Patriot-1 is a 176-page action-packed military and espionage thriller, set as a graphic novel with stunning artwork and an explosive story. This is the story of Staff Sergeant Ken Baker, a Delta Force operator who is the lone survivor of an attack in Afghanistan. Upon escaping captivity, he finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy that results in a team from the CIA’s Special Activities Division seeking his help to unravel the mystery of “Operation Quisling.” (You can read the first 23 pages of Patriot-1 HERE.) As the war in Afghanistan has all but ended, the conspiracy reveals a new threat, one that prompts Baker to make a unique statement in “super-heroic” fashion.
According to creator Kevin Powers, The story is both gritty and realistic, and the action-packed story not only incorporates real-world weapons, vehicles and technology, but also features a unique cast of characters playing major roles throughout. The book has already received a pair of positive advance reviews that can read online at Comics Bulletin and God Hates Geeks. The physical graphic novel will contain the 176-page story and a gallery of 8 alternate covers. If the initial funding goal is surpassed, stretch goals include a concept art gallery/sketchbook, a section featuring the character files found on Patriot1comic.com and even upgrading to a hardcover. The two new sections, plus every copy (except the custom cover at the $500 level) is upgraded to a hardcover.
During the Golden Age of Comics — specifically during World War II — there was an influx of patriotic and American superheroes. The Shield, Captain America, and The American Crusader are a few of the more recognizable ones. These heroes stood up to oppression and upheld the values and morals of the time. To them, things were black and white, (or, you know, Red, White, and Blue). They weren’t dark and gritty heroes, they just did what they felt was right. Some of that is missing in today’s pop culture. Sure, Captain America is still the upstanding example of the greatest generation, but Powers believes that there is still room for heroes that just do the right thing without the need to be dark and brooding.
It is in this light that Patriot-1 takes this idea of, patriotism, and applies it to modern day heroics in Afghanistan. While the character is certainly dressed overly American, he’s more concerned with standing up for what he believes in at any cost and that is what motivates the story. War is an awful thing and the face of it has changed since those heroes took on the Nazis in World War II. Patriot-1 is a new hero for the internal challenges humanity faces today. There’s a bit of Captain America, Sgt. Rock, and even Jack Bauer in the main character, and he’s supported by a diverse and deep cast of characters who share his moral footing. The story also features edge-of-your-seat action. Fist-fights, fire-fights, car chases, and explosions, everything you love to see in a summer blockbuster movie, only created in comic book form, and all breath-takingly rendered by Dexter Wee and Donna Gregory.
Powers graduated from Ithaca College in 2006 with a degree in screenwriting. He’s a storyteller, but he also love comics. It’s an art form and medium that can be one of the most creative and diverse outlets for anyone. Needless to say, he also possesses a strong interest in the U.S. Military, specifically Special Operations Forces. Admittedly, he never had actually served in the armed forces, but that doesn’t waver his support for the men and women of the military — especially Special Operations. These men are real-life superheroes, and he has always wanted to combine these interests to create a character that stands out in today’s pop culture landscape.
Powers consider himself to be an amateur historian of World, U.S., and Special Operations history — thus it was important to him to create some level of authenticity in the action, characters and geo-political landscape of the story. If you can’t tell, much of his writing and this story in particular is heavily inspired by the work of the late, great Tom Clancy. Patriot-1 is for anyone who likes a good, action-packed thriller. Seriously; if you like action, adventure, conspiracies and even a little romance, this book is for you. There is some violence, but the level of violence and language meets the standards of a PG-13 movie.
Illustrator, Dexter Wee is a native of Zamboanga City in the Philippines. He is, according to Powers, the best-kept secret in comics. The work ethic of this man is uncanny and his ability to craft a scene and translate script to page is on such a high level that if anything else, Powers is hoping this project gives Wee the exposure with the big publishers. Powers has had a few artists attached to the project before Dexter, but he can’t imagine this vision brought to life and the beauty of this project without Wee. Powers says the same for the contribution of Donna Gregory. One of Powers’ biggest hurdles throughout the life of the project’s pre-production was finding the right colorist. The most important value of this project for Powers has been quality and he was very picky to have a colorist perfectly match Dexter’s work. Donna did more that match up. She gave Patriot-1 new depth and has truly made this book stunning.
For the seven years that this project has been in development, editor Keith Dallas has been involved every step of the way. Keeping ideas in check, telling Powers what works and what doesn’t work and even reading the earliest versions of the story and offering feedback needed at every level. The end result has made me a better writer.
The book is 100% complete. I wanted to go into this with a completed project so that backers would know that they won’t have to wait long for the book. However, printing a 176 page graphic novel with extras is no small feat and there are substantial costs associated with it. Fortunately, being a publisher, I handle all my own prepress and graphics work, so all that is left is the actual print run.
This project will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by Fri, Aug 1 2014.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.