Comic Name: The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Writer: Jen Van Meter
Artist: Robert De La Torre
# of Issues: 5
Release Date: 2015
Reprints The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #1-5 (September 2014-January 2015). Doctor Shan Mirage can talk to the dead. She’s used her abilities to help the police and others solve crimes and connect to their loved ones. Now, Doctor Mirage in in the fight of her life. She’s facing an army from the Deadside that doesn’t intend to stay dead and stopping them means find the spirit of her dead husband Hwen. The world is on the brink of an invasion, and Doctor Mirage is the only thing that stands in its way.
Written by Jen Van Meter and illustrated by Robert De La Torre, The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage was a five issue limited series released by Valiant Comics. The series is a spin-off title from Shadowman which first reintroduced the new Doctor Mirage character after Valiant Comics was relaunched.
I like the idea of a medium who works and talks to the dead. I always felt that Peter Jackson’s movie The Frighteners was a great concept that was blown. I had hoped that Doctor Mirage would fall in line with The Frighteners, but the comic is more of a standard supernatural adventure instead of expanding on Doctor Mirage’s abilities.
Early in the series, there is a good moment where Doctor Mirage helps people in a group talk to their loved ones. I liked this aspect of the story. The main story of the comic however became very much like a Doctor Strange meets Hellblazer type adventure with an army of demonic dead souls planning an invasion of Earth. I don’t think it is a bad story, but I had hoped for something a little different.
I felt the art for the comic wasn’t up to the level of some of the other Valiant comics. Valiant suffers a bit from not having very dynamic costumes for its characters (except maybe X-O Manowar). Doctor Mirage does have a cool style for her look, and I think visually it could be really appealing. I think this title however is a bit over-inked and feels a lot like a ’90s comic. Some toning back and unique coloring (maybe using Saga’s illustrator Fiona Staples as an example) could really help a character get a look.
It is a little thing, but I actually love the title of the comic. The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage has the showmanship I wanted from this comic. Is she a gimmick? Is she legitimate? I wanted more ambiguity to her abilities and more suspicion from the audience. This would have fit in well with the origins of Doctor Strange who most considered a hoax throughout the early years of Marvel Comics. Pushing Doctor Mirage into a big adventure was a bit of a mistake, but since this is a limited series, I hope that new Doctor Mirage adventures will follow.
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