Be honest – would you really want to be stuck forever with you? How about an infinite supply of you, sharing one identity, one unfastened superpower to time travel and worst yet, one apartment? This is just a day in the life of writer Cayti Elle Bourquin‘s and artist Yishan Li‘s hero in her self-titled series Paradox Girl.
As an experienced time traveler, Paradox Girl has faced many enemies. Clad in a power blazer and sexy librarian glasses, she battles gigantic lizards, disgruntled fired employees and nature’s deadliest predators. Mostly, she clashes with the many versions of herself. Because time is definitely not linear in her world, PB is able to sit down next to herself on the couch and watch some television, all the while she’s trying to sleep in the other room. Her time traveling prowess causes problems big and small. Someone ate the last discontinued knock-off waffle; someone unintentionally drove a man to hold her and her partner in crime Axiom Man up at gunpoint; someone left a polar bear in the living room. Luckily, she takes her days in stride with an attitude perfectly captured in her comic cover above.
Hopefully Bourquin and Li had as much fun creating Paradox Girl as it was to read it. It’s a vibrant story headlined by a colorful hero. With so many comics/films/YouTube commercials/whatever media outlet turning towards the darker side, it was a sweet relief to read a work that decidedly went light. If Paradox Girl decided to brood, she’d be justified. She can’t even have an origin story because she’s changed her past so many times and can’t remember what it was. That is tragic; cue the black and white colour scheme. Instead, PG tackles her quirks (annoying habits) comically. The comic is cleverly written and emits several laugh out loud moments, or in this reader’s case, superbly attractive snort-chortles. The funniest moments occur when she fights with herself, which is frequently, and through several periods of time.
The artwork for Paradox Girl compliments the story’s specific style well. Li splashes shades of blue, heavily in issue #2 in particular, which pairs nicely with Paradox Girl herself. Li also knows when to hold back on details entirely for comedic affect, be that expressed through facial expressions or action sequences. The artist also uses characters’ speech bubbles to highlight their emotion. For example, temporary villain The Paramaniac gets jagged bubbles instead of circles, because that’s the best way to express his emotions.
Of course, Paradox Girl isn’t without its flaws. They pale in comparison to its overall pleasantness, but they should still be acknowledged. At times, it is a little slow. The comic waits to introduce its first official villain Payoff until the end of the third issue. Additionally, while Paradox Girl is a bolt of personality, her partner in crime leaves a little to be desired. PG’s untapped superpower must be to suck up other people’s personality, because compared to her, Axiom Man is as dynamic as a floor board.
Overall, Paradox Girl is a delightful comic with a strong premise and charming lead. It winks at other superheroes and pop culture references without treading into parody territory. Paradox Girl is smart, funny and likely to entertain many fans for years to come. PG’s probably already there any way.
Has Paradox Girl travelled into your future reading list? Already had a go? Are you currently reading it as we speak? Check out more Paradox Girl here and let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter!