Valiant's supernatural horror domestic comedy series The Second Life of Dr. Mirage continues on from its stellar first story with Issue #3...
After opposing Master Darque, a malevolent necromancer, scientist and supernatural investigator Dr. Hwen Mirage was 'killed', but with the help of his wife Carmen, he was brought back from the grave, albeit as a necromantic hologram. The Mirages return home, and over the coming weeks, they struggle to adapt to their new life. Things get worse as Carmen gets more and more distraught and angry at never being able to touch her husband, and Hwen will have to further understand the lengths of his powers in order to help...
The first two issues set up this series' world and established the characters, and now, we're getting into the personal lives of the main characters after those events. Hwen and Carmen go through understandable troubles, and resolve their problems come the end of the issue, so thankfully this series is never a big mope-fest. Hell, this issue on its own never feels like a mopefest. The writing is very good here!
While dramatic at times, this issue also has some pretty funny humour. One laugh-out-loud moment to me is the first time Hwen and Carmen try to sex things up, leading to a 'Well this is is awkward' cutaway. The two tones of this series are never at odds with one another, and feel natural together.
Onto the characters. Hwen and Carmen are likeable, sympathetic, and distinct main characters (both in their personalities, and in their ethnicities). As mentioned in the summary, Hwen further discovers the extent of his powers here, and to say more would be a spoiler. This issue introduces Rico, who's a main character from now on. He's pretty entertaining. Not deep or anything, but he's a likeable character.
The series villain Master Darque continues to be a meh character, which is a fault of other Valiant series Shadowman (wherein Darque is the main antagonist), rather than Second Life. He gets one weird scene at the issue's start, when he encounters the Mirages' in the airport, and after saying that they'll be fair game eventually but are of little concern for the time being, he tells them his plans! He's not even telling them about them to boast about a plan to kill the couple or anything! He's just randomly telling them his weekly schedule!
As I said in my previous Second Life review, I can totally envision this series as a movie! Issues #1 and #2 would make up the first act, with the set-up of the characters, Dr. Mirage becoming a phantom, and the battle for survival in the Tibetan wilderness, and this issue would cover the second act.
The artwork is very good, as usual, although there are a couple of moments at the start where Carmen's legs are drawn way longer then they should be. One cool stylish choice in this issue is a cutaway to Darque, where the normally white page bordering is now black! It nicely adds to the atmosphere, buuut unfortunately the villain in question is still Darque, who's boring! This issue's cover is good, and nicely portrays what you're in for.
The Second Life of Doctor Mirage is a fantastic series, and it will always be one of my favorites!