Mild Spoilers Ahead
The year is 3241 and the place is Shikka-Go in the Great Lakes region of North America. A slave named Mari runs away from her masters and they chase after the escaped slave. Mari falls into a cavern of the Shikka-Go ruins and finds a robotic demon to protect her from her overlords. Back at Sussem-Ri, the First Knife of the Hudsoni people returns home to no fanfare. He goes to meet the chieftain of the Hudsoni, who informs the First Knife that the Devas, their gods, will burn Shikka-Go due to the rise of this mechanical demon. However, the First Knife will not accept this.
Protector #1 brings us to a post-apocalyptic landscape where the United States has collapsed and become the territory of warring tribes. It’s en media res, with the reader learning nothing of how it all ended and Mari, after a series of escape attempts, finally getting out from under the thumb of her captors.
From there, we join the First Knife and Chieftan of the Hudsoni people panicking due to the arrival of the “demon” Mari awakened in “Shikka-Go.” This gives us a close perspective of both sides of this conflict and a picture of what life is like in the year 3241.
We actually don’t get much insight into Mari as a character because of this. We know she’s defiant and daring, but that’s it. Meanwhile, we actually get a good idea of the relationship between the Hudsoni Chieftain and his brother, the First Knife. The Chieftain feels very reliant upon his warlord brother, but his brother knows that the Chieftain can’t look vulnerable. The First Knife is also very willing to challenge the Devas and the Chieftain is willing to follow his guidance wherever it may lead.
Artyam Trakhanov’s artwork gives an appealing, dirty, and absorbing view of the environment of this post-apocalyptic world. The clothing and jewelry is well-detailed and visually interesting. The characters are very expressive and their appearances give you an idea of what their personality is like. Jason Wordie’s colors are appropriately warm and gritty as well, giving this world the desolate feeling it needs.
Protector #1 thrusts the reader into the action of this desolate world which has come about by some unknown catastrophe. Its characters are introduced to us and we are given an idea of the tribal conflicts thanks to the index presented to the reader in the epilogue. It’s a grabbing read and earns a recommendation.
Proctector #1 comes to us from writers Simon Roy and Daniel Benson, artist Artyom Trakhanov, color artist Jason Wordie, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and cover artist James Stokoe.
Final Score: 8/10