Seraph’s Sanctions: The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage: Second Lives # 1

Writer: Jen Van Meter
Artist: Roberto de la Torre
Colorist: David Baron
Letterer: Dave Lanphear
Editor: Alejandro Arbona
Published: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT (December 2015) 

The Breakdown:

Shan and Hwen are adjusting to Hwen’s return. Yet, the lovebirds are wanting more than just Hwen’s presence …being in love will make you do that. They look for a particular scroll that would allow Hwen to be solid; it was the Vita Secunda Scroll. After their copy of the scroll ends up screwed up, the couple travels to Barcelona to visit a family with another copy … yet, that very scroll might give them more trouble than they ever realized.

The Good:

   Wow! Meter does not miss a beat with this first issue. We get a compelling, gripping story that sets up the main plot, allows character development foMIRAGE-SEC_001_003r our leads and presents new elements into the mystical side of Valiant. Shan definitely seems more upbeat with Hwen’s return, but still very much the smart, sassy Doctor Mirage we first met. Hwen is charming and somewhat disarming because of his vulnerability and knowledge. The issue was dense, but very enjoyable to read as Meter introduces some new elements and characters that are weaved in extremely well.

Meanwhile, de la Torre’s art is superb! He presents some of the best work of his career in this first issue. His rougher pencils have a nicer smoothness but still has an edge. It is still dark looking art, but so fitting. Things look bright when it needs to while it looks dark and detailed. Baron’s color marries well with de la Torre’s pencils and inks. The colors allows for a supernatural atmosphere while also giving mood and tone. This just made the book that much more stunning and enjoyable to read.

The Bad:
Are you kidding? Doctor Mirage is back bae-bee!! THERE IS NO BAD!
MIRAGE-SEC_001_007

The Verdict:
The art is absolutely is amazing. The writing is top notch. It is a great return of our good doctor. While there is elements of the first series here, Meter makes this first issue self contained enough that you don’t need to read the first miniseries. This is definitely one of the best first issues I have ever read and I look forward to more. My only regret is that this isn’t an ongoing.