Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: THE DEATH DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE by Jen Van Meter

The Death-Defying Doctor MirageFrom the back of the book
Death was just the beginning... Doctor Mirage talks to the dead... but the only spirit Shan Fong can't find is that of her late husband, Hwen. Instead, America's favorite semi-retired paranormal investigator is haunted and raw, using her gift to solve homicides and bring peace to the recently bereaved. But when a big-time occultist with a classified military past hires her for a special job, Shan discovers a lead that might close the greatest mystery she's ever tackled - how to get Hwen back! Now, Doctor Mirage must enter the undiscovered country and cross all the realms of the underworld if she has any hope of rescuing the man she loves... or be forever lost beyond the earthly plane. 

My Review
First off let me say that art in this book is fantastic! Robert De La Torre does a great job at penciling a unique and moody environment for the characters to wade through. Danger lurks around every corner and every corner is different with its own distinct sense of character and feel. Author Jen Van Meter's story is a mix of romance, tragedy, supernatural superhero-ism, and horror but most of all, it's paranormal medium Shan Fong's self contained story of personal growth that makes DOCTOR MIRAGE such an interesting book to read. 

Comic story arcs tend to lend themselves to 4 issue blocks, this first installment runs 5 with a couple of extras thrown in for context and value. Readers new to the Valiant Comics Universe will get a glimpse of Shan Fong's first appearance in Shadowman #5 while also being treated with a map of environs Shan travels throughout DOCTOR MIRAGE. 

The plot itself is simple yet creates so many possible sub plot threads to be explored in the future which aren't limited to a DOCTOR MIRAGE series. Teases and plot threads are to be expected in the comic book medium and here they are executed very well; new interesting characters within a dynamic place setting that screams horror. 

There was so much to like about this book that I won't list it all as to avoid spoilers. However, DOCTOR MIRAGE will return in December 2015 for another mini series from Valiant. Given Shan and co have had some cameos in other Valiant titles recently I'm interested to see where the story Jen Van Meter writes takes the blue-haired investigator. 

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