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Random Purchase #32

Random Purchase #32

Madame Mirage #5

Writer: Paul Dini
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Colors: Imaginary Friends studios
Letters: Troy Peteri

There are few writers that can say they have had such a lasting impact on comic books that when you say a character’s name, everyone seems to know that character.  Creating a girlfriend for the psychotic villain The Joker in Batman: The Animated series, Paul Dini jumped in to comic book history as Harley Quinn’s popularity instantly reached pop-culture status.  Dini’s newest creation, Madame Mirage, produced under Top Cow Productions, while maybe not sharing the instant celebrity that Harley Quinn did, certainly reminds us why the man has written everything from He-Man and Transformers cartoons, to comic books and even episodes of the hit ABC series Lost.

I picked up Madam Mirage #5 this week and much to my dismay found no ‘previously’ page or explanation of the story so far.  It just jumped right into the madness.  Publishers, seriously. Make this mandatory.  If you expect people to pick up a comic and go with it, they need to know what they are reading.  Hells, some comics have such a delay between issues that without that, I do not believe most people would remember what happened in the previous issue anyway.  I digress.

After a little searching, I found out the basics of the Madame Mirage story that are only touched upon in this issue and help the story come together properly.  In the world Dini has created, all of the Superheroes were legislated out of business.  You quit or go to jail.  Those that did not quit went to jail.  The villains, on the other hand, really did not find the law profitable. Most of the costumed villains became hit men, bodyguards and assassins without their previous style and glitz.  They, in essence, became ‘legit’.  A.S.I., the corporation that employs a number of these fellows, comes under siege from Madame Mirage, killing their operatives and generally causing them trouble for an unknown reason.  A reason that finally sees light of day in this issue. 

Dini has created a clever pair of female heroes in this title (yes, I said pair, that is all I am going to give away and trust me, it does not actually explain it by any means).  I like the idea that all powers are technology or bio engineered in this world.  It gives everyone a little more sense of reality.  While not a very introspective or particularly humorous story, it definitely delivers the action.  A great sense of pace permeates throughout the book and still gives you enough time to feel connected to the characters.

Kenneth Rocafort’s art really pops in this book.  I found the colors to be a little bland and downplaying throughout Madame Mirage, yet Rocafort’s art never loses its appeal because of that.  He shows intricate detail and manages to give most of the characters a distinct look.  Also, he apparently believes that Madame Mirage owns the perkiest nipples ever, as he never passes up an opportunity to have them right there for you to see.  They even appear to be the only thing holding up her very tight white dress. 

Madame Mirage entertained me.  This issue, while certainly not the best ‘jumping on’ point, tossed the action around fast and furious while still giving the reader a chance to know who the characters are and what the motivation for their actions actually are.  The art really dances and fits well to such an action style comic.  I would definitely give Madame Mirage a read through, though you may need to go find the back issues or wait for a trade first!

Not-so-random:  Grendel: Behold the Devil #4.  Just a good comic.  It is interesting to finally see the beginning of the descent of Hunter Rose.  One of the long standing traditions of the Grendel comics was that he was perfect.  Seeing this unravel is really cool.  Countdown to Final Crisis #10.  Okay, I will give credit where credit is due.  Now that everything is finally coming together and the chaos is happening, this book has gotten good.  Brother Eye absorbed Apokolips?  Too rad.  Harley Quinn granted powers by the Greek goddess of the muse?  I so hope she gets to keep them.  But I am really beginning to think Jason Todd might live through all of this.  So disappointing.  Spider-Man: Brand New Day?  Sorry, not buying it.  Still feels like a big waste of ink.  You go through all this claiming there are no good story lines because of the marriage and then bring us this?  Jonah losing the paper?  Seen it before.  Aunt May dating a villain?  Seen it before. A new Goblin?  A burglar who Spider-man is getting blamed for?  Old, old, old. 


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)
IMO, Grendel was at it's best when with Hunter Rose. I found I was also captivated by Christine Spar as well.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
i like the idea that this a story about Hunter that Christine is telling through her book.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jamison Sacks

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