pilot, Abram Pollux, who has crash landed on an unknown planet. He is welcomed to the planet with a gunshot to the gut and awakens a few days later in a wild-west type town with plenty of questions. Most of the book is narrated by Abram which lets us discover this new environment through his eyes and what a rough and tumble place it is! In one issue Brandon has put together a harsh landscape with plenty of tough characters.

The art in this issue is handled by Nic Klein and it is absolutely amazing. His landscapes and backgrounds are so filled with detail that the panels come to life. He truly makes this new world a real one in the reader’s mind. It’s gritty, rough, and filled with equally gritty and rough characters. The story is one that grows on you as the issue moves forward but the art captures you right from the first page.

I did find this debut to have a bit of a slow start and found myself not all that captivated with it’s opening pages but by the end I was totally drawn into the story and the characters. I can’t wait for issue two! There you have it this has the makings of yet another hit by the folks at Image Comics.

Louie Whiteford
Drifter begins with a grouchy man crash landing on an alien environment and trying to kill the first creature he sees. This guy might be the least sympathetic protagonist since Prison Pit. Our nameless astronaut is pissed from page one, and when he’s not getting into fights, he’s looking for them. The final page packs a spooky reveal, but I feel like astronaut John Q Drifter could’ve figured all this out earlier if he’d taken a minute to talk to one of the many people he encounters instead of looking for trouble all the time. A jerk being a jerk isn’t something I’m terribly excited about, but I could get into this comic if the supporting cast straightens him out. I like most aspects of this book, just not the main character. Nic Klein’s art is phenomenal, and the colors are much more vibrant that the muted tones I’ve gotten used to from all these Image series.

Robert James Cross
The layout of the entire comic is beautiful and minimalist. Not unlike the art and design, which is also beautiful. The writing could use some touch ups, but the story seems like it could be solid. The last panel outweighs most of what builds it up. That is the fault of the dialogue and nothing else. We are to believe that the "Drifter" may simply be hallucinating the man who shot him, but the initial shooting was not without reason. If Abram hadn't killed that creature, perhaps karma would have dealt him a better hand. Other than those little holes in the story, everything else is pretty slick. Again, the art is amazing and the world is alive.

Sean Tonelli
It's fitting that Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein have titled their new series Drifter since the by the numbers story never gives the reader anything concrete. It seems as if the book is just passing us by, hoping we’ll stick around for the next issue. The story of a gruff cowboy who awakens in a strange town needs more than cliché genre troupes to hook readers in. Aside from Klein's gorgeous art, Drifter just doesn't have enough to warrant a returning glance. Or maybe in the wake of Nolan’s Interstellar, the bar for what should be expected in sci-fi has been raised just that much higher. Either way, it’s not wrong to want more from something that is giving you so very little.

Kalem Lalonde
Drifter #1 is a fairly static comic. The beginning of the issue is the fastest moving part of the issue, but is dragged down by some very clunky and overly dramatic narration. The middle of the issue is a dull little stroll that feels like squandered pages which should never occur in debut issues. The tone is set but the characters still feel ill-defined. There is a mysterious ambiance to the series, however instead of bolstering the mood, it comes across as a detriment. None of it is compelling because there isn’t much mystery apart from the flat main character’s identity and where he came from. Story, notwithstanding this was a beautiful comic. Nic Klein does a fantastic job of painting beautiful landscapes with some of the best lighting I’ve ever seen in a comic. He is the star of this comic and his art would be the only warrant for a recommendation from me.

Andrew King
Image’s latest serialization starts with a literal bang, and casts us into the world of wayard starfarer Abram Pollux, seemingly a million miles from home and just as bent out of shape as his ship. On cusp of death, he is brought to *Ghost Town*, a humble western style colony. The first issue continues to expound and entice by opening up upon several characters, and drawing us into a mysterious set of circumstances regarding our hero’s fall from the heavens.

This is about as much of a ‘space-western’ as can be from the get-go, offering a nice cast of traditional feeling characters tailored to fit their era and environment. Brandon makes no hesitation in already introducing imaginative concepts even if the characters seem fairly basic in this first issue, but Klein’s art truly shines in building a beautiful word and making it breath. Needless to say, I’m already intrigued.

F.D. White
It's easy to make a "Drifter" joke with this first issue, because that's all the story does is drift. We're hardly given any kind of concrete information. Just a bunch of barely there characters led by an incredibly unlikable lead. There is some mystery to the book: The blue aliens, the man who shot Abram. But it's not enough to keep me invested. What is more than enough to keep me invested is Nic Klein's absolutely stunning artwork. Honestly, just make a book "The Art of Drifter" and I'll buy that in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, paired with a story it barely registers as a comic worth purchasing with so many amazing books out now.

Some of the staff is intrigued by the wisp of a story (which is more than likely to change in the coming issues), but most can't be bothered by it. One thing that evyerone agrees on is that Nic Klein's artwork is absolutely stellar feast for the eyes.


Our Score:


A Look Inside


lucstclair's picture
I like the whole "lone gunman in space" approach. It reminded me of Planetoid, also from Image, with the protagonist with a mysterious past looking out for #1 and surrounded by alien beings and inhabitants of an alien world. I thought it was just mediocre until that ending, it really grabs you and will make me stick around for at least issue #2.