The return of Doctor Mirage with her own series was recently announced by Valiant Entertainment, to great fanfare since the traveler in the occult realm has been very popular in the past, as well as her dramatic and poignant relationship with her husband, whose soul travels in the spirit realm.
The new series is written by Eisner-nominated Magdalene Visaggio, and drawn by Nick Robles, with colors by Jordie Bellaire, and the first issue arrives in shops on August 28th, 2019.
So far, what we know about the return of Shan Fong, aka Doctor Mirage, is that there’s a mystery element involved, wherein she might be “solving the case of her own death”, and that Shan seems to have mysteriously lost her ability to communicate with the dead.
We’re very excited to debut the covers for issue #1 here on Comicon.com today, from Philip Tan, Roberta Ingranata, Nick Robles, MJ Kim, and Jeff Dekal.
We’ve also got Doctor Mirage’s editor, Lysa Hawkins, on site today for a Q&A about the new series!
Hannah Means-Shannon: Can you catch us up? Where does this new arc fit in the history of Shan Fong so far in the Valiant Universe?
Lysa Hawkins: With the exception of the recent INCURSION event and FAITH: DREAMSIDE, Doctor Shan Fong Mirage hasn’t been seen too much in the Valiant Universe. She and her ghost husband, Hwen, have been solving mysteries off panel. We’re starting her journey about six months after INCURSION at her home in sunny California.
HMS: How would you describe Shan’s outlook at the beginning of this new arc? What personal issues is she carrying around that might play a part in the outward adventures she’s facing?
LH: We, the reader, realize right away that something is very wrong with Shan Mirage. For example, people who would have always been very near and dear to her were suddenly gone and for the first time—perhaps ever—Shan is alone.
HMS: What do you think it adds to the Valiant Universe to have a spiritual/esoteric realm? I know it’s played a huge part in many series in recent years, and it seems like that’s only getting bigger, with characters like Shadowman, Punk Mambo, and more.
LH: It’s just one more exotic location to tell great stories in. The Deadside, The Faraway, and all the other mystical realms allow us to tell tales that couldn’t be explored in BLOODSHOT or X-O MANOWAR or the like. It gives us an ever-changing playground where we can turn reality it on its head. With magic, anything is possible.
HMS:Can you tell us a little bit about how Nick Robles came to the title and what he’s bringing that’s uniquely his own?
LH: I was a fan of Nick’s work and almost immediately I thought he would be a great fit for Mags’ words. I asked him to draw up a character design and I was sold. I was blown away by the art of the first issue and he just keeps getting better. He captures the strength and sorrow of Doctor Mirage. He forces the reader to take that journey with her with incredible art that will haunt—rather, remain—with the reader long after they are done with the issue.
HMS: I know Mags Visaggio is very adept at crafting emotional journeys for characters, as well as character interaction. What other characters are we going to meet in this arc, and how will Shan react to them?
LH: We will be introduced to a “sidekick” of sorts, or perhaps “guide” is a better term, who will be with Shan throughout most of her journey. Shan’s initial response will be one of distrust, but that changes as the journey take shape. There is also the Big Bad...but I can’t give anything away, but suffice it to say, Shan doesn’t like him!
HMS: Of possible stories to tell about Shan, what made this the stand-out story to tell right now?
LH: This is her hero’s journey moment. She needs to go through this story in order to come out of the other side stronger and better than ever.
HMS: What has fan reaction been like to the announcement of the return of Doctor Mirage?
LH: So far it has been great! People really seem to have missed her. I’m glad she’s back and you will be, too!
Thanks to Lysa Hawkins for fitting us into her busy schedule to talk with us about Doctor Mirage!
Look out for Doctor Mirage #1 when it lands in shops on August 28th, 2019!