Valiant Hero Of The Week: Doctor Mirage
Every Monday for the next few weeks, Valiant Entertainment is running a poll on Twitter to provide fans with some escapism while new comics are in short supply. The poll allows Valiant fans the opportunity to select the “Hero Of The Week” from four choices. That week’s hero will then be the focus of free pdfs featuring the character, videos from Valiant staff, giveaways, and more. This week, the poll featured Animalia, Quantum & Woody, Divinity, and Doctor Mirage.
This week’s winner was…
Who is she? Shan Fong. A woman who can communicate with the dead, including her late husband Hwen (who is the Doctor Mirage from the original Valiant run that began in the 90’s). She is also a former reality television star and a woman versed in magic. If there’s a supernatural threat, then Doctor Mirage is going to be the first person that the general public turn to.
What should you read?
The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage
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.
I actually went back and reread this series, and the next, because of this column and I realized that I’d forgotten just how much I enjoyed them. They’re not your typical superhero comic because Doctor Mirage isn’t a superhero in the traditional sense, though the same can be said for many of the Valiant heroes, no, this book has more in common with a detective story than the Dark Knight Detective – though with a lot more supernatural elements. The direct sequel, the Death Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives is also well worth picking up if you’re looking to lose yourself in the world of Doctor Mirage.
It’s a world that’s well worth getting lost in.
How do you solve the case of your own death?
Paranormal detective Doctor Shan Fong Mirage had the ability to see and talk to the dead. Except the dead have gone silent, their spirits mysteriously vanished, including Hwen, her deceased husband. Now, Doctor Mirage must face the most challenging question of her life: Is she dead but doesn’t know it?
Magdelene Visaggio’s take on the character finds her moving away from her husbands ghost and more into a journey of self discovery. I enjoyed the yarn much more than I expected, because it threw Shan into a situation we hadn’t really seen her in from the solo series before. this was one of the first comics I ever read by Visaggio, and I’m hoping that the writer returns for another crack at the character very soon.
Beyond the margins of human reason lies a realm known as the Deadside, where the souls of the dearly departed linger – and where demons wait for us in the dark. For countless ages, Earth’s chosen protectors have guarded the veil between both worlds – but there are other doors to the Deadside, through which gruesome terrors from galaxies untold can trespass… With the planet’s freedom at stake, can the reigning Geomancer and her steadfast Eternal Warrior stand together against an invasion unlike any they’ve ever witnessed?
A sequel of sorts to Book Of Death Doctor Mirage isn’t the focal point of this story, but she has some awesome moments in the third and fourth issues. That it’s also one of my favourite Valiant stories from the last couple years, and you’ll forgive me for recommending it again.
It’s worth noting that you can get Deluxe Editions of many of these stories that collect what amounts to three trades in a hardcover. They are comparatively better valued, but present a higher initial cost (based on standard retail pricing not including sales and discounts). They’re my personal preference.
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