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Trips through the Trade Paperback Bin: The Death Defying Dr. Mirage Vol. 1

The comic book industry has existed for almost a century, and in its time, it has grown to be a titanic space. Month after month, year after year, there is always a new comic popping up on the scene and it can be a bit daunting for those who are trying to get into comics as interest. Not only that because new comics appear constantly, sometimes a comic book can be overlooked for whatever reason.

That’s where this series comes in. I’ll be there like good friend, guiding you through comics that you may have missed, but they’ll be perfect gateway comics to help you ease into this grand world of graphic narratives.
It’s a new year, so I already know that you need some good stuff in the world of comics. Whether it’s to add to your own growing collection or to get your collection started, I got you either way.

We are starting the year off with a favorite of mine. Featuring the witty witch Dr. Shan Fong, I present The Death Defying Dr. Mirage written by Jen Van Meter and art by Robert de la Torre.

Those who follow comics might have heard the name Dr. Mirage in the past. That is because back in the 90s Valiant Comics ran a comic that featured Dr. Hwen Mirage. Now, Valiant has made the decision to bring the title back to focus on Shan, the wife of the late Hwen.

This first volume of Dr. Mirage starts with our heroine working as a freelance investigator for the supernatural. Using her power to see the dead, Shan has taken on clients including a wealthy older man with a few nasty secrets in his house.

But here’s a plot twist. Shan has one goal that she will do almost anything to achieve. She wants to see her husband again, and she sees this new client as her ticket to making that happen.

Off top, the most impressive quality of this volume is how the story manages to maintain a balance between the sense of horror, adventure, wittiness, and emotional weight. The story has demon kings, wayward kid ghosts, and a protagonist that is literally going to hell and back for her love.

And it’s not in a co-dependent manner either. The relationship between Shan and Hwen is beautifully illustrated in flashbacks that shows with emotional realism how they moved from being colleagues to friends and ultimately to lovers.

I high-key recommend this trade for anybody that likes modern fantasy, horror, romance, and adventure meshed together seamlessly.

Be sure to check your local comic book store for this volume or go straight to Valiant Entertainment.