The Second Life of Dr. Mirage
Doctor Hwen Mirage, art by Bernard Chang.
Publication information Publisher Valiant Comics First appearance Shadowman (vol. 1) #16 (1993) In-story information Alter ego Hwen Mirage Notable aliases Hwen Dong Fong, Hwen Fong, Dr. Fong, Dr. Dong, Doctor Mirage Abilities Manipulation of the Darque power (energy from death)
The Second Life of Dr. Mirage is an American comic book series featuring the eponymous main character, co-created by writer/artist Bob Layton, illustrated by Bernard Chang, and published by Valiant Comics. More than 2 million Second Life of Dr. Mirage comics have been sold since its debut in 1993. In 1994, Acclaim Entertainment bought Valiant Comics for $65 million. The Second Life of Dr. Mirage comics have been translated into a number of languages including German, Italian, Spanish, Norwegian, Filipino and Chinese among others.Valiant Entertainment are the current owners of the Valiant catalog (including Second Life of Dr. Mirage).
Fictional characters biography
Hwen and Carmen Mirage are parapsychologists who investigate paranormal activity and supernatural mystery. They are hired to investigate two corpses whose vital signs are reading normal. While performing tests, the bodies, which turn out to be charged with necromantic energy, come to life and attack Hwen and Carmen. During the fight they reveal the name Master Darque, a necromantic sorcerer (powered by death energy). This was the first real paranormal experience for Hwen and Carmen, and Hwen sets out to find Darque.
After tracing the necromantic activities of Master Darque to Ladakh, Tibet, Hwen confronts Darque, who immediately absorbs Hwen's life force in order to add it to his own. However, just as the Darque Power released by Hwen's death is at its peak, Carmen's love for her husband anchors him to this reality.
In the seconds where Darque is shaken from Hwen's escape from death, Carmen and Hwen escape the temple and headed home. During the escape, when they were attacked by undead priests who had been sent by Darque, Hwen discovers that he could control energy. Carmen also assists in the battle with her expertise as a martial artist. As it turns out, since Mirage is too powerful and Darque can use Hwen for his own purpose, an uneasy truce between Darque and Hwen is established.
Hwen realizes he has become a being of pure energy, that is, a "positively-charged" being of necromantic power. Their marriage is put under incredible strain as the couple struggle to return to their normal life. Their largest problem is their inability to touch each other. This is resolved over time; due to practice Hwen slowly gains the ability to affect every day objects. The two also continue investigating various necromantically powered entities, such as a sacred bull that two factions are fighting over. Over time, Hwen manages to gain control over his powers, enough to fool others into believing he is normal and even changing the look of his clothing.
They gain an ally in Enrico, who watches over their Miami home while they are away investigating. Middle-aged, overweight, he seems easygoing and helpful but is later revealed to have dark secrets of his own.
When Hwen's energy levels dip once more, he seeks out Darque again but finds his sister Sandria. She replenished his energy and revealed that he was 'the one'. The meaning of 'the one' was revealed during The Chaos Effect where Hwen and Solar closed the rift leaking necromantic energy into the world.
This effect continues to have repercussions. A haunted house becomes super-charged with necromantic energy, giving shape and form to the angry spirit that lives there. Hwen, Carmen and two new allies investigate the house. The house is finally destroyed via a gas leak and Hwen absorbs all the released necromantic energy.
Later, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Hwen's access to his ghost form is blocked by Deathsmith. The two race through the museum, getting utterly lost and finding monsters around nearly every corner. Both sides in the battle cause much destruction to the artifacts on display. The two manage to escape into Central Park. At Cleopatra's Needle, Hwen concentrates enough to restore his power, at the cost of severely injuring Carmen.
Darque Power (Necromantic Energy)
Darque Power is the name given to the necromantic energy released when humans die. It's named after Master Darque, the world's foremost necromancer. Darque Power can be utilized for all sorts of magic. Silver acts as a natural conductor for the energy and it has been established that Electro-Magnetic Pulses can interfere with its processes.
Second Life of Doctor Mirage #1–#11 — the origin of Doctor Mirage and his first battle with Darque. The couple struggle to keep their marriage working while continuing their investigations. How does sex work? How is Mirage going to eat? Mama Mirage pays a visit. Doctor Mirage learns to control his powers more and more until he can turn solid again (for a short period at a time) but this leads to more problems…like babies.
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