In Doctor Mirage #5, how will this speaker of the dead keep her place in the land of the living?
Doctor Mirage #5 brings Magdalene Visaggio’s five-issue run on the character to a close. For this first time since reading the first issue, I felt the balance of real-world grounding and the supernatural tip away slightly from the wonderful dichotomy she had developed as the book embraced the supernatural aspects that fans know and love about Doctor Mirage. When you dig deeper you’ll realize that Vissaggio’s story still has very real-world relatable relationships at its core. It’s only as the story comes to a close that it becomes as evident in the series finale.
Nick Robles and Jordie Bellaire have been consistent throughout the book. The visuals are what I can only imagine be similar to what the Beatles were seeing at the height of their most experimental phase. It’s a glorious look for the comic. The artist and colorist getting the freedom to explore what the Deadside is like through some flowing layouts and imagery. I scrolled through the comic in the review PDF. When done quickly you get a sense of the comic melting into your mind up until the final pages. This isn’t going to be a book that everyone enjoys as fully as I have. Tastes differ and all. It’s another series from Valiant that I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did.
The unique visual style and storytelling of the artists combined with Visaggio’s story struck me in just the right way. Magic in a bottle? Maybe – all I know is that I want more of this. That surprises me because typically I tend to stay away from anything not grounded on earth. I always enjoy when I’m reminded that a great story is a great story no matter the setting.
On the whole, Doctor Mirage #5 wraps up a story with themes that – for me at least – focused on depression, grief and loneliness. The brightly psychedelic visual style didn’t take away from the journey that Shan Fong took. As she traversed the Deadside she came to grips with the silence of the ghosts that had been her companions for so long. ThatVisaggio could bring the elements of the character, her journey and our relationship with Doctor Mirage together in a way that allows us to relate to her in a way that’s very human. Loss is loss, and that’s always going to be a powerful feeling – regardless of what stage of grief you’re in.
For a comic I didn’t expect to enjoy all that much, Doctor Mirage has become one I’ll return to time and again.
Story: Magdalene Visaggio Art: Nick Robles Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review