Comic Review: “Prototype 2 – The Anchor, Part 1”

Over the past few months, Dark Horse Comics has been on a roll with releasing quite a few new series and first issues. Keeping on with that is the digital mini-series, Prototype 2: The Anchor; one of several 6 issue, 12-page, 99 cent issues available through digital.darkhorse.com, or through the Dark Horse app available on Android (beta) and iOS. This is a part of a series acting as a bridge between the first Prototype game released in 2009 and its sequel set to be released some time in 2012. Comics based on video games like this aren’t all that new or innovative, much less often canon. However, unlike most others, Prototype 2’s writer, Dan Jolley, is the writer for the two video games this comic gets its material from.

The first game is set in New York City where a plague known as Blacklight is spreading through the Manhattan borough. Whoever comes in contact with this disease becomes infected and mutates into different kinds of ravenous monsters, attacking all that aren’t infected. Amongst the chaos is the protagonist of the game and of this comic, Alex Mercer; a man with no apparent past who, through his infection, becomes a powerful living weapon.

If you never played the game or never completed it but have a sparked interest from the premise, there isn’t anything to worry about. There isn’t any information you need from the game to follow what’s going on. This story picks up one year after the first game’s ending with Alex Mercer globetrotting and trail blazing to find a place where he’d realize his lost humanity. Through his trials and setbacks, Mercer seems to have become somewhat jaded but not quite cynical.  Despite his increasing hate for humanity as a whole and his increasing urge to detach himself from the rest of the world, he still carries on as a hero would during extreme circumstances.

This comic is straight to the point, cut and dry, and very easy to digest. Though it doesn’t go much into explanations into how Mercer’s powers work, they explain just what they need to when needed through text at times and through visuals at others.  Speaking of visuals, Paco Diaz does a pretty good job illustrating this story.  His art in this comic is clean, consistent between the relation of figures and space for the most part, and moderately dynamic when necessary. Diaz’s line art is complimented by Michael Atiyeh’s color job; exercising proper color control, which adds to the mood of each setting throughout the comic without being overbearing.

If you’re a fan of the franchise and intend to play the second game slated to come out later this year, then it’s worth a read. If you’re not a fan and have a dollar to spare, then it’s still worth a read. Sincerely, this comic isn’t mind blowing, but it is pretty good, and in a world where you’re going to spend four times as much for comics with roughly eight more pages of content, it’s a good deal. If you are interested, you can find Protype 2 #1: The Anchor, Part one in Dark Horse Comics’ digital comic site right now for your viewing pleasure.

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