Veteran NFL player, Israel Idonije, created Athlitacomics to unite and entertain both comic fans and sports fans. The publisher bring both heroes and athletes together to mesh the two worlds in a new and refreshing idea that “geek” doesn’t just mean “sits inside all day.”
This book collects the first five chapters of The Protectors, or, the first story arc. This is the first release from Athlitacomics. The gist is that a bunch of elite athletes turn out to have more than just sports skills. Football player Isaac Chike—Force—takes a life change when he learns that he has a new, bigger purpose in life. Along with the rest of the Protectors (Miguel Montiero—Volcan, Douglass Larter—Fleet, Danielle Peters—Wisp, and Gerard Rioux—Chrome), he has to choose between the cushy life he knows and saving the whole freakin’ world!
I’m usually not a huge fan of superhero teams, but this one has got my attention. Each member of the Protectors has their own unique past, and brings their own set of skills to the team. When there is this much time spent on characterization, it’s going to be a good story.
Force came from Africa and, once America’s materialism got to him, he wanted status more than anything. So, he became a football player. He’s revered, famous, and loved, but actually lives a rather lonely life without his family, who moved back to Africa.
Fleet is from Chicago’s south side. He comes from a pretty broken past, but ended up with quite a bit of success. A basketball player, his brother helped him pay for college when their parents went to jail. He still looks down on his brother, though, and can’t forget his past. Will it come back to haunt him during his time with the Protectors?
Volcan is a baseball player from Mexico City. He has a bad temper and was an orphan. He tries to get by, but all too often stared death in the face at the cost of it. A businessman took notice of him, and his negative aspects of life were replaced by wealth and women.
Wisp is the girl next door. She’s a good person with a kind heart. From small local games to being on the Olympic team, soccer has been her life. Will the Protectors change that?
Chrome is a Canadian hockey player. He has a bit of a broken family, but plays the father role to his teammates to make up for it.
They’re all interesting characters individually, but even better as a team. Marz’s script is fluid and the dialogue between characters shows us how well they already function together as a unit. This book isn’t too text heavy, so it goes by at a pretty fast pace. The language used is easy to understand and simple enough that we don’t get confused at all.
Sears’ illustrations have a few inconsistencies in continuity, but overall they tell the story really well. The action sequences show a lot of movement, which makes the book really easy to whip through in a matter of minutes. Everything flows seamlessly together, creating an almost cinematic experience. The line work isn’t the cleanest, but certainly fits the tone of the story. There is a lot of cross hatching to account for shading, and the colors are bright but realistic, aside from the slight sci-fi aspect we get from the book.
This is a great story for any comic and sports fans. I expect we can get our hopes up to see more awesome content from Athlitacomics in the near future, because if the material is anything like this book, I’m hooked!
Written by: Israel Idonije & Ron Marz
Illustrated by: Bart Sears