I’m going to start by saying spoiler warning. The reason being is that I don’t think I can cover even a part of this without letting my joy for this issue out, which in turn will likely reveal some aspect of the story.
The series started off sad so if you’re at all surprised that it ends a little sad then you weren’t really paying attention. What’s remarkable though is that writer Jen Van Meter took a relationship that basically existed as a passing fact “widow” and turned it into a deep relationship between two characters. Let me it put it this way, there are comic characters with seventy plus years of history that don’t have as deep or meaningful of a connection as Shan and Hwen and Van Meter did it in five issues.
The opening shows their selflessness that they know there are things bigger and more important than themselves and the fact that Shan just wants to pretend for a minute that they’re all that matters was just heart breaking as they both throw themselves into the fray.
What it also did was reinvigorate Shan making her fully embrace the mantle of Doctor Mirage and turn her into a full-fledged bad ass. I can only imagine that traveling the afterlife for what feels like days, and then to jump back into your body which has also been dragged around, is pretty fucking exhausting. Yet Shan doesn’t miss a beat and begins doing her part to keep the barrier in place and keep Ivros at bay.
Van Meter really out does herself with this issue and really with the entire series. There have been a couple of other Valiant mini-series as of late that didn’t match up to the standard the Valiant relaunched with, but Mirage has raised the bar for the entire line.
No surprise that Roberto de la Torre continues to be magnificent with the art for this series. The way he’s able to capture the emotion of the characters but then switch into action goes along perfectly with Van Meter’s script. His gritty style was the perfect choice for this world and by the end he made it his own. Truly he has because this story maps so much of the supernatural aspect of the Valiant Universe that it’s impossible for him not to have left his brand.
If you missed this series last year then you should seriously pick it up from the beginning. Better than the ending was the news that the character would be continuing in a new series. I sincerely hope that it’s the same creative team, but we’ll see. In the meantime pick up this series, it was a strong contender for my best mini-series and was my winner for “Best Revival” which should tell you how much I enjoyed it.
Writer: Jen Van Meter Artist: Roberto de la Torre Publisher: Valiant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/14/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital