Valiant Entertainment 2019
Written by Magdalene Visaggio
Illustrated by Nick Robles
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Death was no obstacle for Doctor Mirage, who could speak to the departed. But what happens if she’s one of the deceased? Her new ally, Grace, claims to be in the same dead boat, but can you really trust someone so young and inexperienced? How did Doctor Mirage end up in this spot? Find out here!
I am thoroughly enjoying this story so far. While we know that Shan isn't going to stay dead, though Hwen should, it isn't about the end result it's about the journey getting there. So far the way that Magdalene is telling this story is beautifully done it has this obscure way about it that suits the story and the introduction of Grace. There is one element that we see here which at first puzzled me and then when I thought about I understood it and being this kind of involved and invested so quickly is extremely well done.
I like the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see unfolding before us through the information that is revealed is some bloody brilliant work. Magdalene is writing the story of her life right here, this is best work I have seen from her and if this is how good she has become now I cannot wait to see what lies in store. The character development is sensational and the dialogue is where we get so much information about them. It is also where much of the story & plot development gets their leads to keep moving forward thanks the pacing which reveals the twists, turns and shows us the revelations. I love that you have to actually read this story and you cannot skim it or you'll miss something important.
I also really appreciate seeing a story within a story here. While tying the way Shan has been single-minded in her pursuit of reviving her husband. This is dangerous and reckless and while Hwen constantly reminds her of this it doesn't seem to truly matter. She is headstrong and demanding of herself in ways that most people couldn't do. Still how the two are tied together and how we see the past tie into the present is exceptionally well done.
Nick and Jordie's work on the interiors needs an award and I am dead serious about that. All these psychedelic imagery on the pages that pull from so many different influences blend together to make a stunning statement. The contrast between this and the flashback is perfectly done and how we see the linework through it's varying weights being utilised to create this attention to detail continues to amaze me. How we see the composition inside the panels which help create this wonderful depth perception as well as some good scale blows me away. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels bring us this magnificent eye for storytelling. The way that backgrounds are being utilised makes me a happy fanboy as we see them enhance the moments and bring a size and scope to the book. The colour work is truly amazing and how the various hues and tones create the shading and shadows is beautifully done.
This book is why I love Valiant so much. The characters are never static they constantly grow and evolve with each new story. As the reader we get to see this happen before our eyes as the situations they find themselves in test them to their limits. Magdalene and company really showcase Shan and what she is about here and letting us get to know her in ways we never have before. For instance I believe that the past is why the present is happening in her mind, could she be living this as a result of what she's done? Time of course will tell.