Friday, November 14, 2014

The Second Life of Doctor Mirage #12 (Classic Valiant)

The devastating Chaos Effect disaster has ended, having been stopped with the instrumental aid of necromantic phantom Hwen Mirage, but at the cost of his newly gained physical form. Hwen and his wife Carmen go back home from Tibet to Miami, and Hwen, desperate to regain his solidity, tries experimenting. Unfortunately his efforts go awry, and he's seemingly transported to another dimension...

To me, this is the funniest issue of Valiant supernatural comedy The Second Life of Doctor Mirage. It's not packed with a multitude of jokes, but rather what happens I just find to be naturally hilarious. As for what I'm talking about, I won't dare spoil it for you. This story has a turn that you'll find highly amusing, depending on how much you know about converting energy to mass (not to say that you'd find it unfunny if you don't, as the issue does explain the science for you).

The plot here is well-written, and the characters are both fleshed out, and likeable.

I especially like that despite his screw-up, Hwen still does learn how to regain his solidity at the issue's end, so the series has actually accomplished something and is moving forward, rather than backtracking.

I do have one minor problem with this issue's plot, however. At the start, Hwen is mopey about having lost his physical form again. While it's understandable that he's down about things, he's going on about how maybe he's in this situation because he's being punished by fate, which is an odd thing to think to say the least, given that at the end of the previous issue, Hwen was determined to stop the Chaos Effect, saying that maybe saving the world was the reason he was granted a second life. Pretty polar opposite opinions there!

The art here is very good, despite a couple of odd faces here and there. The cover is good, but the sidebar (a new feature on Classic Valiant covers after the Chaos Effect event) is pointless and in the way. Also, not only is the Valiant name and logo hard to see due to the clashing colours, the red of the tagline is a bit of an eyesore.

While many fans of Classic Valiant feel the company's quality went downhill post-Chaos Effect (which I both agree and disagree with in different respects), The Second Life of Doctor Mirage is still going strong with Issue #12!...

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