Review: Drive #1 (of 4)

drive_01-lo-993x1528In L.A., there’s one man you want behind the wheel. Just tell him where and when. He doesn’t take part, doesn’t know anyone, doesn’t carry a weapon. He drives, and he’s the best.

Published by IDW, Drive is a four part adaptation of James Sallis‘ 2005 novel, also entitled Drive. If the name sounds familiar, there was a movie adaptation of the same name produced in 2011 starring Ryan Gosling. Critically, the movie was very successful, earning several award nominations, and the book is regarded quite highly, too.  I haven’t  seen the movie, yet, nor read the book, and so the comic book adaptation is my first exposure to the so far nameless driver.

My knowledge of the book and movie are limited pretty much to what you’ve already read, so that being said, while I can’t compare this to the source material, or the movie, as a comic book I really enjoyed it. The driver, who isn’t named (and probably won’t be), is a character that is at once very intriguing, and yet almost totally unreadable. Micheal Benedetto doesn’t give much away about the driver, perhaps because the driver is so shrouded in anonymity that to explore the inner workings of his psyche in the first issue would be a detriment to the character and the story.

Unlike, however the art team on this issue.

Penciler Antonio Fuso, inker Emilio Lecce and colourist Jason Lewis give us so terrifically moody art work, perfectly capturing the apathetic attitude of the driver towards almost every thing with dull, muted colours and some slowly paced art work. However when the comic calls for some more exlosive action on behalf of the driver the layouts and the paneling really tell the unspoken tale that he thinks life is just the moments in between the times he sits behind the wheel.

As a heist story the comic book version of Drive is shaping up to be really good, which probably comes as no surprise to those familiar with James Sallis‘ novel or the movie led by Ryan Gosling, but for those of us who aren’t familiar with the source material, that’s very good news. I always have some trepidation when opening a licensed comic, but in this case there was no need what so ever.

Drive #1  is a good comic book; perhaps it’s not as good a comic as the driver is a driver, but it’s still very much worth reading. If I’m completely honest with you, I expected this to be pretty average comic book, but it wasn’t.

This four part miniseries is something that you’re going to want to jump right in and enjoy the ride. Pun intended.

Story: Michaell Benedetto Art: Antonio Fuso, Emilio Lecce, Jason Lewis
Story: 8.25 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.