Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Drifter Volume 1

Drifter takes place on a distant world called Ouro, with at least a few human settlements, but plenty of other alien species already there. Abram Pollux was piloting a craft that crash landed there. He escaped, but was wounded almost immediately, his life narrowly saved by the local sheriff and medic, Carter. Then Abram sets about trying to sort a few things out. Like why a man named Emmerich shot him almost as soon as he emerged from the wreckage. Or why he remembers the crash like it happened a few days ago, but Lee says it was a year ago.

The first volume contains the first 5 issues, and presents me with a bit of a problem. I like the setting, some of the odd creatures Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein (with Clem Robins as letterer) have come up with. There's basically a bear that can control lightning, is made of lightning, something like that. A race of mostly subterranean creatures with a hive mind that were on Ouro first, and can be kind of sadistic. I'm a little curious about Emmerich, and this odd kid, Lima, that seems interested in him. I like Klein's designs for characters, for the mysterious boss of the "Wheelers" that meets with Abram at one point. I absolutely love the colors Klein uses, these deep reds, blues, and purples that can almost overwhelm the art, but don't. Really effective at creating moods, draws me into their world as an actual place.

I'm just not sure I care about Abram, and given he's the main character, that's a bit of a problem. I can't quite figure him out, and maybe that's by design, because by the end of this volume, we see there's clearly something going on with him that even he doesn't understand. But for the first couple of issues, I couldn't figure out what Brandon and Klein were trying to establish about him. People, even Abram himself, keep describing him as a coward, or as someone unwilling to use the gun he pulls, but the guy seems pretty willing to get violent to me. Some guy with a bionic arm starts threatening a priest and Abram immediately gets hostile and smashes a glass in the guy's face.

Again, maybe that's all intentional. That what Pollux believes of himself doesn't match the truth of who he is, all part of his confusion about what's going on, the discrepancy between how long he thinks he's been on Ouro, and the truth. But I don't know.

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