RASL 1: The Drift

rasl volume 1 the drift cover jeff smith
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Interesting start to a story

Fans of Bone might not like the change in tone

Comic Info

Comic Name:  RASL

Publisher:  Cartoon Books

Writer:  Jeff Smith

Artist:  Jeff Smith

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2018

rasl #1 cover jeff smith review

Rasl #1

Reprints RASL #1-4 (March 2008-April 2009).  RASL is on the run.  Robert is a scientist turn thief, but his targets aren’t on this world.   He’s created a device to help him jump between dimensions…but the Compound wants the technology that they feel belongs to them.  Now a hunter has been assigned to bring RASL in, and he isn’t afraid to disrupt RASL’s world or the worlds he jumps to.  RASL is trying to understand the Drift and how to control his abilities, but the Compound won’t allow that to happen!

Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, RASL Volume 1:  The Drift is a collection of the black-and-white comic book series.  The series has been collect multiple times and was even released in color editions.

I read a big chunk of RASL when it was released.  I was a big fan of Bone and read the series straight through, and I wanted to see what else Jeff Smith could do.  Along with his take on Captain Marvel in Shazam!  The Monster Society of Evil, RASL shows that Jeff Smith has depth that he still has room to explore.

The story for RASL starts out as a bit of mystery in this volume.  You don’t know the character’s background, you don’t know how he jumps dimensions, and you don’t know the origins of his tattoo “Maya”.  The series slowly begin to unveil the answers to the questions, but even in this volume, you do have to wonder what is going on at points.

rasl #2 cover lizard man jeff smith

Rasl #2

I really enjoy Jeff Smith’s style.  Bone had a weird mix of fantasy character with human characters, and this is primarily set in the human world (though the creepy lizard looking assassin doesn’t look as human as RASL implies).  The world of Bone was clean, pristine, and pretty…RASL’s world is dirty, filthy, and dangerous.  It is nice to see Jeff Smith bridge from his cartoon world, but he still keeps that cartoon style in many ways.

It is important to note that RASL is completely different than Bone, and it isn’t a kids’ story.  This could pose a problem in that the series is being reprinted much like Scholastic reprinted his Bone series.   I could see a parent accidentally putting RASL in front of a kid and the kid immediately having a lot of questions.  I would hope that parents would vet things better, but you never know.

RASL is a series that deserves to be read as a whole, but was pretty enjoyable as individual issues.  It wasn’t a simple series and some of the issues were heavy while others were light.  It is another in a line of series that proves that comics can be more than superheroes in tights, teens in love, or funny animals.  Science meets fantasy and RASL is the solid result.  RASL 1:  The Drift is followed by RASL 2:  Romance at the Speed of Light.

Related Links:

RASL 2:  Romance at the Speed of Light

RASL 3:  The Fire of St. George

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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