Madame Mirage
by Paul Dini, Kenneth Rocafort (Top Cow, 2008)

Madame Mirage is pretty good, both in concept and execution.

The title character is a beautiful noirish brunette with chameleon-like powers, impossibly long legs and improbably deep cleavage, and a mad on for members of Aggressive Solutions International, a criminal organization that survived a global crackdown on superheroes and supervillains alike by adopting a successful corporate facade. One by one, she's taking them down -- and they can't figure out who she is, much less how she so easily circumvents their security measures.

Mirage, it turns out, isn't who we think she is, either.

Without revealing too many details -- or the surprise twist in chapter three -- I'll say that Mirage has her roots in the technological lab of sisters Angela and Harper Temple, who toiled on a variety of super-powered inventions and enhancements after their father, the former hero Alexander Temple, was arrested when all powers were made illegal. Harper was the cool-headed sister, while party-girl Angela was their company face -- until she tried to sell weapons-grade technology to the wrong man. Let's just say the deal goes badly.

Now, Mirage cuts a swath through the criminal underground with a great deal of style and grace. She harkens back in many ways to the classic pulp hero, The Shadow, whom creator Paul Dini counts among his inspirations. Of course, The Shadow never showed quite so many curves, which Mirage has in spades. (Coming from Top Cow, which favors gorgeous, well-endowed heroines, one would expect nothing less.) Kenneth Rocafort takes Dini's concept and brings it to life with sleek, eye-pleasing art that should make this book a winner ... if it finds its audience in time. Of course, in the world of comics, that means this might be the only Madame Mirage book we get.

review by
Tom Knapp

24 July 2010

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