Protectors Inc. is Superhero Noir story relating to a mystery of murder, strange disappearances, and a group of super wealthy super powerful super heroes (?) that might just be involved. At the center of this story is Detective John Riley, a straightforward and hard-nosed investigator who has been given the task of investigating the death of one of the thought to be invincible "supers". He hasn't had much success thus far. But his luck might be about to change as he has an interview with the rest of the brood of heroes(?) who are affiliated with the general area. But then again, not much is known about these people either outside of their general biographies. The only thing missing here in this issue is the fog. I guess you could count the fog and mist that appears when the supers are around. That would make it rather fitting I would say. But the noir style is everywhere. And it is this noir that makes Protectors Inc quite an interesting tale. This story may be about superheroes(?), but it has a 1940s style detective story at its heart. And the pieces are starting to fall into place! Well, not really, but we do get a glimpse of our possible killer, dressed out in stealth mode of course. At the end of this issue, little is still known. But more is known than previously and writer J. Michael Straczynski slowly ticks away at us, offering a few teases here and there that keeps the story moving and infuses an interest in wanting to know more. It is a masterful stroke by a masterful writer.
Gordon Purcell's art adds to the noir portraying the characters with a harshness and grit that fits well into the story. But with Micheal Atiyeh's coloring, the noir feel is not present. It is in that coloring though that makes Protectors Inc a standout for comics. It uses noir styles, but adds its own style with the bright and bold colors. The tones are dark, yet the color is bright. It is an interesting touch.
I have read five issues of Protectors Inc, and I must say that all five have been a treat. It is an interesting story brought to life by a talented creative team. It is one that you should give a closer look the next time you are perusing through the aisles looking for something new.
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artist: Gordon Purcell Publisher: Image/Joe's Comics Price $2.99 Release Date: 3/26/14