‘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
Us Review
‘Us’ Blu-ray Giveaway!

Following up the Oscar-winning horror hit Get Out wouldn’t be an...

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar Blu-ray
Shout! Factory Brings the Fabulous ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar’ onto Blu-ray

Drag is in right now. All one has to do to...

Celebrity Chef Fernando Ruiz Beats Drug Addiction and Several Food Network Shows

Arizona native Fernando Ruiz had a lot of ups and downs...

Event News Event Reviews
Tolkien Red Carpet From WonderCon

Relics & Rarities Red Carpet From WonderCon

The 100 Red Carpet From WonderCon

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Taco Bell Xbox
The Newest Taco Bell Box is an Xbox – Your Chance to Win a Taco Bell Xbox

Taco Bell and Xbox are partnering up to give fans a chance...

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...

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
#DancingToTheWhiteHouse is a Conservative Political Comic Book Satire

Very rarely are political comics coming from a conservative stance and...

Stan Lee, the Co-Creator of the Marvel Universe, Dead at 95

According to reports earlier today, Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan the...

Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

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

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
Blue Yeti Nano Microphone Review

We have been playing with the Blue Yeti Nano for a...

Wrestle Crate Pre-Christmas Unboxing

    Welcome to our first unboxing of Wrestle Crate, this...

Eagle Eyes
Protect Your Eyes with Eagle Eyes Glasses – Eagle Eyes TV Kit Review

Eagle Eyes TV Kit review – Feel the difference and get...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Five Questions for Eduardo ‘Dudu’ Dantas about His Bellator 222 Fight

Former two-time Bellator MMA World Bantamweight Champion, Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas is...

Mike Kimbel Talks About his Bellator 222 Fight

Young lion, Mike Kimbel is a 2-1 fighter in the Bellator...

Frank Mir Faces Dan Severn at Josh Barnett’s ‘Bloodsport’

Tonight, April 4, 2019, UFC, Bellator and MMA veteran, Frank Mir...

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 Emissary of Death! (A new chapter in the search for a Defense against the dark arts teacher saga)

Professor Wick explains his "Emissary of Death" spells.

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the new defense against the dark arts teacher Pt:3

the Death Eaters discover what Baba Yaga does best.

David Ortiz & EL Artista Cigars Announces the Launch of a Second ‘Big Papi’ Cigar Brand

(TAMBORIL, DO) – EL Artista Cigars announces a new line extension for...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep. 9 Happy Thanksgiving!

This week the Commoners discuss some race baiting issues that bothered...

Coastal Commoners Ep 8 – Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

This week the commoner’s say farewell to Marvel Comics legend, Stan...

Coastal Commoners Ep 7 Mid-Term Elections!

Oh the headaches of elections and what can go wrong. We...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Twin Peaks: The Return Vinyl Soundtrack
Mondo and Death Waltz Recording Company to Issue ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ Soundtrack on Vinyl

The owls are not what they seem. The legendary show from...

They Live Vinyl Soundtrack
Death Waltz Records Has Awakened An Amazing Vinyl Edition of the ‘They Live’ Soundtrack

  It took the world long enough but it seems that...

They Live Vinyl Soundtrack
BUY! Mondo and Death Waltz to Reissue John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Soundtrack on Vinyl

Yesterday was the 71st birthday of the great John Carpenter and...