Paradiso Digs Deep Into Our Worst Fears

Paradiso issue #2 hits stores January 10.

Paradiso issue #2 picks up right where the series’ premier issue left off, and the pace just keeps getting faster. Centuries after the Midnight Event changed the world forever, Jack Kryznan makes a deal to trade a Tinkerman’s notebook for access to the city of Paradiso, where he hopes to find answers to questions about his past.

In the first issue, the creative team did a significant — and impressive — amount of world-building in less than 30 pages. Writer Ram V and artist Devmalya Pramanik established a wasteland where people are desperate to get to the promised land. They are willing to do whatever it takes to reach the city Paradiso, though the road is dangerous. And beyond the city’s walls, safety is far from a promise.

The city Paradiso feels like a living, breathing entity, a character in its own right. Dearbhla Kelly spurs that with sharp, vibrant colors. Likewise, Aditya Bidikar’s lettering is always on point without ever taking away from the overall vibe of the story.

Paradiso draws obvious influence from Dante’s Divine Comedy, but also from works of hard sci-fi. Together, these influences inform the setting, the steampunk aesthetics, and the twisted knockoff-Disney toy representation.

The series clearly has a set trajectory; the story feels purposeful, the pacing steady; each page feels complete unto itself, so that the issue endings make the reader want to keep coming back for more. Paradiso picks up in media res and then takes off, pulling the reader along without overwhelming them with exposition, and it’s incredibly well done.

#Paradiso #2 does even more world-building, and suggests that there is far more going on beneath the surface than what we're ready to understand. Click To Tweet

Paradiso #2 does even more world-building, and suggests that there is far more going on beneath the surface than what we’re ready to understand. In a flashback to what the world looked like before the Midnight Event, the similarities to our current world are chilling. Even more striking is the implications of that flashback, especially in the details of Pramanik’s art.

Technology is not a god, though we put our faith in it just the same. Jack Kryznan was knocked out in the final stretch before reaching Paradiso in issue #1 and had his means of reactivating technology stolen from him. Now, his hunt for answers is more complicated than before, as he also has to find that tool. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one looking for it.

Technology is not a god, though we put our faith in it just the same. #Paradiso Click To Tweet

Paradiso #2 is very, very unsettling. It digs deep into some of our worst fears. Aside from technology, this issue explores betrayal, greed, and the monstrous desire for power. It also explores questions of humanity, trust, and the undeniably dangerous public nature of secrets.

I’ve said previously that Paradiso is science fiction at its best, and I fully stand by that assessment. Issue #2 made me appreciate the series even more. I think it’s a very good omen for things to come in comics in 2018 — at least, I hope so.

Paradiso Rating: ★★★★★

Paradiso issue #2 hits comic shops January 10. You can order back issues online through Image ComicsIn Full Bleed received an advanced copy PDF of the issue from the author for review purposes.

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