The thing I’ve come to love about comic books is that you can read ten comics in one week and they’ll all be completely different from one another, but each great in its own way. For instance take Doctor Mirage which has a sliver of the superhero genre as inspiration, but mostly resides in the supernatural adventure genre. It’s completely different from everything else I read this week and yet I enjoyed it just as much. It surprised me, it moved me and more importantly it entertained me. But the last issue of Doctor Mirage scared me. Not in a, “I don’t like where this is going” type of way, but in an “I don’t know where this is going” way. I was concerned for Shan, both for her physical body and her spirit as both were endangered. It was to the point that I was nervous reading this issue because my concern for this fictional character was so much. Yet I realize how ridiculous it is to worry so much for a fictional character. That’s how damn powerful Jen Van Meter’s writing is in my opinion.
In the last issue Shan found her husband. He’s with the Pale Mistress as the piano player all because of the very event that cost him his life. It’s this weird damned if you do, damned if you don’t type punishment, but Shan is able to talk the Pale Mistress into freeing her husband. After a bit Hwen wakes up and they begin interacting like a husband and wife would. It’s some incredible character work that Van Meter does in a very short time. Not only does Shan grow in this issue, but her relationship with her husband flourishes. Before this issue their relationship came across as forced and really just a part of the story; now it really feels as if it was the entire story which is only going to make the ending harder to deal with.
Roberto de la Torre has been an absolute treat on this series. He’s already shown what a talented artist he is on other Valiant titles, but now he’s really shining. His artwork, paired with David Baron’s coloring, have brought a flair to the story. It has a lot of personality and exudes the tone of the writing. In short, de la Torre and Van Meter have a strong co-op going.
I know this is just a mini-series, but I would love to see it continue. I know that Doc Mirage won’t be gone forever, but I do hope that she’ll return sooner rather than later. She has been a bright light in the Valiant Universe and shows how progressive and different the VU is. If you missed the earlier issues they are definitely worth check out in order to read this one.
Writer: Jen Van Meter Artist: Roberto de la Torre Colorist: David Baron Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/17/14 Format: Mini-Series (of 5); Print/Digital