Small problems, no great loss

5 Dec

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Madame Mirage, no. 1-6
By Paul Dini and Kenneth Rocafort
Top Cow Productions

This is the comic book equivalent to a decade-old movie that’s now being played on Saturday afternoon when you ought to be out of the house doing better things but somehow you’re not. You aren’t pumped to read this but you’re not saying no either. The plot is interesting enough to pull even a skeptical audience along and the drawings of Kenneth Rocafort… the drawings of Kenneth Rocafort…

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The appeal of Madame Mirage is simple without getting into the details of the plot: a beautiful woman with no obvious weapons brutally annihilates a crime syndicate from the lobby to the top floor. There’s reasonable story explanations for every concept that is presented and if the reader is receptive to action tropes with mild sci-fi seasoning, this comic is just as palatable as the hypothetical Saturday afternoon movie. Mildly engaging, unchallenging, moves more by momentum than by ingenuity.

For his part in this affair, Kenneth Rocafort fails to pull me in with his imagery. As the title suggests, Madame Mirage deals a lot with tricks of the eye and optical deception. Unfortunately whenever the title character pulls a fast one on a bad guy, the comic just gets confusing for the reader. One needs to rely on Paul Dini’s dialogue to indicate what trick has occurred. It isn’t a tragedy by any means; by genre convention, we are all pretty used to boastful characters telling their victims how they have outwitted them (by extension, they tell the audience). That’s kind of okay. Nothing of value is lost.

There is a slight problem in that two key characters essentially look alike: the villain and the hostage/ally are almost identical in appearance but I think that once again, the script helps us keep track. And context.

There’s an another, almost insignificant problem at the tale’s end: not really sure what happens to the title character. Spoiler: I think Paul Dini kind of forgot. No big deal.

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This comic is about a chesty lady in a low-cut dress who kills a lot of bad guys through the power of “being the protagonist. The world will never be safe from crime, war and papercuts until every bad guy from Bad Guys, Incorporated is stabbed to death with a pithy send-off line of dialogue. I almost feel like you don’t get to complain about certain things with a comic like this. I won’t.

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