“Drifter” Takes the Space Western to New Heights

Yet another great independent from Image is the new series from Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein called Drifter. It’s one of the most exciting openings I’ve ever seen in a book, from the very first page.

The story starts with Abram Pollux, a ship’s captain who experiences a terrible malfunction and ends up crash-landing on an alien planet. He manages to free himself from the underwater wreckage, but immediately comes into contact with an alien. There is a scuffle; moments later he’s unconscious and at the mercy of a mysterious assailant.

Except that he’s not. Pollux wakes up being tended to in a frontier space camp called Ghost Town, a rough-and-tumble place with all of the accompanying lawlessness.

Everyone is on their own for the most part, and that breeds hard folks and sometimes insane ones as well. The place is strewn with scrap and improvisedd improvements that speak to a deep separation from wherever humanity is hubbed in this universe.

“Technology is portable, but infrastructure isn’t,” says Brandon. “Whenever we step out into the future we immediately regress some. Migrating your way of life is very hard. You can bring anything you want with you, but there won’t necessarily be a place to plug it in.”

At the heart of the matter is a basic enigma: Pollux doesn’t know where he is or exactly how he got there beyond the crash. As he gets his bearings and explores the world with Ghost Town’s marshal and medic, Lee, it becomes more and more apparent that his arrival isn’t as cut-and-dried as a simple bit of mechanical failure. Impossibilities have to be confronted if Pollux and Lee are to understand what’s going on.

It’s a pure pulp genius full of mysteries, bar fights, and Klein’s uncanny landscape art that leaps off the page.

Drifter is off to a good start, and Brandon and Klein are ready to fully explore their planet. Public interest willing, they say they have a story vault that can fill at least three years worth of issues.

“We’ve only explored a very small part of one planet so far,” says Brandon. “There are tons of mysteries to still unravel when we explore some more.”

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