Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Second Life of Doctor Mirage #4 (Classic Valiant)

A bunch of redneck Suhthen businessmen go to the outskirts of Calcutta, India, where they come across what they find to be a prize bull in the possession of a mysterious villager. The American's violently steal the bull and take it back home, but as the years have gone by and they're paraded the bull across the rodeo circuit, each of the men have died horribly. The baffling circumstances of their deaths leads Duke, the head honcho, to hire paranormal investigators Doctor Hwen and Carmen Mirage to protect his prize bull from these murderous 'thieves'. The Mirages investigate, and pretty quickly realize that the story Duke told them is a lie, but unfortunately the original owner of the bull is hardly one to let the dispute end amicably. He wants the bull-Shiva's Child-back, and he won't stop until everyone who stole it dies horribly, nor will he let Dr. Mirage get in his way...

Like Issue #3 of The Second Life of Doctor Mirage, this is another done-in-one, which is something no Valiant series could ever successfully pull off frequently besides Second Life, and The HARD Corps.

This issue is pure supernatural investigation. This series is always light-hearted in tone, but is not always funny. Not in that it tries to be and fails, but because there are some issues where it just doesn't have any humour. While I wish there was stuff to laugh at here, the lack of it is tolerable, and doesn't make the issue any less entertaining.

The main characters continue to be a fun and likeable duo, with smarts, and brawn. One moment I particularly like is when Hwen is investigating Shiva's Child, and Carmen is on guard outside. She's set upon by a bunch of servants to the villain, and in a different comic, she'd end up being the damsel in distress, but here? Not a chance! Carmen Ruiz is a Brazilian bombshell with some mean capoeira skills!

The villain, Karamchand is ok. He looks threatening, and gets some nifty dialogue, but he's nothing special. As for the bull, Shiva's child, it's an interesting concept, but not explored enough. For a twenty page comic though, it at least gets across enough.

The artwork is very good, as usual. The bull, Shiva's Child, is drawn like a Rob Liefeld character, what with its huuuge back hump, but, that's probably intentional, given that it's a supernatural beastie, so I'll give the art in that regard the benefit of the doubt. The cover is pretty amusing, and well drawn.

This is a pretty standard issue. It's nothing special, but it's an entertaining little slice of my favourite supernatural horror domestic comedy The Second Life of Doctor Mirage!...

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