Comic Review – The Chimpanzee Complex: 1 Paradox

The Chimpanzee Complex: 1 Paradox

Writer: Richard Marazano

Artist: Jean-Michel Ponzio

Publisher: Cinebook

Paradox is the first of three volumes which comprise The Chimpanzee Complex. Set in 2035 the book features Helen Freeman, an astronaut who was set to be the first woman on Mars until budget cuts rendered her life’s ambition impossible. Helen’s fortunes change significantly when a 20th century space module lands in the Indian Ocean. Once the crew are identified it becomes clear that nothing humankind thought they knew about space can be taken for granted. As NASA’s top astronaut, Helen is brought in to play her part in events which it seems may just necessitate that mission to Mars after all.

Paradox is gripping science fiction. The near-future setting is recognisable, grounding the story in a convincing, believable world. Ponzio’s eerily photographic artwork also contributes to this sense of realism. There is a very cinematic feel to the art which is reinforced by the way the panels are structured and even by the oversized pages themselves. Although the translation is generally well done, there are a very few panels which have been translated less successfully and at these times the dialogue is a little confusing. This small criticism aside, Paradox is a fast-paced, engaging read. All three volumes of The Chimpanzee Complex are available from Cinebook now.


GS Reviewer: Gareth Webb

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