A very action-packed spy saga at
To find out about the Protocol miniseries, to be co-written by Michael Alan Nelson (Day Men, Supergirl), Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively sat down with the scribe to give him the once-over. Brewer filed this report:
Cosmic Book News: So how did the idea come about to do spy stories with Peter Facinelli from Twilight? Is he a co-plotter, co-writer or, as they say these days, "consultant"? (laughs)
Michael Alan Nelson: Ha! Actually, it would be more accurate to say that I was the consultant. Peter had this great story all set and ready to go and the folks at
Michael Alan Nelson: Protocol follows a group of young men and women known as Orphans who work outside of law enforcement and military organizations to secure the safety of our nation. Each group is a "family" led by a Dad who receives his orders from an anonymous group of handlers known as Grandparents. But what makes this group of Orphans unique is the intense, and highly unethical, training that they've received during their time at the Playground. At a very early age, these kids were shaped to be the best examples of human abilities, both physically and mentally. They are the fastest, strongest, smartest people on the planet. And fortunately for us, they're on our side.
Michael Alan Nelson: Even though each has been broken down and built back up to be the ultimate spy, they still have their own personalities and quirks. Parish is a bit vain and is quite happy that his "day job" makes him loads of cash. On the other hand, Lewis is a bit resentful that Parish got the cushy cover identity while he has to sling coffee at a local coffee house. Even though they're all business, these little conflicts can come out every once in a while, and usually at the least opportune time.
As for where they will be, it could be anywhere. It doesn't matter where trouble is brewing. Heading to the deepest corner of the world is the same as working in their own back yard. Wherever they're needed, that's where they'll be.
Michael Alan Nelson: Dad is the man in charge of the family's daily operations. He acts as liaison with the Grandparents and keeps the Orphans on task. But the Dad of this particular family has a black mark on his record. His first family was killed to a man on a mission that went sideways terribly fast. He himself barely escaped with his life. But that failure haunts him. And it makes his new family nervous.
Michael Alan Nelson: Well, as I mentioned before, Peter has done most of the heavy lifting. But story is story, regardless of the genre. And one of the very first books I ever wrote was a spy thriller so this isn't completely foreign to me. I must confess, however, that I did have a chance to scratch my "horror" itch with some of the flashbacks to the training at the Playground. Those darker scenes were a hell of a lot of fun to write.
Michael Alan Nelson: We do get a chance to see what it was like for them when they trained as children. These little flashback vignettes give the reader a sense of who they are as characters and why they are the way they are. As for bonding, yes and no. For some Orphans, it makes them feel closer to the other children. For others, it only isolates them.
Michael Alan Nelson: That's a tough question to answer. It's like looking at someone and asking how much is their father and how much is their mother. They might have their mother's eyes or their father's nose, but they are still a fusion of the two. The concept, story, and characters are all Peter. I just took all those great ideas and wove them into comic form. I added a few things here and there, but this is definitely Peter's story and I'm really happy to be helping tell it.
Michael Alan Nelson: Absolutely a fan. And Mariano is great not just at capturing the fun of the action and that sense of motion and speed, but he does a fantastic job at conveying the complexities of emotion that the characters are going through. My favorite scene is Parish's flashback to a particular event during his training. It's a dark and emotionally complex scene and Mariano was able to get all of that complexity across with the character's expressions. Just simply fantastic.
Michael Alan Nelson: My hope is that they'll have fun and enjoy reading the series as much as I had helping write it. And I think they will. Protocol is a hell of a lot of fun.
Michael Alan Nelson: I am also currently writing Day Men for
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Michael Alan Nelson for talking with us yet again amid, obviously, a very busy schedule. We would also like to thank Brianna Hart of
“Protocol” hits shelves in November!