REVIEW: ‘Paradox Girl First Cycle’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Paradox Girl First Cycle is published by Image Comics, written by Cayti Elle Bourquin, Yishan Wong, Kimberly Algeri-Wong, Evan Moore, and Bill Adlam, illustrated by Yishan Li, with colors by Challenging Studios, and letters by Challenging Studios.

Most time traveling adventures have one golden rule, you never interact with another version of yourself. The results are always dire. Paradox Girl not only breaks this rule, but it also does so with total abandon. There are maybe more panels in this book with multiple versions of Paradox Girl than ones with a lone version of her. This concept is taken to its peak during a secret agent-themed issue where versions of Paradox Girl plays every role. Hero, love interest and dastardly villain all included. It is pretty crazy, and at times a bit difficult to keep up with.

When we are first introduced to Paradox Girl we are informed that she herself is unsure of her origin at this point, as she has altered her own timeline so many times she can’t even keep it straight. Every problem she faces is solved through her ability to jump backward, or forward in time.

This aspect of the character is used to create an interesting narrative flow as some stories center around a point in time where multiple versions of Paradox Girl interact and each time the story arrives back at that point. In the story, you follow a different version of the character until you get the whole story. This is a very unique approach to storytelling and is in itself worth checking the book out for. This narrative approach is the book’s greatest strength but also at times, its greatest weakness.

The book itself is a collection of individual stories with no interconnecting thread between them. And while a couple of the stories contained within are genuinely good stories, one even pulled on my heart-strings a bit. But the bulk of the stories seem to exist purely to showcase the strange interactions Paradox Girl has with herself or the non-linear way she approaches time itself. With no real feeling of purpose to the stories, they by and large end up being a collocation of fun stories each focus on, an at times overly cartoonish character. Think like a PG-Deadpool that doesn’t break the fourth wall.

Yishan Li’s art serves the character and world wonderfully, as it embraces the tone of the book and does a wonderful job of making sure that when various versions of Paradox girl are present if you need to know which is which, or if there is one particular one you need to follow. The art is always clear and easy to follow.

‘The character models themselves have a strong anime quality to them, complete with the exaggerated emotional expressions. This is doubly true for Paradox Girl herself. Again, I feel this is an excellent choice to approach this book with. If you are going with an offbeat zany feel, you should lean right into it.

So while I might have preferred the book more if it had a connected narrative as opposed to several disjointed one shots, it still manages to deliver some fun, heartwarming moments, and one story that was genuinely emotional. If a breezy, fun read, with a unique approach to narrative design sounds like it is what you are looking for, this book will give you an enjoyable experience.

Paradox Girl First Cycle
4

TL;DR

So while I might have preferred the book more if it had a connected narrative as opposed to several disjointed one shots, it still manages to deliver some fun, heartwarming moments