Writer: Paul Dini
Artists: Kenneth Rocafort, Imaginary Friends Studio(c)
Paul Dini takes the one direction I didn't toy with to explain Madame Mirage, and as a result, he surprises the hell out of the reader. I hesitate to even review this book since doing so just may give away the juicy little secret behind Madame Mirage. Let's just talk about the bare bones plot.
Mirage has captured another villain turned suit, this time a woman with poisoned fingernails, neutered through hog-tying. The Madame seeks the whereabouts of the head enchilada, and she has already proven that she's willing to kill to get to him. Killing a woman makes no difference to Madame Mirage. She's an equal opportunity avenger.
Some may balk at Mirage threatening the villain. When the book opens, she has appeared to place a stick of dynamite in the villain's mouth. As the story progresses, she shoves a loaded gun down the same. Oral fixation? Not really. Killing the head, to paraphrase Xander, is certain and merciful.
The dynamite indicates a wonderfully sick sense of humor, and Paul Dini uses it to foreshadow the deal The Madame makes with her prey. If she can cut free of her bonds and get the gun, she'll let her live. If she can't get the gun, she must divulge the Big Bad's whereabouts. No accident the location.
To give the villain time to make her move, Madame Mirage relates her origin, and it's a doozy. Dini comes up with something original to explain all, including Rocafort's occasionally ample aesthetic, which never the less is still intrinsically proportionate per character.
Everything in dialogue, movement and displays of power has been Dini's attempt at replicating a magician's distraction, and he succeeds. Madame Mirage is a clever variation on pulp heroes.
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