Protocol: Orphans #1 Review

by @octii_pies on Nov 14, 2013

Special people with specialized skills are part of a special group that protects the everyday people.

The Good

First thing I noticed just picking up this issue was how smooth the art was. Not just in the literal sense, though the lines are really smooth, but it just feels smooth to the eyes. The thick, yet at times contoured lines balances very well to the minute details, especially in physical appearance. Thicker lines at the jaws emphasize a knitted eyebrow and make the cell shading come and go in cohesive gradients rather than blocks of color. It’s interesting that there is a “family” motif being used within this, let’s say, “agency”. Perhaps because they’re based in America? Unclear at the moment, but being able to call someone “Dad” while trying to undo a ticking bomb definitely left an impression on me. The flashbacks of individuals on the team illuminate some background of the organization itself- whatever it may be. Most of that background being that talent can be bred from a young age and sometimes people take very drastic measures to make such talent come to fruition.

The speaker bubbles, the walkie bubbles, and the background squares help the reader keep track of who is talking not only by shapes, but occasionally by outline color. The shapes instead show if the speaker is talking directly, indirectly, or in reference to. Very simple and very intuitive. The characters are unique, yet all likeable, especially after their flashbacks and their interactions with “Dad”. It makes the sudden turn of events a bit more personal, which leads to the upcoming 2nd issue.

The Not So Good

I have no idea what’s going on. Okay, I have some idea of what’s going. It would appear that the writers of Protocol pulled an action movie sequence on us where we get the action first and the background later. However, the background is coming so much later we have to wait for an entirely different issue. Perhaps this did not play out quite as well as they thought it would.

The Bottom Line

Interesting premise, unique characters, and good ole’ childhood trauma. Really, though, the tweaks in an classic pattern of “action agencies” make this debut memorable and I really do want to know what is going on by reading the 2nd issue. I just wish I didn’t feel like the 2nd issue would leave me with even more questions…

3.5 / 5
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Protocol: Orphans #1
Released November 13, 2013
Writer Michael Alan Nelson
Artist Mariano Navarro
Cover Artist St?phane Roux

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