by Nate Southard & Shawn Richter
Frequency Press $11.95
As the noir crime action/drama Drive opens, Las Vegas cabbie Brian Ray has his world turned upside down when a gun-toting crazed thug with a duffel bag full of narcotics hops into his cab and tells Brian to "Drive." Soon, Brian and his girlfriend find themselves caught up in a deadly game between the mafia and a couple of corrupt cops.
As you might guess, the story in Drive owes a lot to the types of crime movies that have been in vogue in these post-Tarantino days. While Southard's story may be a tad derivative, it's still well-told and exciting, paced right with peaks in the action and proper downtimes. There isn't much depth to the characters, but we know just enough about them to keep the plot and the action moving forward.
The art by Richter is a mixed-bag. The storytelling and pacing is excellent; I never had any trouble telling what was going on in this action-heavy comic. Richter's work was particualrly good in the opening car-chase scene--it really felt like a white-knuckled action sequence. On the other hand, Richter's figure work is rather weak: proportions are frequently off and characters' faces change from panel-to-panel. Still, given his strong ability in putting together a cohesive sequential story, I should expect that Richter's draftsmanship will improve in future works, making him a talent to watch.
So a good though slightly derivative story, and art with strong plusses but some minuses as well. Let's call this one right down the middle:
Rating: 3 (of 5) (Good)
(A review copy of Drive was provided by the author.)