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
‚ÄúProtocol‚ÄĚ hits shelves in November!