Image Credit: Cutaway Comics (Fair Use)
Image Description: The cover of Paradise Found #1
Tides was provided with a free review copy of the comic
By James Ashworth
With the Fourth Doctor having Eldrad Must Live! and Omega, the Fifth Doctor Lytton, and the Sixth Doctor Orcini, the Seventh Doctor must have been feeling a bit hard done by as his era waited for a spinoff series from Cutaway Comics. But the wait is now over with the arrival of Paradise Found, looking to the future of Paradise Towers and its inhabitants from the eponymous story. Though decades may have past, and the apartments are perhaps closer to paradise than before, its first issue shows it’s still not a good time to be a Yellow Kang…
Taking place some time after the events of the television story, the comic follows Viv-2, daughter of Bin Liner and Fire Escape, as she dreams of adventure in the much more mundane world that has come into being. While the decision to follow a descendent of characters past can be something of a cliché in sequels, Paradise Found‘s world is different enough from what went before to get away with it, especially with the sense of growing unease bubbling under the surface.
The comic also sets itself apart from Cutaway’s other series through a number of stylistic choices. The story is a riot of different colours amid the grey backdrops of the Paradise Towers complex, giving it a colour palette different from any of the previous comics. Meanwhile, the script works to illustrate the divisions in the planet’s society, with each group of characters, be they military, Rezzie, Caretaker or Kang, having their own way of speaking.
However, there are signs that things have changed, particularly amongst the youthful Kangs. While the older Kangs may have settled down somewhat, integrating Kangspeak more closely into the English language, their children are still striking out together. The different coloured factions have united together, their rainbow of colours emblematic of the following Paradise Towers has developed amongst LGBTQ+ fans. With the direction the story appears to be heading in, new directions will be vital to the future of their society rather than living, quite literally, in the remains of the past.
Readers also gain a brief glimpse into this history of the complex, with Paradise Before offering a two page look into the towers’ construction in the first place. Kroagnon gets a first name as the origins of the television story and its comic sequel are laid down, with the possibility that this back-up strip could end up coming full circle and leading into Paradise Found itself.
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a second backup strip in the form of Terra Alpha Nights, an anthology of short vignettes looking at life offscreen in The Happiness Patrol. It’s hard to say too much with two short pages, but even this look into the background of Graeme Curry’s magnum opus exposes the hypocrisy which lies at the heart of Helen A’s regime.
With three separate stories and a couple of interviews, it’s difficult to feel short changed after reading Paradise Found #1. The pieces have been shuffled into some interesting positions, so it will be interesting to see how they play out over the coming issues.