Review: Protocol Orphans Trade Paperback

ProtocolOrphans_coverProtocol: Orphans tells a fairly common story, especially in the world of espionage.  A group of orphans, otherwise rejected by their family and society, enter into a top-secret training program which turns them into unstoppable agents for a shadowy agency.  There is little different here in this overall series, collected here in one volume.  While the formula might be commonplace, what happens here is a little different.  As I have been known to point out, a story succeeds either on its concept and plot or on its characters.  While this concept (and plot) is fairly mundane, it is the characters that make this a fun read.  The team here is split into six, and although two are easily identifiable as the main protagonists, there are still not really any supporting characters among the team, as each member of the team gets a chance to show off what makes them special, including some well-placed snapshots from their training as youngsters. the plot is not particularly new, but it is presented in a way which makes it new enough, by introducing different plot elements and the possibility of a terrorist attack which is both a little outlandish but also believable, especially once the true villains are introduced.

orphans-001Sometimes I am prone to be a little lazy in my reading, and I just wait for the trade paperback to come out collecting story arcs or miniseries.  Though a lot of people do this for various reasons, I was actually happy in this case that I missed the original series, as this trade paperback flows wonderfully, keeps the energy going through and uses its characters expertly.  In other words, this is an entire reading experience, and while it does leave some trailing plot elements at the end to be developed later, it is a complete story.  Any readers interested in picking this up will have lost nothing from missing the monthly release of individual issues

This was actually one of the few comics that I have started in the past few months that I was not able to stop reading.  Part of that was the exciting artwork from Mariano Navarro that quick the action well-paced and the characters more approachable, but equally the story from Michael Alan Nelson lent itself to the art to flow so well.  Readers willing to branch out from the Big Two publishers will find a hidden gem in this series, and hopefully there is more to come.

Story:  Michael Alan Nelson Art: Mariano Navarro
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.