Review: Drifter Vol.4
Writer: Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein
Art and Colours: Nic Klein
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: Image Comics
Volume 4 of Drifter marks the final story arc in what has become something of an epic. To recap, at the end of the previous arc, we saw Captain Pollux, destroying the creature with a glowing head and human hands, who seemed to be in control of the village. Meanwhile, the villagers were being massacred by the native beings, the Wheelers. Then, the remaining members of the expedition that accompanied Pollux in the second arc managed to blow up everything but their intention was all but clear. Be prepared for that phrase to resurface as lots of the character’s intentions are somewhat unclear.
The volume opens with the drifter of the title, Captain Pollux, engaged in a gunfight with Emmerich, the man who nearly killed him as soon as he crash-landed on the planet, back in the first issue. Leaving Pollux bleeding and earless, Emmerich dies asking him why he killed “her”, and continuing with the theme of memory loss and confusion, leaves Pollux rattled as to what he means. This is heightened when a man resembling Emmerich then appears and we are introduced to the ‘reflections’, a casting of a person’s self when they are in a state of distress. This leads to what can only be described as an existential exploration in the viability of life after death. Or maybe it’s not. I thought I was going to have all questions answered by the end of the series, but guess what, it’s still a tad confusing. In fact, I’m utterly in the dark about aspects of the series. Yes, I felt it had been on the verge of genius at times, but was I just duped? I’m not sure it really matters; it’s not what you do but what it does to you, right?
The art is, at times, stunning and Klein has taken time to compliment some fine pencilling with pastel hues depicting both the alien landscape and generic backgrounds which are beautiful to look at. The level of detail is also high with the native creatures and plants very much drawing attention. My personal gripe, and it’s a personal view, is that Klein’s faces are too podgy, or too distortedly grimaced that it distracts from the rest of the frame. I thought this earlier in the series and had hoped I’d get used to it, but no. Otherwise, the vistas are epic and perspectives are carefully chosen to catch a story within the frame.
All in all, I’d struggle to call this a ‘must read’ but at the same time, I feel like it was worth it but don’t know why. The opaque ending could be sublime and it could be thought provoking. If you haven’t read any Drifter yet, please, please start at the beginning, though. The final impact could be lost otherwise.
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Review written by Arun S.
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