Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Chris Lewis
Artist: Bruno Oliveira
Release Date: 22nd April, 2015
The solicitation blurb for the Drones, the latest release from Comics Experience and IDW Publishing, had me salivating with anticipation pretty much from the moment I read it. “Two former predator drone operators face insurgency and insanity on the Las Vegas Strip in the surreal surroundings of the world’s first terrorism-themed hotel!” I mean, what’s not to like about that?!
Unfortunately however, this first issue actually feels rather flat and by-the-numbers for the most part, introducing us to the aforementioned drone operators – neither of whom are particularly likeable – and their somewhat ‘complicated’ interpersonal relationship. The issue actually seems like it’s trying to keep you off-balance, half-explaining things with flashes of confusing events throughout. However, rather than coming across as intriguing it actually feels somewhat disorienting, and makes filtering through to the real ‘hook’ of this story difficult, if not impossible. That said, the final couple of pages do give a faint glimmer of hope for the rest of this series as our operators discover the terrorism-themed hotel, and hopefully – in the process – the real meat of this story.
One thing that definitely helps Drones from sinking like a stone throughout this first issue is the impressive artwork of Bruno Oliveira. Abstract in places and detailed in others, with more than a passing hint of BCP favourite Riley Rossmo to it, Oliveira’s almost hallucinogenic style infuses the somewhat flat opening with an impressive amount of energy, giving great hope for the rest of the series – from a visual aspect at least.
Overall, while the premise is undoubtedly intriguing, the execution thus far is a little off-kilter, leaving Drones an ultimately frustrating read. I’m still planning to check out the second issue, if only to see how Lewis and Oliveira handle the story once it starts to pick up some momentum. The idea of ‘terrorism as entertainment’ and the obvious parallels that can be drawn to our current society definitely has a lot of potential to it, it’s just a shame that this book seems to have stumbled right out of the starting blocks. Definitely one to keep an eye on though, if only to see if things pick up throughout the remaining four issues.