Thursday, September 21, 2023

Doctor Mirage #3 Gets A Little Wibbley Wobbley With Time And Hints At Deeper Answers

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Valiant is back at it again with the magic in with issue #3 of Doctor Mirage from writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Nick Robles. This is the third issue in the five-part mini-series, hitting shelves earlier today. With our heroines Shan and Grace finally on the same page, literally, what will they uncover?

Shan can finally see the Deadside around her. It’s not like she remembers, and there’s no sign of Hwen. Angry and frustrated, she once again loses faith in Grace. Their argument is interrupted by a “crowfly”: a giant fire-breathing winged monstrosity. Shan regains her footing in combat magic, and the two head toward their destination. Everything is not as it seems. In the distance, a group of shadowy figures discuss how they hate lying to “her”. I have so many questions. Did they lie to Grace? Is Grace in on it? Who are they? There is just a lot of information to wonder about here.

Shan and Grace enter the temple, and the vibe is instantly ancient Egyptian. This is much more Shan’s speed. Or at least, it was, until The Embalmer showed up. Immediately they refer to Shan as the “gyrovague”. This is a term for a wandering monk, but it is not said with any reverence. In fact, Shan is deemed worthy of punishment. If only her newly remembered combat magic was having an effect… Grace joins the fight, using The Embalmer’s own knife. This appears to be the right idea, but Grace has nothing to protect her. Shan goes to save her, but ends up skewered herself!

Vibe check

This issue really added to the depth of this plot. And not just because we were left on quite the cliffhanger. There is clearly something much bigger going on here. The main question I have is if Shan’s Dante is in on the plot. Would things have gone differently if Shan had taken the pill instead of melding her mind to Grace’s? Is The Embalmer a part of the plan? Is Hwen? We are more than halfway done with this series and I cannot wait to see where it goes.

I know I always go on and on about the art, but we got some amazing two page spreads this issue. My favorite was the second to last, right before the brutal last scene. The scaly body of The Embalmer weaves through the center of the page. Following that form leads to the horrible injury of Shan. It was artfully executed. With this issue, we do also see the return of the sickly green from issue #2. It is the same color in the temple. It follows The Embalmer. Is this in retaliation for her brash action?

The art is reminiscent of Golden Age Kirby, or Steranko’s run on Doctor Strange

With only two more instalments, Doctor Mirage will have to start answering these questions. Unless they decide to extend the series or do a follow-up, which I would be very excited for. I hope you’ve got Issue #4 on your pull list for  November, because I look forward to reading it with all of you.


DOCTOR MIRAGE #3 (of 5) 




Letters by DAVE SHARPE


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