I was really turned on by the action of Protocol Orphans last month. The pace of the story was relentless and it hooked you in right from beginning to end with strong and solid characterizations of the Orphans as well as a redline speed of story and script. It was a fired-up hybrid of Little Orphan Annie and Mission Impossible. Writer Michael Alan Nelson slows down a bit (just a bit, not much) as we begin to delve into the ramifications and fallout from issue one. Something big happened and “Dad” (who is the field leader of the Orphans) is not pleased. He addresses the “Grandparents”, but seems to get nowhere. Even if he did, there is no time to review as another mission is at hand and it looks to be far more serious than the first. All the Orphans must be at top level with no mistakes being made if the mission is to succeed. It involves a possible major terrorist attack.
The artwork by Mariano Navarro has excellent detail and he depicts the many different looks of the characters very well. There is a pretty large ensemble of Orphans, so it would be easy to go light on the ones in the backgrounds, but he does not. Likewise, his facial close-ups are very telling as you get an expert glimpse into the souls of the characters.
The writing here still has intense action as well as moments of emotion. We are beginning to see the Orphans in their individual personages. They are being fleshed out and we are introduced to other aspects of back story that is starting to bring things into a focus. I credit Michael Alan Nelson with this excellent pacing that blends in so well with Navarro’s artistry. Like the Orphans themselves, we are seeing an elite team working together to achieve a positive and successful outcome.
Boom Studios should be given a lot of credit for putting this comic together. They have given the reader a strong story arc to their lineup of titles that is worthy of great merit. My only complaint with the story so far is that it is already halfway through its four issue run. Protocol: Orphans is definitely worth a look, a buy, and hopefully, it might see some expansion after the mini is complete.
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson Artist: Mariano Navarro Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/11/13