Written by, Ram V
Art by, Dev Pramanik
Colors by, Alba Cardona Gil
Letters by, Aditya Bidikar
This story is the second installment of the new story arc called “The Dark Dwellers” in which we learn about the origin of the Dark Dwellers, their conflict with the top dwellers, and what they need from them. Jack, the protagonist, makes an agreement with Vasilja, the leader of the Dark Dwellers, and offers to use the pnuemas to help the Dark Dwellers. In return, Vasilja promises to tell Jack the answer to his deepest question: Why he came to Paradiso and where did he come from. However, each time he uses the pnuemas he wipes out his memories, which makes him vulnerable and reliant on his cohorts to remember what he learns from Vasilja.
The post-apocalyptic, man-made, machine-world, mixed with spiritualism of this story makes it unique. Lots of stories marginalize one side of the man versus creator story; however, this one fully embraces both sides with variations and twists that make it feel fresh. The character work is detailed, complicated, hard to follow, but satisfying. Jack’s connection to Paradiso, how he is both different from others and dangers to some, increases the interest of the reader because it’s surrounded in mystery. In addition, the power held by the pnuemas and Jack’s capacity to use them and how they track to his origin story is interesting and confusing, as well.
The entertainment value has to do with the trope of man versus creation and the origin story of Jack. Tension is built through discomfort. The elaborate plot and character development lead to confusion and intrigue both. Readers may become frustrated by the number of characters and how intricately they are intertwined. Others readers will find this post-apocalyptic story anything but ordinary and will enjoy the deliberate approach the writer is using to develop a full story. I highly recommend this book to readers of Image comic books and who love science fiction stories. Overall = 9