Creators Adam Wheeler & Ben Nunn have the first four issues of their indie superhero series The Secret Protectors complete & ready to collect, and I was lucky enough to get an early look at it.
As central character Benjamin Banks is left reeling from the apparent accident that took his father’s life and altered his own path in more ways than he could have expected. Ben then finds himself & his family caught in between a diverse group of superheroes and the government agency that’s fueling a war that’s being kept as far from the public’s view as possible. As things escalate quickly Ben soon discovers that there was much more to the accident and that it’s had an even bigger impact on his life & future than he first feared.
The group of heroes all have their own powers to get to grips with but rather than that being all there is to them, there’s the weight of history on each of their shoulders as their flaws & baggage help the character development kick-in from the get go in Adam’s script. That’s backed-up by art from Ben that finds it feet in that first issue and then improves with each issue, both in terms of detail and its overall structure. Panel layouts and the colours in particular, become key elements in helping to build the tension, the angst & the natural ups & downs that the team dynamic and relationships entail which all helps build a sense of meaning in the work they do.
The diverse group feel like a natural group of misfits that are striving for a single goal rather than the creative team trying to shoehorn anyone in or just tick some boxes, so in the end it plays out as a well-rounded team with challenges to overcome. Those flaws and imperfections are what makes the group an impressive hook for this initial four issue run and while their opposition feel a little on-the-nose in places it does feel like a worthy challenge for a developing team.
Strong lead characters in a world that finds its feet quickly through it’s storytelling alongside art that follows that same trajectory of development helps this series grow in confidence from the beginning with the added bonus that it delivers on it’s the initial potential we’ve seen. There’s no reason why that can’t continue and I’d be interested to see where things go beyond this initial four issue collection and the evidence here is that it’s in good hands with Adam & Ben.