After disappearing for a month, Protectors, Inc. has returned once more with a brand new issue. Last time, we left off on quite the ending that really caught me off guard and now we get to see what happens next. Is it good?
Protectors, Inc. #9 (Image Comics)
Detective John Riley has come face to face with the The Patriot, a superhero who has disappeared completely off the radar for so long. The Patriot wants to help him figure out and taken down the mastermind behind all of this and also reveals he was working with the Huntsman on a secret investigation. Meanwhile, Angel is confronted by the rest of the heroes from Protectors, Inc. about her dealings with Riley. Things are heating up more than ever as the end approaches…
No seriously, the end is almost upon us. I got to the final page of the issue and it said that the next issue is the series finale. I mean, it makes sense ,since the story would be over once the mystery has been solved, especially since they are revealing a lot of information here at the end. Plus, at least it seems like we’ll be reaching a conclusion instead of the story just abruptly stopping like the sad fate of Five Weapons. Either way, I am rather sad that everything is wrapping up, especially since the book has really been getting good.
The story feels like it’s really coming together here. We are getting more background information on Protectors, Inc; a bunch of twists and reveals, and it finally seems like we figured out who exactly the killer is in all of this. There are still minor details left, I assume for the final issue to wrap it all together, but it does feel like we got a lot of closure and have even seen a lot of the pieces come together on a lot of the storylines and subplots. It’s really interesting to see everything play out as it is and see how it all makes sense. I can’t really go into details, but without a doubt, there is a lot of payoff here.
Of course, there is also J. Michael Straczynski’s writing to talk about; it’s pretty good. Character-wise, everyone’s still solid here and I do like the reveal for Angel’s background. It actually reveals a lot about her and why she behaves so differently than the rest of the Protectors. The only one who is still a bit weak is Riley, since he’s still your nice yet firm and dedicated to the job kind of guy while remaining skeptical to what the world throws at him. It’s not essential that we know his backstory or some background, but it would have been nice to flesh him out a tad more even if he’s a good character as is. The dialogue is relatively good, though there is a bit of an exposition drop that could have been handled a bit better than it was. The pacing is decent (though considering it is throwing so much at the reader, it could feel a tad overwhelming at points), the story structure is solid, and the ending leaves off on a good note to lead us into the final issue next time. Though, the ending feels a tad off since the facial expressions on the last page don’t convey the right amount of emotion given the situation.
And that leads us into the artwork and like always, it gets the job done. The tiny bit of action is appealing, the small subtle things with characters and expressions are nice, the layouts are decent, and the artwork in general ain’t bad. Frankly, it still lacks a bit of punch to really make it exciting and visually interesting. For instance, there is a big reveal when a certain character pops up later on and I think if there was some more energy or emphasis in the art, it would have been far more shocking. As it stands, it was a good surprise, but its art could have been better. Either way, it’s not a real deal breaker and since you are this far in, you won’t be bothered.
Is It Good?
Protectors, Inc. #9 is another solid issue, really picking things up and moving towards the finale of the book. The mystery is becoming clear, we are getting payoff everywhere, and the story is really exciting. There are few problems here and there, but if you have been hanging on this long, there’s no way you’ll want to leave now. The end is nigh and if this issue is any judgment, the series will be going out with a bang.