Paradax is the superhero you’d be if you stumbled upon a super suit when you weren’t being a prick-NEET coming down off acid who’s too much of an arsehole to let his missus know how much her pussy means to him. Yep, Paradax is the shit.
In this landmark collection of early comics from UK comic legends Peter Milligan (X-Statix, Shade the Changing Man) and Brendan McCarthy (Spider-Man: Fever, Mad Max: Fury Road) you can find Paradax: an 80s post-punk slacker who uses his super suit to walk through walls and stop wankers like Pinhead from wrecking havoc in ol’ London town.
McCarthy infuses Paradax with a number of allusions to Steve Ditko’s early Spider-Man art. Most obvious is Paradax’s silhouette, which takes Ditko’s meekly, unassuming Peter Parker and accentuates it into a post-modern punk with an Elvis pompadour who doesn’t remove his civvies when playing superhero in his Kid Flash-inspired super suit that can go intangible. Rad.
Though, if there’s one adjective I would use to describe McCarthy’s brilliance it would be ‘gnarly’. Like, you read Rogan Gosh (from this collection, also highly recommended) and all you’re thinking is this shit is fucking gnarly! His art seems like spiritualised energy from some distant dream realm just beyond the drugs. It’s not far out stuff but it is far out stuff, if you catch my drift.
Though, for me, there’s something about Paradax’s look and style that really resonates. A rebel with a ‘fuck off’ cause. It might be because Milligan structured the Paradax scripts and many others during the 80s like 3min punk songs. So, instead of feeling like a Hollywood blockbuster, you have this psychedelic and clangy guitar fest. And the art went with it.
If you come across this collection in your local comic book store or any other damn good book shop then pull your wallet out and drop some cash for it. It’s inspiring, entertaining, imaginative and a bloody riot.
Give me more.