Posted July 29, 2014 by Drew Bagay in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: The Death Defying Doctor Mirage #1

Writer: Jen Van Meter
Art: Roberto de la Torre
Coloring: David Baron
Lettering: Dave Lanphear
Publisher: Valiant

I’ll admit I have no idea nor am I even remotely familiar with Dr. Mirage. With that said, Jen Van Meter does a spectacular job of introducing Dr. Mirage, or should I say the the wife of the original Dr. Mirage, Shan Fong, to new audiences. In a nutshell, Shan Fong/Dr. Mirage is a paranormal investigator who has the ability to talk and connect with the dead and has a hard time dealing with the loss of his husband.

The opening scene sees Shan Fong reluctantly attending a support group for widows. The meeting proved to be an ordeal for her, as it revealed that although she can communicate with the dead for other people, she is unable to talk with her deceased husband, Hwen. In the next panel Van Meter introduces probably the only supporting cast in this book, Leo. He tells Shan to try out a new gig that is sure to bring big money.

A billionare named Linton March recruits Shan to investigate a supernatural connection between Linton and a mysterious creature locked in his dungeon. Shan hesitates at first, but through the mentioned paranormal connection the creature is able to convince Shan. Although this scene provides some heavy and tedious exposition, Roberto de la Torre’s art shines best here. The sketchy, rough style of his pencils highlights the dark mood of the comic. De la Torre attention to detail in the background and the artifacts around Linton’s dungeon helps the story tell its premise.

Most of the things in The Death Defying Dr. Mirage #1 are just set-up meant to introduce the reader into its world. Although it is pretty entertaining, the pacing of the issue suffered due to the heavy exposition in some scenes. At this point it seems to be just another paranormal comic book. I believe Van Meter could have done much more for the debut issue.  Hopefully the next issue will improve on that. Nevertheless, de la Torre’s art fits perfectly in the theme of the book. And one can truly appreciate his art in a comic like this.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.