Review: The Harbinger Book 1

Author: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment LLC
Released: May 24, 2022
Received: NetGalley

The Harbinger Book 1 is the first in a new series from Valiant Entertainment and also happens to be one that I’ve been looking forward to! Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Robbi Rodriguez are the minds behind this project.

If you could wish for any superpower, what would you choose? Peter Stanchek didn’t have much choice in his powers, but he could still make the most of them. As a telepath, his potential is endless, even if he can’t remember everything about his past.

The Harbinger Book 1 had a lot of potential; I knew that much going into it. I want to see superhero stories come out from other publishing houses because I think there’s an untapped opportunity there.

Overall I would have to say that while this introduction was interesting, it did fall a bit flat for me. The character is perhaps a little too powerful, especially right out of the gate. It makes readers focus more on his abilities and less on his character development, which is something I’m not usually a fan of.

Like many superhero stories, the best characters in The Harbinger Book 1 were the villains. To me, a series is made or broken by the villains that fill the pages. For this reason, I still have a ton of hope for this franchise, as these characters were a delight. Though perhaps delight isn’t the correct term, considering we’re talking about the bad guys…

The artwork helped support this story, taking it a few steps further than the story on its own would have. I’m particularly a fan of the color palette, but I am generally drawn to those specific details.

Thanks to Valiant Entertainment and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Review – Doctor Mirage #5 (Valiant Entertainment)

Everything Must End: Doctor Mirage #5

All things must come to an end. That is the nature of things. And that is the fact that all comic book fans have come to terms with. And yet, it’s a lesson that Shan had never quite learned. Not until Doctor Mirage #5, where she’s finally forced to come to terms with reality.

Doctor Mirage’s latest series has been psychedelic and dramatic, proving that you can indeed combine those elements with shockingly intense emotional scenes. So it’s no surprise to learn that Doctor Mirage #5 has upped the ante to bring us a dramatic conclusion.

As always, it’s sad to see a brilliant series go. But it is always better to see the tale end when it should rather than see it get stretched out beyond reason. And this fact runs some ironic parallels with the plot itself.


Wow. What an ending! Magdalane Visaggio’s Doctor Mirage series has been full of surprises. But none so surprising as Doctor Mirage #5. It’s dramatic and emotional and carries with it several heavy points that it wants to make.

This issue is what the entire series has been building up to. And in some ways, it’s the issue that Doctor Mirage’s entire backlog has been building to as well. It’s the natural progression for both her plot and her character.

And it’s a very poignant and moving issue. This was not an easy issue to read in that it will elicit all sorts of reactions and emotions from the readers. The juxtaposition between life and death, love and loss, is so overwhelmingly strong in this issue. You can’t avoid it, nor can you run from it. And there’s a lesson in that.


Throughout Doctor Mirage, fans have come to expect a few things from this series. Vibrant colors, psychedelic scenes, and a delicate balance between action and introspective nature. And Doctor Mirage #5 is full of all of that.

It is arguably the most surreal issue of the series, in some ways. The colors and scenes portrayed are dramatic and entirely out of this world. And yet, there’s so much depth behind everything that is happening. It’s awe-inspiring.

Nick Robles’ artwork is truly remarkable here, giving us a version of Shan as we’ve never seen her before. The character expressions are a highlight in this issue, as is the way he portrays powers and spirits.

And it’s no surprise that Jordie Bellaire’s colors are blinding in their brightness, giving the series that hallucinogenic vibe I’ve talked so much about. The colors are so vibrant as to almost feel like they have a life of their own. And that fits in perfectly with this plot.

And finally, Dave Sharpe did it again. His understated and careful lettering really brought the whole issue together. It’s everything a fan could have hoped to see.


Doctor Mirage #5 was a breathtaking read. As with any series conclusion, it had a strong bittersweet sense to it. But it also fulfilled the promises that have been made during the entire arc.

