PROJECT PATRON #1 / $4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale 4.07.2021
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Patrick Piazzalunga
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
Cover: David Talaksi
Incentive Cover: Aaron Lopresti
Thirty years ago, the world watched in horror as THE PATRON, a hero sent as humanitarian aid from a different dimension, went punch for punch with WOE, a primordial beast and a perfect match for our mighty protector. In the end, hero and villain alike fell…but the Patron returned – and continues to defend us to this day!
At least, that’s what we’ve all been told.
The truth is, the Patron died that day along with Woe. The UN replaced the Patron with a Reploid, designed to mimic the real Patron and continue on his mission of protection.
Today, the Patron Reploid is secretly piloted by an elite team – a team prepared for anything… except for the death of one of their own.
STEVE ORLANDO ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE IS EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT:
“PROJECT PATRON asks a simple question – what if the death of the world’s greatest superhero was a con job? Thirty years ago, the world watched as its greatest defender, the Patron, fought for it all against Woe, a primordial creature that last popped up to kill the dinosaurs. It was the greatest superhuman fistfight the world had ever seen, and at the end, but Woe and the Patron fell dead…but soon after, the Patron rose again! Or did he? PROJECT PATRON is the answer. When the world loses its greatest hero, those in power fear what we’ll do without him, so they bring him back to life the best they can and replace him with a Reploid. This is the story of the team that pilots that Reploid, the people secretly behind the Patron’s continued heroism, and the incredible sacrifices they make. Piloting the Patron Reploid might be the greatest thrill in history, but it comes at a price: total anonymity, and a gig where every flight knocks a year off your life. The pressures on the team are enormous…so when a tragedy strikes at the heart of Project Patron, the world hangs in the balance as the greatest secret in modern history trembles on the brink of revelation.”
STEVE ORLANDO ON SOME OF HIS INSPIRATIONS BEHIND CREATING THE BOOK:
“This book is Curt Swan’s SUPERMAN meets MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM, combining two iconic storytelling modes to create a new one. The inspirations clicked together for me so quickly with PROJECT PATRON – it started with “what if Gundam starred a Superman Robot?” And when I thought further, it grew into not just that basic idea, but with additional hints of classic works like T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS and a deconstruction of THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, one of the best known Superman stories of all time. “What if Superman’s death was a cover-up?” PROJECT PATRON answers that, with the sacrifice, intrigue, epic battles and cascading webs of conspiracies and lies that turn our faith as a society into a perilous house of cards.”
STEVE ORLANDO ON 3 REASONS WHY COMIC READERS SHOULD PICKUP THIS BOOK:
“Only three? Not a problem, folks.
1 – This is an action thriller for the present moment, where nothing is what it seems, so much we feel is real is artificial, and altruism is often greed in a well-designed mask. We WANT to think heroes like the Patron are real, but as with most myths ancient and modern, there’s nothing but men and women behind the wonder. And that might be scary, but it SHOULD be empowering. We make the heroes happen. And those we fight, though their actions may seem complex, all act for one reason: themselves. In PROJECT PATRON, greed isn’t good…greed is god. And the only people between us and the sacrificial altar to that god are a small group of unknown pilots, taking the biggest risks so we can keep being.
2 – Patrick Piazzalunga. The art on PROJECT PATRON is as a key to the book as its influences. We’re not resting on our laurels here, we’re launching off those damn things. Patrick’s work has a distinct Italian flavor, not unlike the work on DYLAN DOG, which creates amazing contrast to the base lore drawn from Silver Age Comics and Anime storytelling. His designs subvert expectations and give everything a lived-in, organic, rough-tech feel that sells the true emotional and physical toll of piloting the Patron Reploid. It’s perfect, and Patrick is the heart of this book.
3 – A new type of deconstruction. In the era of hits like CROSSOVER and THE BOYS, folks clearly hunger for a camera-tilt when it comes to their superheroes. PROJECT PATRON delivers that, both offering the big Silver Age style action that comics are known for, but with a unique twist that turns all those expectations on their heads. The Patron might still look to the world like the squeaky-toothed hero they grew up with, but the real heroes behind the Reploid are anything but. Just like us, they’re complicated, contradictory, passionate and real. They’re a reminder any of us could pilot the Patron…if we’re willing to pay the price.”