Out in the woods, a young boy witnesses something horrible that drags the local townsfolk and attending deputy to the scene of the crime. Quicker than you can say “there is something out there”, discoveries are made and the help of previously kicked out-of-town Drexler is requested; at least by one member of the party.
Drexler as a book is a mix of genres and ideas, wrapped up in a recent framework. Flipping through the pages there are homages to 50’s B space monster movies, subtle asides that are have recently been seen in the Supergirl TV show and of course the more obvious X-Files vibe with a girl of hair flame red. Small town America also gets a run out, with its insular inclusiveness and small-minded people trying to show their worth by tightening their grip on their own piece of the pie, rather than focus on the needs of the town. As for the Drexler himself; he is currently in the employ of Jupiter Security, where he is used to teleport in, sort out the bad guys before ‘porting back out. All run of mill, until his sister, the deputy of Anti-Alien Hicksville, needs him to help sort the towns’ problems, alien and otherwise.
Bob Salley takes the various mini genres on show and tries to wrap it all up as one package. In large part it works, even if by doing so, the book feels more familiar than it really has any right to. This familiarity could be seen as either a strength or a weakness depending on your point of view: are you looking for something wholly original or are you looking for a new take on something you may have seen before? Story wise, the book flows well enough, with the musings of past deeds and misdemeanors serving to give an element of mystery. Other aspects are well covered tropes although Salley does well not to fall into the “I have seen enough Hentai to know where that tentacle is going” territory. The dialogue feels a tad clumpy, which I don’t think is actually Salley’s fault as I believe it has more to do with me and the amount of X-Files I have seen over the years.
The art is provided by Nathan Kelly whose cartoon leanings in places, specifically how he draws women, gives the book an odd look, especially when it comes to the more standard faces of the townsfolk. Kelly’s art contrasts are even more on show when it comes to Drexler himself. In his outfit, Drexler looks like a Mignola styled Star Lord before morphing into the standard fare of the rest of the townsfolk. Kelly does well with the pacing of the book, moving us from discovery to action, embattled characters and back again. The colors by Don Mathias are, in my opinion, a little too bright for a story such as this, although I can understand how the scheme chosen lightens the mood to give the book a potentially larger pool of fans from which to fish.
Given that this book talks about the monsters, both actual and societal, there is an inherent darkness in play that makes the book a more interesting read than the sum of its parts. As a Kickstarter project, it’s over to you if you “want to believe” and see subsequent issues.
Writing – 3.5 Stars
Art – 3.5 Stars
Colors – 3 Stars
Written by; Bob Salley
Art by; Nathan Kelly
Colors by, Don Mathias
Published by; Feral Kingdom Studios