Paradox Girl is a magnificently done comedy superhero tale. It really is as simple as that.
It’s laugh out loud funny, insanely clever, beautifully done piece of comics, taking all the insanity of time travel, all the (to quote Doctor Who) wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff, and just plays with it. Plays with it for laughs and succeeds, gloriously, wonderfully well. Quite brilliant.
She’s a hero with the power to teleport anywhere in time and space, yet she’s managed to make an absolute mess of her life, changing history so many times she’s simply not sure who she is anymore.
Originally published as It started as a Kickstarter back in 2014, but the individual comics (#1-6) have now been picked up by Image Comics for this collection. I was going to give you a full review, but this is one of those comics where I’d much rather you experienced it for yourself, so there’s not going to be much plot detail here, all the better for you to experience, first hand, the funniest, cleverest thing I’m likely to read this year.
In Paradox Girl, you don’t need to worry about the mechanics of time travel at all, it’s definitely not about the science, or the logic. This is all about the sheer creativity of the writer and artist playing with the ideas, every issue interconnected, pages referencing each other, huge numbers of callbacks, cyclical storytelling.
And, despite the complexity of what goes on, it all makes complete narrative sense. Writer and artist are in perfect sync with each other, crafting something that’s complex, incredibly clever, and just so wonderfully playful and marvelously funny along with it all.
Across the six issues here, there’s just so much going on. It might be the day in her life, solving dinosaur mayhem whilst zipping back in time to get hold of your favourite snack that they discontinued in ’87. Or the pest control issues that just spiral out of control. Or the sweet sentimental tale of stopping and asking an old man why he’s so upset. Or a brilliant James Bond pastiche with Paradox Girl playing all the roles. Every single story is done so well.
Take this little wonderful sequence from issue two, where Paradox Girl is having a few wolverine issues, complete with those not trademarked ‘Snikt!’ noises. One of her selves solution? Go get a polar bear. But, of course.
And then she needs something to get rid of the polar bear. Natural solution? You’ll be getting a cybernetically enhanced ostrich thing with mounted quad-cannons.
And then a dinosaur with a pacifier comes into it. And it keeps on going and going and going, the whole thing cycling around, the first page feeding the last page, which feeds the first… over and over, wonderfully clever.
As for the funny… well, comedy runs rich through every page here, clever comedy, great comedy, silly, stupid comedy. But just to give you a little, wonderful example…
That’s the setup, Paradox Girl playing both sides of the gag, onboard a train where she’s playing all the parts in a James Bond-esque fantasy roleplay thing, playing it out again and again and again, different Paradox Girls playing different roles each time.
And now, the wonderful, ridiculous punchline image…
Oh yes. They went there. Of course they went there. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve had this much fun reading a comic since Kyle Baker’s comics.
Paradox Girl really is quite a magnificent work of comics.
To make something this funny is clever.
To make something this funny and this clever is just wonderful.
Please, don’t miss out on something this marvelous.
I was sold within the first few pages of the first issue, ‘A Day In The Life Of A Paradox‘. The first six pages are right there underneath this. You’ll love it just as much as I did.
Paradox Girl Volume 1, published by Image Comics on May 29 2019. Writer Cayti Elle Bourquin, artist Yishan Li, colors & letters Challenging Comics.
You can find sample pages plus a complete issue 1 for your delight at the Paradox Girl website here.
And finally, as a little bonus, the fabulous Paradox Girl covers from the original Hana Comics series for your enjoyment…