Chico Comics Page Review: Paradiso #4
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Ram V
Illustrator: Devmalya Pramanik
Colorist: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Reviewer: Chris “The Bearded Wonder” Natale
Paradiso #4 concludes the first arc of the series and I have to say, it was epic. Even as I write this, I am trying to contain my excitement and find the right words to express how I feel about it without spoiling anything. I have to tip my hat to Ram V because I could not predict what happened in this issue the way it did. I love how the issue started with Yosef, Jack’s mentor and father-like figure being there for him when he was being bullied by other kids. That really hit home for me and it showed me how close they were, which made Jack losing him in the beginning of the first issue, more heartfelt and impactful for me. I have been on board with this series since the first issue and Ram’s writing instills a desire in me to know more about the city of Paradiso, the Traveler, the Guardians, etc. I am excited to see where the second arc takes these characters (it starts in July so be sure to check out the first arc while you have time). Jack seems to have come a long way through making friends (and enemies) and I feel that he still has more to come. I think the most intriguing character to me in this issue was Mr. Honeybad (one of the Guardians of the city). It surprised me because the character cannot talk, but his facial expressions kind of spell out how he is feeling. I read the issue twice and both times, I just felt for his character and I am curious to see what he is going to do next.
When looking at the art, Pramanik’s work really helps flesh out this book, characters, settings and all. His artwork has grown on me since the first issue and there is a double page spread in this comic that is just absolutely stunning. It features a crazy fight scene and Pramanik executes it flawlessly. It left me with a “Damn..” expression and I had to admire it for a minute before moving forward. The colors by Dearbhla Kelly are the muscles and ligaments to Pramanik’s skeletal frame. They only compliment the art that is being shown. I personally love the bright green color that is used with the Pneumas. It really stands out to me and is just a pleasure to look at. Other than that, her colors lean more towards darker tones with some light ones here and there. Her coloring style just fits the dystopian fantasy aspect of the book and it almost gives it a gritty, realistic kind of feel to it. The lettering by Aditya Bidikar is easy to follow and the emphasis on certain words made the book enjoyable to read aloud.
Overall, this book is a rollercoaster ride of emotions as well as an epic sci-fi dystopian fantasy adventure, which is what I love about it. Paradiso includes unique characters that seem to all have a purpose for being in the story. I cannot think of one character that gave me the feeling of “why are you here.” I am definitely invested in some characters more than others, but that is to be expected and we all have our own preferences. I encourage everyone to check this book out. In case you are wondering, this issue came out on Wednesday and the trade paperback with the first four issues comes out in May. Whether you get the single issues or prefer trades, I can tell you for a fact that this is a story that you won’t want to miss out on.
In the midst of the chaos between the Guardians and the Redwaters fighting one another, Jack Kryznan, Vance and Karin are about to drive away in the opposite direction until Jack has a flashback of when he was younger. It is of his Tinkerman mentor, Yosef. It is time to act. Jack gets out of the car and he begins to realize that he may be on the wrong side of this war and that in this very moment, he needs to be brave. Will that be enough or is Jack too late?
I’m in Paradiso! Paradiso #4 is the epic conclusion to the first story arc of this sci-fi dystopian tale and it delivers. Some characters’ true colors are revealed. Each one feels unique and important in their own way. The art really fits with its gritty and dark tones while also utilizing some bright and recognizable colors. This is a story that you won’t want to miss so be sure to check out the four issues of this series today at your local comic shop or you can wait for the trade paperback to be released in May. The official rating by the Bearded Wonder is a full beard on the beard scale, which is a 10/10.
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