Story: Lee Turner
Art: Cliff Richards
Colors: Matt Herms
Letterer: Cardinal Rae
What They Say:
With W.A.S.P. hot on her trail, Cat saves Missy and her friends from being gunned down by Manjeet’s Correctors. But mother and daughter are now on the run with two other teens and no idea who they can trust or turn to for answers.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series laid out some interesting ideas that were familiar but executed well. This series has Lee Turner handling the script for it and it’s one that works well even if a bit familiar overall with what it’s trying to do at the start. It’ll be the trappings and execution as it progresses that will really show whether it’s going to work or not, but there’s definitely an appeal here for someone like me and the kinds of 80s movies I saw growing up. Cliff Richards is handling the art duties on this run and he’s got a solid real-world grasp going on here that helps to cement it well, especially with some really well-laid-out action sequences that give a good feeling of impact as it unfolds with the color work from Matt Herms.
This issue is one that’s pretty much non-stop action and almost a bit too chaotic in what it’s trying to do, but it captures the tension and the way that only forward momentum is needed. With Cat having escaped from WASP headquarters and what Manjeet was talking about, she ends up taking over a hippie-style bus from a music group in order to find Missy as quickly as she can. And it’s quickly a disaster what with the WASP folks chasing once at the school and just opening fire publicly. It’s only thanks to one of Missy’s friends that they make it out because he shot an arrow and killed one of the guys, causing a wreck. The kids are basically caught up in everything quickly here and the fallout is terrible from that as time goes on as WASP sees them as accessories now and their parents end up either fleeing at the last minute or dead.
Suffice it to say, WASP doesn’t come across well here. Cat’s not doing great either, barely managing to keep from going full crazy, which is something that actually surprises Doug. Since Cat learned about him she ended up going to St. Louis Arch in order to essentially abduct him in order to find out more of the truth – and discover there’s some kind of antidote that probably doesn’t work. This all puts us in road trip mode and it’s a chaotic thing where Cat is trying to keep herself under control, deal with the various threats that WASP represents, and deal with Missy learning about what her now-dead father was and that her mother is just like her. It’s not bad at all but this is all done with a sense of constant adrenaline with very little downtime to catch your breath.
The 06 Protocol has a lot going on here but doesn’t reveal too much new material. The bit about the antidote provides some hope and I imagine there are secrets in regard to that which will make Manjeet look even worse. Cat’s handling all of this in a pretty professional and intense manner but it’s a spiraling bus of chaos and bloodshed that’s out of control. There’s a lot to like in getting something that’s just seemingly constantly on the go and the artwork captures this kind of frenetic experience quite well. I’m curious as to where it’ll go, especially now that kids are involved, as there’s a lot of bad times ahead with what WASP is capable of.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: November 23rd, 2022