Rating: 5/5 – Superb Story and Art Have Me Craving More.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Valiant has consistently been putting out some of the best comics on the racks since their relaunch in 2012. That they’re not on more comics readers radars seems to be due to the fact that they’re not flooding the racks with product, they max out at 9 books per month, so many readers just don’t seem to have tried them out yet. Doctor Mirage is a great book to try out, you need no prior Valiant reading experience to enjoy this issue. If you like Doctor Strange or Constantine but want to step out of the super-hero universes those stories are set in and have a look at a character with a slant towards the supernatural in a world more like the one outside your own window.
Jen Van Meter did a great job on this issue starting us out from ground zero and putting everything necessary to enjoy this story between the covers of this 1st issue. We’re introduced to Shan, understand she has supernatural powers and can talk to spirits of the departed (well, except for her late husband Hwen). That in and of itself is not enough to carry an issue, so very early on we’re introduced to the fact that billionaire Linton March want to hire Shan for her skills as a paranormal investigator. This launches us into the story proper, and I won’t reveal any additional details to prevent spoiling the ride. There is a lot of dialog in this issue, and I loved every bit of it. That said, this issue does not provide the kind of story that will appeal to a reader who is seeking out an epic slug-fest loaded with physical action. The action here is of a more subtle nature, though that will likely change to the more bombastic sort of action as the series progresses.
Artist Roberto de la Torre is a perfect match for this type of story. He was a huge upgrade when brought on board as the artist of Valiant’s Shadowman series in issue #13 and his superbly moody art, scratchy with a touch of abstraction, lends just the right air of mystery to the story being told here. The subtle coloring palette used by David Baron really enhanced the story for me, a great pairing with the mood set by de la Torre’s art and Van Meter’s writing.
I was pulled into this story from the first page, Van Meter and de la Torre held my rapt attention throughout. I loved the minor touches such as Shan’s subtle verbal interactions with her house and the small visual details as she touches or otherwise examines objects throughout the issue. An interesting twist a bit more than halfway in changed the playing field and set us up for the conclusion that defies readers to not pick up issue #2. I’m hooked, I need to see what happens next.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture