This has been quite the week for comics. I was extremely happy to see the return of The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage as I was privy to an advanced look at the first issue and had to wait even longer to read this issue. Let me you tell you right now that I was sad by the time I finished reading it. For one, I was just sad that I didn’t have more to read, but I was also sad because this is just a mini-series and I really think it has the potential to be more with this creative team. This issue actually throws you a curve and begins back at March’s house. He’s the wealthy man who contacted Mirage about the creature he’s bound to. Both the creature and March are being questioned and beaten about Mirage and what exactly March has hired her to do. March claims it’s just to find his deceased wife, but the men are convinced that he’s trying to leave their club. We’re scarce on the details, but they do find Mirage eventually… too bad she’s already projected her spirit.
Mirage ends up in the Night Garden and is greeted by three people that act like Customs and ask her what her business is there. Mirage states it and then asks if they are her guide. One of them informs her that they’re the guards while she’s in their world. Basically they protect the opening that she used while she’s using it. They also tell her about the different customs that are across the land which means that there are rules, but they change depending on where and who she’s with. Lucky for her she bumps into a woman that she recently helped. That’s right one of the widows dead spouses helps her out, but the cost is just a story.
There’s plenty of story left including two stories from Mirage as she pays her dues. I’m really captivated by Jen Van Meter’s writing on this series. She’s really proven just how incredible of a writer she is as she writes a complex narrative, but then also builds the world and backstory. It’s not just one world though as she’s building the human world and the afterlife. There’s so much going on in the afterlife and much like Mirage you kind of want to walk around and explore. I was genuinely bummed out that I had to wait another month to read more of this story, it’s that damn good.
I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot of Roberto de la Torre’s artwork, but out of all his work at Valiant, this is his best. Van Meter isn’t the only world builder as Torre’s art is tasked with the giving life and substance to the afterlife. It’s a complex world with holes and metaphors and all of it is really abstract when you look and think about it. Torre’s does a great job of making it abstract and yet something we can all wrap our heads around.
David Baron excels with the coloring. The hues change with each scene, location and timeline which gives the reader a clear indication of what timeline and area they’re looking at. Baron compliments Torre’s linework wonderfully as the coloring never overtakes Torre’s distinctive gritty style.
If you missed the first issue then you’re in luck because the second printing of that issue is out today as well. If you liked any of the other Valiant titles then you’ll like this one as well. If you’ve never read a Valiant book then this is a great place to start.
Writer: Jen Van Meter Artist: Roberto de la Torre Colorist: David Baron Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/8/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital