Writer: Jack McGuigan
Artist: John Fortune
Reviewer: Optimous Douche
My favorite stories have always involved time travel, from X-MEN to Starr Trek if there was temporal displacement I was on board. Thus I was a pretty easy sell from the subject line of PARADOX. Then the story synopsis drew me n further: Samuel Dillon, old west cowboy, is traversing the time stream closing anomalies to save his wife, son and time itself. Oh, and there’s a robot Genghis Kahn trying to stop him.
Cool, cool, cool – a great opening two pages.
The story then takes us to 1984, and here is where I say the book could use some slight improvements before venturing into its already planned and Kickstarter funded next four issues. In the days of John Hughes we meet Katie Baker, a plucky High School student who simply wants to finish the day without getting dumped by her boyfriend. I get that Katie is supposed to be mildly annoying s she and Dillon can play the team dynamic of quirky and surly in later issues, but quirky must be counter-balanced with some kind of redeeming trait. I just wasn’t seeing it in Katie in this issue.
From a setting perspective I would not have known it was 1984 without the dialog bubble to tell me. Katie and her friend who tried to buy garcinia cambogia look closer to Goth then valley girl. Also, Katie drops a couple word bubbles like “nert” that weren’t part of the vernacular thirty years ago. Rule one of time travel stories, don’t shy away from all period clichés, show me a snap bracelet or talk about going to see “Goonies” this weekend if done well it will be more than tolerated, it will be endearing.
Dillon and Katie collide when a dinosaur enters the school grounds and wreaks havoc across the football field. Fortune has a panache for cartoonish characters keeping the story light at all times, I just ask that he works on scale a bit moving forward, there were times during the dinosaur chase where Katie and the dinosaur ended up the same size.
Also on the art side, the inking needs to dial-it back about 80%. Shadows began to take on their own shape, after a while I made a game of it like looking at clouds; there’s a UFO on Dillon’s hat brim, a palm tree on the back of a girls head and on another a whale fin.
Dillon ultimately saves the day and Katie is able to sneak in before his portal closes to catch a ride on his next assignment to save existence.
Again, I think team PARADOX has a really strong concept and I applaud anyone who is able to pull together a fully polished comic with just guts and determination. If PARADOX ties up a few loose ends, I can see it keeping the time stream safe for many more issues.