Doctor Mirage (2019) by Magdalene Visaggio, Nick Robles – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

Goodreads: Doctor Mirage (2019)
Publish date: 18 February 2020
Publisher: Diamond Books Distributor/Valiant Entertainment
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Superhero
Panda Rating:

How do you solve the case of your own death?

Paranormal expert Doctor Shan Fong Mirage was born with the ability to see and speak to the dead—an ability that has mysteriously stopped working. Have her powers failed or is something far more sinister at work? Will she figure out her fate and the fate of the one she loves the most? Valiant’s gripping supernatural mystery starts here!

A brand-new DOCTOR MIRAGE series conjured by Eisner Award-nominated writer Magdalene “Mags” Visaggio (Eternity Girl), artist Nick Robles (Euthanauts), Eisner Award-nominated colorist Jordie Bellaire (The Vision), and letterer Dave Sharpe (Harley Quinn)!

I admit to requesting this book based solely on the cover alone. The name “Doctor Mirage” rang a small bell but I actually haven’t read superhero comics, so I can’t speak to how differently or how well her character is portrayed in this new comic compared to previous ones. I will say that I really enjoyed it though!

I loved the illustration style and the color palette of the comic. The artwork has a modernised vintage feel to it that reminds me of all the superhero comics that I never read but have always seen. The funky neon colors used to depict the landscape of this otherworld hell was like a full on acid trip and fit the surreal storyline perfectly. I also really loved the issue covers!

Shan Fong or Doctor Mirage used to be able to see and speak to the dead, until one day those powers disappeared and with it her ability to see and speak to her husband, Hwen. After another failed attempt to gain access to her powers, a young girl named Grace “lands” on her doorstep claiming that she’s been sent by Hwen to tell Shan that she’s dead. What follows is a wild adventure into hell, mixed with flashbacks leading up to Shan’s death. While I enjoyed the storyline, I do wish that more of the backstory and the Egyptian lore, of which there was a lot, was more thoroughly explained. I know this is a comic and it can’t go into as much detail compared to if this was a novel, but it felt kind of disjointed at times–especially when transitioning from the past to present. For example, there were some allusions to events that happened before when Shan faces “The Embalmer” in battle but we never really got into those details in the flashbacks either.

There’s obviously going to be a continuation to the story because of the semi-cliffhanger of an ending, but reading this as a ‘standalone’ also works because the main storyline of Shan coming to terms with her inability to see or speak to Hwen and the other spirits was more or less resolved. It was an ending I didn’t see coming but I was satisfied with it. I’m curious to see more of the connection between the Embalmer and Shan’s storylines, as well as how Grace became involved in the story, so I would definitely pick up the continuation of this series when it becomes available!

Thanks to NetGalley and Diamond Books Distributor/Valiant Entertainment for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This comic is out on 18 February 2020!
Have you read Doctor Mirage (2019–or even the original!) or is it on your TBR?

6 thoughts on “Doctor Mirage (2019) by Magdalene Visaggio, Nick Robles – #eARC #GraphicNovelReview

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