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The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage #5

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By Jen Van Meter, Roberto De La Torre and David Baron

The thing about The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage from Valiant Comics is that it’s something a little bit different from them as they start to spread their wings and really get the proverbial train moving on their rebooted universe. Since 2012, Valiant has gone nowhere but up with their series, characters, creators and everything else that is too much work to list here. Introducing another badass lead in her own series was a no-brainer, putting the team of Jen Van Meter, Roberto De La Torre and David Baron might have been an even easier choice.

Van Meter has done a great job establishing this new character and building, or rebuilding after the end of Shadowman, this little supernatural corner of the Valiant Universe—which will be referred to as VU now because lazy—which hasn’t really had the attention it deserves. Doctor Mirage is a badass, powerful, and interesting character and going into this series with little to no expectations, Van Meter really hit the mark and created a great set-up for the next arc.

The art for Death-Defying Doctor Mirage has also been a standout for Valiant. Roberto De La Torre has a very unique style and it’s unlike the other books in the VU. For lack of a better way to describe it, De La Torre’s art is dirtier than the kind of stuff you see on X-O Manowar or Rai and it really added to the supernatural feel of the book. Everything isn’t cut and dry, as with the story of the book, and yet he still manages to pull off some great character work amongst all the insanity. For those looking to try it, if you like the work of guys like Garry Brown (The Massive, Catwoman), you’re going to like De La Torre’s stuff.

Colorist David Baron also impresses with some stellar work in this final chapter of Doctor Mirage’s opening story. The bright colors of some of the spirits and the contrasting deep reds of the other side really stand out and make those sequences particularly awesome. Baron’s work certainly helped elevate the art and maintain the unique feel of this book that it feels like Van Meter was going for. Hopefully he, along with De La Torre, is back for The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Life. (Phew. That’s a mouthful.)

The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage had a lot of things in it that Valiant has been lacking since Shadowman ended. With Shadowman long done, and apparently out of the picture for now, DDDM was a great reminder of just what the VU can offer for fans of this sort of genre—and, hell, for fans of good comics in general. When this drops in trade form, if you’ve missed it, it’ll definitely be worth picking up. The next arc is certainly going to be one to watch, let’s just hope they trim that ridiculously long title.

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