by Zachary Clemente
Mankind’s colonization of the galaxy has left countless planets mined bare and lifeless. A space transport crashes onto a backwater world whose unique properties set the stage for a story that combines the dark wonder of a strange and alien landscape with the struggles of an abandoned and lawless frontier town.
Something about the first issue of Drifter – the new frontier sci-fi story from Image Comics – leaves a raw, unnerved feeling in my gut that can’t be gripped. I can’t help but see an omnipresent sense of desperation that kicks off with the first page and gradually builds as Abram Pollux, our man in the midst, attempts to find sense in his new world. Bad things come in threes and he got dealt all of them.
There’s a poetic and almost antiquated mannerism to the way characters talk in the world that Drifter introduces us to. Their conversational cadence feels born out the expectation one would have of people living years in an isolated ramshackle frontier town on an alien planet: one part appropriately stunted, another part guarded familiarity, peppered with esoteric expressions. This kluged language serves the citizens and story of Drifter very well, serving to describe their affected state and the situation Pollux finds himself in.
I feel now that Drifter is going to come in with questions, raise even more along the way, and drop us off without answering most – but that’s just fine with me. I’m a sucker for fiction that trusts its audience with the world as it as and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. While it’s clear that the world of Drifter is heady with history and phenomena; I believe that they are a means to provide context to the plight of its inhabitants and will aide in the construction of the ongoing drama that is Pollux’s recently saved life.
Drifter #1 is a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to a clearly well-crafted frontier tale and I heartily encourage you to request your local store to order you a copy.
Final Order Cut-Off is Monday 10/20, Diamond Code: ICSEP140546.
Drifter #1 hits stands 11/12.