Title: Drifter #2
Writers: Ivan Brandon
Artist: Nic Klein
Publisher: Image Comics
Rating: 3.8 / 5
In what is a rather typical issue #2 mechanic, the second installment of Drifter gives us a couple answers but poses many more questions.
Abram Pollux is a man who feels like he’s either being lied to or being coddled, neither of which he enjoys very much. He highly suspects he was in a coma for more than three days, as Carter says, so he doesn’t buy it. Was he or wasn’t he? The answer, which we currently have no way of knowing, really depends on what certain plot reveals from this issue can mean. Is Pollux being lied to? Is he going mad? Has he gone mad? It’s all a bit confusing but that doesn’t mean it’s no less exciting.
We learn that Pollux has/had a female in his life, whether it’s a wife or daughter or someone else, we can’t be sure. But we do know he’ll “see red” after thinking about how he’s separated from her. The action sequence in his supposed-ship was a bit of a letdown for me, considering it was about ten versus two, but the lead up was great. Klein’s art depicting Pollux’s spectre-like flashbacks were endearing in a way, allowing us further inside the head of this lost and lamenting gunslinger.
Klein picks it up again when we’re introduced to the “bear”, the sci-fi lightning-creature that creates lightning storms. The art really does shine on every page, whether it’s a really cool sci-fi design or a close-up facial expression. Sci-fi can sometimes drown out the humanity of a story with all the creatures and effects, but Klein finds a good harmony between both.
Brandon’s story churns us along at a fast pace in this one, which I found to work well with the exception of a few hiccups. The dialogue once again is great and while Pollux’s monologues can be at times a bit melodramatic or heavy-handed, they really do fit the tone of the wasteland well. For some reason, I find myself reading them in the voice of Rucks from the videogame Bastion. Oddly it works amazingly well to give Pollux some (perhaps undeserved) wisdom. As for the hiccups: Pollux was able to set up the lightning-storm force field in a matter of minutes, yet the town had been working on it for some time to no avail. That part seemed a bit rushed to me, but the character reveal that came from it was worth it.
While not quite the level of the opening issue, this is definitely another solid showing from Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein. I’m looking forward to the slow world-building that Drifter is going to bring.
Review by Brent Gladney