Escaping a digital void – Paradise Found #3 reviewed

paradise found 3

Image Credit: Cutaway Comics (Fair Use)

Image Description: The cover of Paradise Found #3

Tides was provided with a free review copy of the comic

By James Ashworth

It’s been some time since we last ventured to Paradise Towers, but after a six month wait we’re thrown right back into the aftermath of the last issue’s cliffhanger. This release begins something of a pincer movement as it’s prequel and sequel to Paradise Towers are drawn inextricably closer together as we see the characters’ previous moves, and where they then went…

After riffing heavily on The Matrix in the previous issue, Paradise Found #3 only leans in harder to its themes of reality and artifice. It does this successfully while eschewing the convoluted nature of The Matrix’s sequels, and instead embracing other pop cultural anchors, including the comics and cinematic universe of Marvel, as suitable replacements. In doing so, the mileage of Paradise Towers purists may vary with some of the story’s revelations, but it may be wise to hold judgement until their true extent is revealed in the next, and final, issue.

Paradise Found is also increasingly embracing its narrative of rising up against oppression, in whatever form that may be found. From the less confrontational resistance of Viv-2’s parents, to her own fight against false saviours, it’s good to see that people of all preferences, backgrounds and persuasions are becoming increasingly vocal about themselves with each issue. Yellow Kang Bubble Wrap even gets her own short story to drive this point home, adding a new dimension to the first issue.

Meanwhile, over in Terra Alpha Nights, the state funeral of the colony’s leader is going down a treat. While a positive outlook on death is a major part of real world cultures, the artificiality of the occasion on Terra Alpha belies the repression and unhealthy attitudes that lie beneath. It’s also a short strip that can raise a chuckle or two even while having a somewhat bleak outlook.

It’s another successful release for Cutaway Comics, as the endgame for Paradise Towers begins to approach. There’s plenty to wrap up, and many possible ways it could go, but the writers have shown that bringing this series to a good ending should be well within their grasp.

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