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The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #3

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by Jen Van Meter, Roberto De La Torre

The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #3 is out and it is a killer issue. Will we finally get some answers to mystery of Hwen’s death? Will the demon hordes finally catch up to Shan and her group? Can David Baron’s coloring get any better? Read on to find out!

The story

You kids will like this story. It’s got monsters in it.

Let me preface by saying that if you haven’t been reading The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage, then you’re missing out on one of the best titles on book shelves today. With the third issue in this five part miniseries, series scribe Jen Van Meter continues to peel back the layers of the world she has been building.

As the issue starts, we finally learn the story of how Hwen – and Shan – died and what lead Shan to decide to enter the underworld in search of her beloved. The story is really quite touching, and very beautifully illustrated. Still on the run from an army of demons, Shan and her group enter Mercy Square where a rather interesting game is played which Shan uses to make her escape. I won’t spoil the details, but it’s really smart, though I am curious to see what the repercussions will be later on in the series, and into Shan’s future. After a long journey through multiple magical realms, Shan finally comes face to face with the Pale Mistress who warns her of impending danger in “the real world” and threatens Shan with…well, I won’t spoil that either, but the end of this issue is pure magic.

There have been many complaints that earlier issues have been a little confusing, but all that definitely goes away with this third outing. After a great deal of setup, the story has finally hit its stride, and I can only imagine the number of new revelations we’ll learn with the next issue. Van Meter has really taken her time with this story and it is working. In some respects, it reminds me of another macabre detective story, Image Comics’ Nailbiter, though with more magic and less serial killers.

The art

After three incredible issues, there’s little left to say about Roberto De La Torre’s pencil work. This book has some of the most hauntingly beautifully art I’ve ever seen, and Valiant made a very wise choice assigning him to this series. David Baron’s colors are simply incredible and his use of browns and blues throughout this series has really lent the book a great deal of atmospheric. Artistically, this is one of the most beautiful books of the year.

Overall

Jen Van Meter has created a beautifully haunting love story with this miniseries, the likes of which we really haven’t seen much in comics. If you’re looking for a unique and powerful story, you cannot go wrong with Dr. Mirage.

Dr. Mirage

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