By Ram V, Devmalya Pramanik, Dearbhla Kelly, Aditya Bidikar, Lizzie Kaye, and Shanna Matuszak
Issue to issue, Paradiso is the series that refuses to be put in a category when it comes to telling its story. As more knowledge about its world is given, even more is shrouded in mystery, serving as a trail of bread crumbs that invite the reader to dive even deeper into its strange universe. But while this may be irritating to some, there’s a lot to love within its beautifully detailed pages as the pieces click into place.
Paradiso #3 is an interesting chapter filled with little bits of pay-off built up over the last two issues. It’s a little surprising to remember just how much Ram V has established in such little time, especially in creating a wide range of characters with such varying roles and desires. So much in fact, that the book’s events serve as a bit of cathartic relief. Seeing them interact in meaningful ways, whether it be in forming a larger group or engaging in combat, brings a nice level of closure to open story threads. This is also all really well-paced, giving the action time to breathe between dramatically resonant scenes.
Jack, Paradiso’s main character, has also begun to have a much more intriguing relationship to the overall plot. Aside from being the caretaker of the technologically advanced pneumas, some revelations about him will place his role in a different light. It becomes easier to be more sympathetic to his situation and to his story in general, even though there is much more to be told. Other developments, such as the backstory of a settlement within the city, are delivered in greater detail. While it may seem a little odd, the pacing of this story matches up perfectly with the actions of the characters in the moment. These kinds of details weaved within are what make this series worth the second look.
Devmalya Pramanik once again wows in creating visual wonder. From floating buildings to intense fight sequences, there’s rarely a page that doesn’t inspire. The attention to detail in a scene when a robot meets a magnetic weapon is just one example where the gritty post-apocalyptic setting meshes well with futuristic elements. Dearbhla Kelly’s colors give technology an ominous feeling, opting to fill dark rooms with the contrasting lights of monitors. Aditya Bidikar’s lettering brings the mechanical voice heard in previous issues to life, covering panels with menacing glitching text. When all of these talents are combined, the resulting instances of technologically dark imagery bring Paradiso right in line with the tone of its subject matter.
Paradiso #3 continues to top itself in both artistic quality and character investment. The unveiling of information on the world gets better as the series goes on, giving readers enough to think about for the next installment while also providing enough to not feel detached. There’s plenty more to expect from Paradiso, whether it be what’s in store for its cast or what kind of new visual storytelling element will be used in the future.