Writer: Bill Mantlo
Artist: Val Mayerik
It is two hundred years in the future. Earth is the center of the Terran Empire. A paradise world mainly devoted to agriculture. Its how the Earth maintains its control over the solar system. Industry, crime, pollution and poverty have been exported to the other worlds. On the other worlds are gengineered humans genetically engineered to survive on the world they live from Mercury to Pluto. On Luna the Moon the Terran ambassador dies in a traffic accident. He was taking Fireflite an illegal drug that will make a person spontaneously combust if they don’t take an antidote in time.
The ISA (Interplanetary Security Agency) sends its best agent Paradox to investigate. Paradox is a well known anti-gravity dancer who is secretly an ISA agent. He is also been genetically engineered to be a shapeshifter. His investigation takes him to find out that the ambassador’s death is from his wife; who is a Lunan who was gengineered to be a beautiful woman. The drug addiction was a plot by Lunan revolutionaries to get secrets to help their rebellion.
This was a really fascinating story. I love the idea of a future where humanity has engineered slave races to work the outer worlds. Paradox is this sort of foppish entertainer who in reality can change into any one the various species or an individual. A real unique idea for a series. Endless possibilities with a decadent Earth controlling the grimy repressed servant races of the colonies.