‘Protege’ is a Character Driven Spy-Thriller That Leaves You Breathlessly Wanting More

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

5908b4ccb7868de96dfa1c6acc6a90b9_largeTerence Anthony is more well known in Los Angeles’ theatrical circles, as a playwrite with an eclectic and exciting resume, but his successful Kickstarter campaign for espionage thriller Protege has certainly brought him attention in comic circles as well. I recently had the chance to read this hard edged, gadget laden, spy-fi series, and I was not disappointed.

Coltrane “Trane” Wallace, the aging DSI agent on the cusp of retirement, alongside his partner Devin Edwards, are in a race against time to complete one final mission when their lives are forever changed by a chance meeting with the young assassin, Allumette. But was it a coincidence? Are Trane, Devin, and Allumette merely puppets, and if so who’s really behind the curtain holding the strings?

I’m a sucker for spy thrillers when done well, and Anthony has certainly put the legwork, research, and hours in to make Protege a standout piece of the genre. The characters are well rounded, each with their own personality tics and traits to keep them interesting. Each character has a unique angle, with plenty of secrets that slowly unfold, changing your perceptions of them. Sure there are plenty of shootouts and explosions, and a top notch conspiracy/mystery, but at its heart Protege is a character piece. In the case of Allumette, the micro-mystery behind her background and how she became this cold-blooded killer is as interesting as the overarching mystery driving the story. Anthony writes a high-octane potboiler reminiscent of Greg Rucka or John le Carré, in that even with its more fantastical elements the story is plausible in its own reality, and full of great, relatable characters you want to root for even if you’re not sure they’re the good guys.

Anthony is a more than capable writer, perfectly balancing the kinetic action scenes and the grounded quieter moments, giving the story plenty of chances to breathe. He has a handle on pacing that I’m sure comes from his theater experiences, and the story moves at a driving pace, always moving forward, and keeping the reader guessing until the end. Growing up with the Twilight Zone it’s really hard to surprise me with a twist, but Anthony does this multiple times, to his credit, keeping me excited to keep going page after page.

Now let’s talk about Juan Romera’s artwork. It took me a few pages to get into it, especially being in black and white, but once I did I was impressed. His art isn’t flashy, and for this type of story that’s a good thing. His art helps keep the story grounded in its reality, and even though it isn’t hyper-realistic, and in fact a bit cartoonish, it works amiably. His page layouts are simple, but his panels are anything but, using dramatic angles and dynamic compositions to drive the tension home. Romera’s strongest trait is in character work, much like Anthony’s, and he deftly uses body language and facial expressions to tell the story. Though I love his use of grey to expand his canvas, the full color covers are fantastic and show just what Romera is capable of.

540c2b95bccf8e7c1528d9dae413eb8d_largeProtege is an exciting addition to the spy-thriller genre, from the well written script full of tension, mystery, double-crosses, and plenty of human drama, to the gritty realism of the artwork. Protege is that rare independent book that shines in every way, and leaves you breathlessly wanting more. I can’t wait reunite with these characters in volume two.

Protege is available to read for free here, but if you buy the book you get plenty of exclusive extras including a short story filling in Allumette’s background.



Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Mario Van Peebles Talks About His New Movie ‘Armed’

Acclaimed filmmaker, writer, actor and any other title he deserves, Mario...

‘I Feel Bad,’ Episode Two is Better than the Pilot (Minimal Spoilers)

About half an hour ago, I let loose my frustrations on...

‘I Feel Bad’ Continues the Whitewashing of Asian Cultures

I Feel Bad made me feel awful as yet another show...

Event News Event Reviews
viz media
Have no Fear, for Viz Media is Here! – SDCC 2018

I grew up reading more manga than I did American comics....

Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut
32 Years Ago Today, Was The Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut

On this day, 32 years ago, the world was graced with The...

Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Ghostbusters World
Strap On Your Jumpsuits and Proton Packs – Ghostbusters World First Look

Ghostbusters World First Look at SDCC2018 – When someone asks you if...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

Make Better PIX this Year with PIX Smart Animative Backpack

Start the school year off by making better life PIX, like picking up...

Chuck Billy of Testament Talks About His Signature Vaporizer

Chuck Billy of Testament talks about, “The Chief” his signature vaporizer,...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator Hawaii to be Exlusively Aired on DAZN

From Bellator MMA – LOS ANGELES – The Neal S. Blaisdell Arena...

USA Boxing’s 1st West Coast Alumni Association Comes to Hollywood

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 11, 2018) – The stars will be...

Trifecta/UFC Kick-off Golden Ticket Giveaway for Sold Out UFC 229 Khabib vs. McGregor Epic VIP Experience

Running from today, September 11th through September 16th, the first 250 orders...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the cat conjuring pt: 5… no, 4!

Oh this cat conjuring thing is getting out of hand!

Fantoy Comics Presents Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring Pt3

Pt 3 of the epic non-canonical Harry Potter and the Cat...

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring pt 2

Pt 2 in the epic non-canonical adventure of Harry Potter and...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 2 Who’s Better Chris Jericho or Ric Flair and The Black Superman ‘Controversy’

This week Gary and R.C. respectfully disagree on who the better...

Coastal Commoners Ep 1 Rosh Hashanah and the Assyrian/Jewish Connection

Editor’s Note: The views of Mr. Morgenstein and Mr. Samo do...

Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

%d bloggers like this: