In the year 3241, the Earth has been ravaged by climate change and humans have returned to tribal society to survive in a world devoid of technological enhancements. But things are about to change. The new Image Comics series, Protector, follows a young high priestess as she awakens a dormant “demon”: a NATO defense robot that signals a major power shift. Written by Simon Roy and Daniel M. Bensen with art by Artyom Trakhanov, colorist Jason Wordie, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, Protector is a sci-fi story that immerses readers in a desolate landscape presented with a distinct visual aesthetic that energizes the narrative. A lot of thought has gone into the world-building of Protector, but the main story doesn’t get bogged down in those details. Instead, the creative team focuses on creating strong forward momentum, jumping right into the action and leaving the exposition for the backmatter, which breaks down the history of the book’s different tribes in the first issue.
This exclusive preview of Protector #1, on sale January 29, highlights the atmosphere, suspense, and dynamic movement that makes this such a compelling debut, showing the priestess Mari running from her slavers and making a huge discovery in the slave mines of Shikka-Go. This series taps into a lot of the same muscles that Trakhanov flexed in TKO’s western, The 7 Deadly Sins, delivering visuals with sandy grit that gives the environment an especially tactile quality. Trakhanov and Wordie previously worked together on Boom! Studios’ Turncoat, and Wordie enhances the texture in the linework while also using bold pops of color to highlight specific moments. The art creates a real sense of wonder while intensifying action beats, and as an artist himself, Roy gives his collaborators plenty of space for their work to breathe.