New comic Paranoia Killer is a dark thriller with an ufabet cartoon look

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New comic Paranoia Killer is a dark thriller with an ufabet cartoon look

Sometimes the art and narrative of a comic go hand-in-hand. A horror story might be full of lots of black and reds, while a superhero comic is brighter and cleaner. Paranoia Killer goes in a different direction. The series is a dark thriller, full of violence and serious subject matter, but with a visual style reminiscent of a Nickelodeon cartoon. Somehow, it still works.

What is it? Paranoia Killer is a brand-new series — so far, only the first of four parts is available — that centers on Nathalie Laertes, an FBI agent forced to take on a very strange undercover job: impersonating her twin brother. It turns out that her twin, who she believed to be just a slightly troubled sibling, was actually one of the world’s most infamous hitmen. Surprise!

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The thriller setup has a lot of potential, and I’m hooked after just the first issue. But part of what makes Paranoia Killer so interesting is its contrast in styles. The story is R-rated material; you’ll see characters shot dead in cold blood, and it opens with what appears to be a torture sequence. But it’s coupled with a surprisingly lighthearted art style, with flat colors and lots of clear, simple shapes.

In the first issue’s afterword, creator Victor Santos says this contrast of styles was born partly out of stubbornness. “I went for a more exaggerated cartoon style in this book, I suppose because I’m very stubborn, and I keep reading from time-to-time some critics saying that you can’t do ‘serious things’ with that style,” he writes.