Image Comics presents the sixteenth installment of the science fiction series, Drifter, with a dazzling cover that sparkles with color and death. Artist Nic Klein draws an astronaut with a realistic skull inside of the space helmet. The imagery is intense with these remains at the center; however, the splattered multitude of colors provide an essence of gazing upon millions of stars, and perhaps staring for so long that death comes before reaching the destination. In searching the page, lines intersect one bright star fixated in the center of empty space where an eye would be, perhaps the place this traveler meant to journey to.
This particular cover page lets the reader continually search the specks of space dust, to possibly find a hint to where these bones came from or where they were going. Such a striking image makes it easy for the reader to open to the first page to see what is waiting on the inside, and whether it includes this astronaut. Writer Ivan Brandon begins this story with a first-person account of what’s to happen in the opening sequence – someone’s been shot and the victim, seemingly unaware of the reason, tries to make sense of “why he’d moved to end my life.”
Brandon crafts this story with the previous issues playing a key role in the current events of this comic book. If you aren’t up to speed, it might serve you well to go back to fully understand what’s transpired to this point. The storyline follows a fine web of dialogue, but it can be interpreted as such – a gunfight has taken place, leaving one in a bloody mess, and all of those involved are content to stay their feelings to look after the injured. The fact that these characters have had some kind of violent conflict with one another, their compassionate response to the near dead gives you a glimpse into each person’s inner makeup.
Abram Pollux, the lead figure, seems conflicted despite his help to the wounded, and shows signs of not knowing the full circumstances of his surroundings. His presence is like a conundrum that might never be answered, even with significant discoveries through the course of these pages. His memories either do not exist or they’re merely blocked, because he can’t cope with what’s taken place as the story leads to a devastating realization. The mysteries surrounding Pollux appear to be linked to his psyche; they might be stuck at an impasse, if the other unravels.
Drifter #16 is now available in print and digital form.