And so we reach the finale for the first arc of Protectors, Inc. It has been a slow moving series, but with the last issue, things definitely seem to be picking up. Is it good?
Protectors, Inc. #6 (Image Comics)
A fire hits the coroner’s office and all the evidence regarding the Huntsman’s death goes up in flames. Lieutenant Detective Riley is running out of leads between getting no help from talking with the actual members of Protectors, Inc. and now with the fire. How is he going to find the killer at this rate?
We may have reached the end of the first arc (well I at least assume it is, since the first trade collects all the issues up to here), but reflecting on the past six issue, it’s clear this comic has a problem. After reading all of the issues and mentioning it plenty of times before, this series is slow. Horribly slow, and it barely seems to be progressing anywhere. Sometimes issues go by without us learning anything or anything being added to the story to help with the mystery. This issue in particular suffers from these problems, besides maybe two scenes. It’s certainly setup to have the next issue (hopefully) go somewhere rather interesting, but not here.
…but from somewhere else… like a different dimension where my story is being told in a comic.
I harp on this because honestly, I find the mystery and story itself to be pretty dang good. Admittedly, I am a sucker for good mystery/crime story, especially with a dash of superhero antics in it (I love Powers for example). The mysteries and conspiracies in the story really get me excited and into it more. When the story progresses and surprises happen, like the cliffhanger in this issue or the big reveal last issue, it’s a rather engaging and exciting tale that honestly makes you want to know more. The characters are slowly being developed, but they do come across as being likeable and interesting, especially in the case of Detective Riley and Angel. The dialogue and narration is pretty good, with some good lines and dialogue exchanges. The story is slow, but if you are in this far, it really does make you curious and want to read and know more. This is a solid story with good writing, but the pacing is what is hurting this book so much (outside of the spoileriffic solicits).
The artwork is also weak, but it’s perfectly fine in the grand scheme of things. The characters look fine and the costumes are nice, even the more parody-ish and silly looking ones. The layouts make the story easy to follow and I do like that most of the backgrounds aren’t completely blank (some are though). Despite the bland coloring (it doesn’t often help with certain tones or moods that the book is trying to convey at points), the artwork is perfectly serviceable and does its job. It just won’t be all that memorable.
Is It Good?
Protectors, Inc. #6 is a perfectly good issue of the series that is hampered by the series’ usual problems of pacing and slow progression. What the series does have is a great and interesting mystery, good characters, and solid writing. If the story picked up the pace more, I could easily recommend this to people are looking for a nice crime series involving superheroes. As it stands, this is a comic that you should wait for the trades, where you can fully appreciate what it’s doing.