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Doctor Mirage 1 Main

"Doctor Mirage #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Valiant Entertainment


Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Illustrated by Nick Robles
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
2019, 32 pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 28th, 2019


Doctor Shan Fong Mirage could see and speak to the dead until one day she couldn't. As she tries to get her mojo back, she taps into some dark energies and comes face-to-face with Grace Lugo, a persistent young woman who knows things no one else does...like information from Shan's dead husband.

I'm being careful to avoid certain spoilers for Doctor Mirage #1, as there's a mystery at work that should best be experienced cold. Writer Magdalene Visaggio puts the character in an interesting position. She was once the go-to for all things supernatural in the Valiant Universe, but now she can barely get out of bed. What could have brought her down so much?

Click images to enlarge

Part of this is explained by loss. Since Shan can talk to the dead and her husband has shuffled off this mortal coil, it allowed the two to stay connected. Now that link has been severed and she's completely alone. She can't even take solace in the other spirits floating around the world. To suddenly lose something that defines you as a person has to be shocking and more than a little scary.

Colorist Jordie Bellaire establishes this down in the dumps tone early on. There are a lot of shadows and darkness swirling around Shan. This changes when she tries to tap into magic. There's a literal explosion full of color and energy. This is what she's been missing and it's just out of her grasp. Despite the danger, she leaps into this with open arms. Here's a chance for her to get her life back.

The panel layout also becomes more varied and intricate when this happens. Artist Nick Robles provides some excellent art direction for these sequences. Shan's world is instantly changed from normal, hum-drum to bold and full of possibilities. This contrasts well with Shan's demeanor up until this point. She looks like the world has beaten her up. Her shoulders are droopy and she holds her head low. Her entire personality changes when she touches magic.

Click images to enlarge

The internal narration in Doctor Mirage reads like the script for her reality TV show, complete with camera setups and adjustments. It's mixed with her own thoughts and the two are often blurred together. Letterer Dave Sharpe creates an after-image of sorts for the caption boxes, mirroring the ghostly abilities Shan is chasing.

Doctor Mirage takes a deep look at the character, breaking her down to the core components. I'm excited to see how she'll be built back up again and who she'll become along the way. It's clear we're in for a big supernatural adventure here and we're just getting started.


Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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