In humanity's galactic age, a second Spanish Empire holds power over the Drive – an engine that makes interstellar travel possible. But while the Royal Familia keeps the Drive's workings secret, the fearsome Continuum threatens to reclaim its stolen technology.
143 years after Conrado Cruz found a lost Driveship – whose Continuum driver took an errant particle of ore to the brain – an amnesiac critter without a name or known species finds himself in an Imperial prison.
Luckily (or perhaps even more unfortunately) he's locked up with Nosh, an Armada science officer accused of murdering the human Emperor. Soon he's been busted out by the crew of the Machito and discovers that he has an innate ability to steer the Driveships (which are prone to colliding with the occasional object in space).
Drive is the latest webcomic from Dave Kellett, creator of Sheldon, a comic about a child billionaire and his duck – and there's some of the silliness that you might expect from a creator with a fondness for talking fowl.
Nosh has Yakov Smirnoff speech patterns thanks to an involuntary stint in Russia, and the Machito is captained by an Action Grandma and maintained by a 14-year-old engineer (thanks to a rule that only members of the prolific Familia are permitted to witness the Drive's workings).
But as the series progresses, it's clear that Kellett has a more complex story in the works. The Continuum of Makers, original progenitors of the Drive, is an intriguing society that reveres invention precisely because it reproduces through parthenogenesis.
The crew of the Machito has to contend with the probability that the new emperor murdered the last one, while acknowledging that the Continuum poses a greater threat to the Empire. And then there are the inner workings of the cabalistic Familia, the Empire's largest and most dysfunctional family. It's sure to be a goofy road trip, and one that takes us through an interesting stretch of the galactic highway. [Drive]