Project Patron #2 is published by AfterShock Comics, written by Steve Orlando, art by Patrick Piazzalunga, colors by Carlos Lopez, and letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. The Patron has been the earth’s mightiest hero for decades, but the problem is, he died 30 years ago. Days after his funeral, the Patron burst from the ground and has been protecting Earth ever since. The resurrected entity was a reploid, a robotic suit that is remotely piloted by a small team of scientists.
Previously, in the opening issue, Orlando introduced us to the squad members that make up the pieces of the Patron’s heroic attributes. Those pieces are leadership, strength, intelligence, and determination, each handled by a different member. Moro Ignatz has infiltrated the team as a recruit, but his primary mission is to report back on the stability of this team. The team’s spine, the leader, is Commander Conrad Kone, and he’s just been murdered while piloting the Patron.
Now, in issue two, the comic deals with the immediate fallout and the many complexities of navigating a catastrophe like this. First, someone must jump in the capsule and pilot the Patron, making sure to reassure citizens and bring the reploid back to base. Meanwhile, the remaining team needs to tend to Commander Kone to assess the damage. This team trained to respond to disasters, but now they must find out how to deal with one in their own backyard.
Orlando reveled in this issue, as the chaos and the panic is a tangible theme from start to finish. Lena, at one point, talks about piloting the Patron while covered in the blood of her predecessor, given the urgency of the situation of a downed Patron. The tension is already high as these are secret operatives piloting a superhero that the public doesn’t know died 30 years ago. Now add to the fact that this team has lost their leader, their figurehead, and the frantic tone of the issue really hits home. As I said, Orlando excels in welcoming the chaos and giving added layers so that the weight of this event is really felt.
I’m a big fan of the artwork from Piazzalunga, as he captures the frenzied visuals so well throughout the issue. This is evidenced well in the facial detail as each member deals with the grief differently. The most notable example, however, is that of the Patron. As a lifeless machine, he embodies the emotion of his pilots. There is a scene near the end where Patron says farewell to his fallen comrade, and oh, it’s filled with some heavy emotions.
The colors from Lopez match with the artwork so well. They really serve to highlight the dark tones of the series. The lettering from Otsmane-Elhaou was well done. The placement of the dialogue doesn’t detract from the imagery, and each font used is legible and suits the nature of the story.
Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this series, but wow, Orlando et al. have come out swinging. The story is engaging, with the intensity rising. It’s an absolutely refreshing take on the superhero genre. A welcome addition to any comics pull list!
Project Patron #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Project Patron #2
Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect of this series, but wow, the creative team has come out swinging. The story is engaging, with the intensity rising. It’s an absolutely refreshing take on the superhero genre. A welcome addition to any comics pull list!