Writers: Simon Roy and Daniel Bensen
Artists: Artyom Trakhanov & Jason Wordie
In the year 3241, civilization is mostly gone and the human race has fallen back to using sticks and stones. People are divided into tribes, with the Hudsoni on top and the Yanqui being enslaved. Other tribes are scattered about, but these are the only two that get the spotlight in Protector #1.
Protector #1 gives the reader a desolate world that has abandoned what we know. The introduction doesn’t utilize a lot of words and instead allows for the art to tell the story of this new world and the people that inhabit it. Simon Roy and Daniel Bensen have an interesting concept here and overall do a fine job at executing. Most of Protector‘s success is thanks to artist Artyom Trakhanov. Trakhanov’s style is unique, giving readers a look that they likely have never seen before.
Still, even without art, there is some good writing here. The second half of the issue is dialogue-heavy, setting the stage for what is to come. Religion and machinery play a large part in the story, making for an intriguing combination. I don’t want to spoil any of the plot because the discovery is easily the best part of the experience. Just know that the direction that the story is going is exciting.
While I look forward to future issues, I will admit that this debut falls short in quite a few ways. The first half relies heavily on the art to tell the story, and the action doesn’t necessarily flow perfectly. There are a few confusing panels here and there that made me spend a few extra seconds on examing the action. The art is gorgeous, but as sequential work, leaves a lot to be desired. With the second half being full of dialogue, it makes the book’s pacing feel uneven when juxtaposed with the beginning. Aside from one character from each tribe, the characters aren’t too interesting either. Even the two mentioned characters don’t have much depth to them. This is easy to forgive though since this is a series debut.
I’ve already mentioned how neat Artyom’s work is. The bleak future is full of style. Colorist Jason Wordie brings just the right colors, making the world both bright and wild simultaneously. There are a lot of bright and pastel colors throughout the issue’s pages. Usually, these artistic decisions wouldn’t work in a post-apocalyptic tale, but it is a perfect complement to Artyom’s style.
Protector #1 introduces readers to an interesting world but stumbles when it comes to pacing and interesting characters. Readers should expect some fantastic world-building and a story that doesn’t hold the reader’s hand. This could be a great miniseries, but the first issue doesn’t do enough to hook.
Protector #1 introduces readers to an interesting world but stumbles when it comes to pacing and interesting characters. Readers should expect some fantastic world-building and a story that doesn't hold the reader's hand. This could be a great miniseries, but the first issue doesn't do enough to hook.