Doctor Mirage Keeps Up the Ditko-Era Dr Strange Psychedelic Magic Tradition

In "Reason to Get Excited," I spotlight things from modern comics that I think are worth getting excited about. I mean stuff more specific than "this comic is good," ya know? More like a specific bit from a writer or artist that impressed me.

Today, I look at how the current Doctor Mirage series (by writer Magdalene Visaggio, artists Nick Robles and Jordie Bellaire and letterer Dave Sharpe beautifully continue the psychedelic magical tradition established in Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange comics.

When the series begins, Doctor Mirage has not been able to see her dead husband, Hwen, for some time. This is the whole point of the comic book, that she has a dead husband that only she can see and here. It's a really good hook for a TV series, and Visaggio does a wonderful job playing up the TV aspect of the series throughout the book, as Shan Fong Mirage (otherwise known as Doctor Mirage) sort of sees things in terms of camera angles and what would make for good TV.

However, she is not seeing things all that well (outside of her dreams) due to events that have left her disconnected from her husband, Li Hwen.

Luckily, she is then visited by Grace, a teenage girl who is CURRENTLY in contact with Hwen and wants to help Doctor Mirage get back to seeing her husband...

They do so by tripping on some new drug and it is psychedelic as all heck...

Later, they go into hell to essentially save Hwen and it's just like those classic Ditko stories. Robles and Bellaire should be beaming with pride over how awesome these scenes look...

After some crazy stuff goes down, Visaggio does a particularly good job reminding us that Grace did not volunteer for this adventure. She was dragged into it by suddenly seeing Hwen and while she was enjoying herself until stuff got too real, she's still just a teenager way over her head....

The emotional work really grounds this stuff. This has been one of the best Doctor Mirage series that Valiant has had yet. I can't wait to see how it all finishes up next issue!

Okay, this feature is a bit less of a reader-interactive one, as I'm just spotlight stuff in modern comics that specifically impressed ME, but heck, if you'd like to send in some suggestions anyways, maybe you and I have the same taste! It's certainly not improbably that something you found cool would be something that I found cool, too, so feel free to send ideas to me at brianc@cbr.com!

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