by Jen Van Meter, Roberto De La Torre
The Death Defying Dr. Mirage #2 returns with another exciting issue as we learn more about the darker side of the Valiant universe.
When we last left Dr. Mirage, she had started her journey into the other side, and this issue has a great exploration of that world. We learn about various different parts which make up the underworld – for lack of a better term – and some of the rules of how magic works here and in the world of the living.
Let me preface by saying that this book is not an easy read. There are quite a few new characters, and a lot of jumping around to new and previously unexplored places with little explanation. I have no doubt that these will be further explained in future issues, but it makes this book difficult to follow the first read around. I highly recommend reading this book at least twice if you get a little confused. This isn’t your typical superhero title and the intricacies of the writing are much more subtle than in your average book.
With that said, I absolutely loved this issue. The story in the first issue was interesting but the characters seemed to be a little flat at times, and this issue changed that for me. As payment to a spirit to serve as a guide, Shan tells a story about one of her first experiences with the occult fighting poltergeists which was a great way to learn a little bit more about her background – a device which will apparently be used throughout this miniseries as there are three things used as currency in the underworld – favors, spirits, and stories. I love the world that Van Meter is building with this issue and cannot wait to learn more about it. The appearance of the Deadside at the end was a nice nod to Shadowman, and I’m curious to see if we’ll see him or any of his supporting cast appear in issue #3 as Shan is guided through the Deadside to get to her final destination.
Roberto De La Torre keeps rocking in the art department. His art style may not be to everyone’s liking but it works perfectly in dark books such as this one. I often complain in other reviews when an artist’s work isn’t clean and crisp, but I am in love with De La Torre’s pencils in this book. While it may look rough, there is a tremendous amount of detail, and De La Torre’s panel work and character design are truly breathtaking. As always, it ultimately comes down to the colors with Valiant and Dr. Mirage has work by the uber-talented David Baron who really makes this a very dark and atmospheric book which highlights some of the intricacies of De La Torre’s art.
Dr. Mirage continues to impress me with a fantastic and dark story line. There is a lot of new information and characters being thrown out in this issue which may be confusing to some, but stick with it and you will find that Dr. Mirage is truly one of the best books on store shelves now.