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The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1 review

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This review is a repost of our original advance review of Dr. Mirage. This book is fantastic, and if you haven’t yet picked it up, do yourself a favor and read it, as it definitely is a new chapter that defines the future of Valiant books.

Dr. Mirage, plus edition variant

Dr. Mirage, plus edition variant

The story

While I am familiar with the praise Jen Van Meter has received for her writing work in the past, I have never read her work, so this #1 is my introduction to the writer – and wow, what an introduction!

The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1 is a tremendously well-written book. The story is fluid, intricate, and intriguing, but never difficult to follow. This book being the introduction of these characters to a large part of the comic book reading audience, it does a great job at an origin tale while keeping pace. If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Mirage, you could pick up the original series, but the tone here is much more serious and emotional, and the story much more engrossing.

Let’s quickly recap the plot of this issue. Shan, the titular Dr. Mirage, has the power to contact the dead. She’s in a bad place financially, and uses her powers to make ends meet, but just barely: her husband is dead, and her home is nearing foreclosure. As the book starts, she agrees to do a job contacting the loved ones of a group of widows, a job she reluctantly takes because she is still hurting from the loss of her husband. Interestingly, while she can contact the dead, her husband is not among those she can contact, starting an interesting mystery. As the book comes to a close, Shan picks up a large paying job, I believe partly due to some clues received by a mysterious stranger that may help her find her husband.

Dr. Mirage is clearly not just another superhero book, and I love that. Having recently read indie titles such as The Wicked+The Divine, Outcast, and Devilers, I am very looking forward to this title because there are some resemblances to those books. The closest book to this in the Valiant universe is Shadowman which has definitely had it’s issues throughout its run. In fact, this book does a much better job a horror and suspense than that book ever did, and I am reveling in it.

If you want to read a few pages of this issue, be sure to check out our preview of this issue, as well as an interview with Jen Van Meter at Comics Alliance.

The art

After I read every Valiant book I am always so impressed by how well the artists styles fit the book they are penciling, and I see no better choice than Roberto De La Torre for Dr. Mirage. His style perfectly suits the haunting landscape and tortured characters which Van Meter has written, and the character designs are great change of pace from much of the rest of the Valiant universe. If you read our preview, you can expect a lot more of that throughout.

Overall

Dr. Mirage is a beautiful book. Period. Jen Van Meter has created a beautifully emotional story that I just can’t get enough of, and Roberto De La Torre’s pencils fit the tone of this book perfect. This miniseries is shaping up to be quite a thrilling ride, and I cannot wait for issue #2. If you’re interested in the more mystical books or just appreciate quality writing, The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1 is one book you don’t want to miss.

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Issue information

Published September 3, 2014
Written by Jen Van Meter
Art by Roberto De La Torre
Cover by Travel Foreman
Price: $3.99, $4.99 Plus Edition

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