Overview

Madame Mirage #3

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Madame Mirage #3

Credits

  • Words: Paul Dini
  • Art: Kenneth Rocafort
  • Inks: Kenneth Rocafort
  • Colors: Imaginary Friends Studios
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 24, 2007

Who is Madame Mirage? This issue brings all the answers along with a showdown with the villainess Brown Recluse.

Comic book writing veteran Paul Dini obviously loves genre bending as his first three issues of this series have mixed noir, mystery, gangster movies, superheroics, and stage magic. With this installment he now adds a drop of psychological drama to the mix.

The vigilante Madame Mirage has captured the female assassin known as the Brown Recluse. All Mirage wants from Brown Recluse is the location of another of ASI’s villainous agents. All Brown Recluse wants is the chance to free herself of her bonds and kill Mirage. Which one will get what she wants? Along the way the hidden history of Madame Mirage is revealed and truly, everything you thought you knew gets turned on its head.

This issue is actually not very easy to categorize. On the one hand, the ideas presented to the audience are fascinating and pack a real emotional punch. Along with that, some of the dialogue is wonderful and the reader can practically hear someone like a tough, young, Kathleen Turner growling out Mirage’s lines. On the other hand, however, some of the lines fall flat and the “let me tell you my life story” plotting comes across as a bit old fashioned to modern comic book audiences.

Mirage’s origin monologue feels like something you would see in a Silver Age comic book and to be honest, it does read a little clunky and forced. What saves it, however, is both the impact it has on the audience and what the repercussions will mean. While Mirage has shown herself to have a rather violent streak, for the first time readers begin to feel that she might not be entirely mentally stable as well. Another thing that keeps the story from bogging down is the sense of the ticking clock in the background. Mirage is well aware of Brown Recluse’s attempts to free herself and turned this all into a game. If Recluse can get free before Mirage finishes her story then the killer has a chance to end Mirage’s life. The reader is well aware of this fact and that turns both this story AND Mirage’s into a race between the two antagonists.

Of course, any discussion of Madame Mirage must include the images provided by artist Kenneth Rocafort. Rocafort’s style is certainly well-suited to Top Cow, considering the publisher’s penchant for pulchritudinous females. Despite the fact that the story deliberately plays up and explains away Mirage’s curvaceous form there is a sense that, at least to this female reader, Rocafort goes a little over the top in drawing attention to certain aspects of anatomy – and not just on Mirage either. Rocafort also has a tendency to use a “scratchy” inking style that echoes some of the work done by many artists in the 1990’s. In earlier issues this style was much more pronounced but with this issue it seems that he has toned down the tendency and the art is much better for that.

While this issue does stumble a bit, centering on an old-fashioned, Silver Age, heroic monologue Dini continues to pump this title full of fascinating twists and turns, playing head games with both his characters and readers. Madame Mirage is quickly becoming a comic that is hard to categorize with a little bit of everything. In many cases, such a mixture can result in disaster but so far Dini is managing to create a rather tasty cocktail instead.

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