It may have left fans with many questions. But it also left one single, vitally important promise. That promise? Doctor Mirage will be back.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Doctor Mirage #4 (Valiant Entertainment)

The Unpredictable Nature of Being Dead in Doctor Mirage #4

Doctor Mirage has been a harrowing yet brilliant series. And Doctor Mirage #4 continues that trend – being utterly unafraid in regards to pulling punches. This is a quest that exposes our beloved characters’ souls (and secrets), all while making her doubt everything that she sees.

The latest round of Mirage’s series has been a warped and psychedelic retelling of Dante’s Inferno. With a teenage girl guiding Virgil, Doctor Mirage has to find her way out of hell. Only, nothing is quite as it seems, now is it?

This series is perfect for fans of Doctor Mirage. But it’s also perfect for anybody looking on a strange and disturbing take on what the underworld could possibly look like. The entire series has featured some genuinely mind-blowing artwork to support the journey that Mirage has been forced to undertake.


Doctor Mirage #4 was an issue unafraid to take some risks. In that sense, it was a perfect fit with the rest of the series. Mirage has gone through hell (no pun intended) these last few issues. And yet, it’s clear that she has only begun to see the depth of the danger that she is in.

Magdalene Visaggio has done an excellent job of writing a complex and elegant series thus far. There are obvious comparisons between Shan (Mirage) and Dante, Grace, and Virgil. But there are also so many unique and surprising twists as well.

The blend of the expected and unexpected has resulted in a unique reading experience-one that is truly memorable. And okay, it’s also more than a little bit nerve-wracking to read, as fans find themselves concerned about the fate of Mirage.

The series has been in a constant pattern. It’ll answer questions but then raise even more along the way. It’s kept the reader invested, giving us just enough to go on while leaving us desperate to see more. And yes, Doctor Mirage #4 continues that pattern.


The artwork behind Doctor Mirage #4 is breathtaking. It combines the surreal elements we’ve come to expect from this series with heavy folklore imagery. It also somehow managed to increase the psychedelic feeling at times – which didn’t seem possible before this moment.

Nick Robles (artist) and Jodie Bellaire (colorist) are a fantastic team. Their artwork has been larger than life in this series, as it throws Shan and Grace from one crazy set of circumstances to the next. Not only are the scenes dramatic, but the characters are so infused with emotion. It’s a powerful series, through and through.

And let’s not forget the work of the letterer, Dave Sharpe. His work is the icing on the cake in this issue. Given everything that is going on within these pages, having a solid letterer was genuinely vital.


Doctor Mirage #4 was a terrifying, moving, and powerful issue. It upped the ante, putting Doctor Mirage into even more significant risks, all while slowly revealing the truth of the world she is trapped in. It’s been a whirlwind of an adventure, and there is still more left to this tale.

I honestly can’t wait for the next issue in the series to come out. This has quickly become one of the more addictive reads out there. If you haven’t been reading along, I strongly urge you to go out and give them a try.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review – Doctor Mirage #3 (Valiant Entertainment)

The Quest Begins in Doctor Mirage #3

What would you do if you found out you were trapped in hell, and that was the reason you could no longer commune with your dead husband’s ghost? Oh right, that’s not exactly a regular occurrence. But it is for Doctor Mirage. Get ready to follow along, as our leading lady has finally started to admit the truth in Doctor Mirage #3.

Doctor Mirage #3 begins our epic and surreal quest. In the last issue, we saw some of the truth behind what might just have gotten her here. Now, we’re hoping to learn more of the fact while also seeing her find a way home. Or at least, a way out of here.

Doctor Mirage has always been an emotional and fascinating series. But it feels like. Lately, they’ve been managing to up the ante. Perhaps that is thanks to their separation between Doctor Mirage and her husband. After all, fans are surely eager to see them find a way back together.


Magdalene Visaggio’s take on Doctor Mirage has been as surreal as it is brilliant. She’s taken the character to all new heights while also pushing her to the limits. It’s been a fascinating read, and we have yet to reveal the whole story.

In this issue, it feels like the quest has finally begun. She may not have entirely admitted the truth to herself, but at least she’s moving forward in the right direction. Or so we hope. Perhaps that is why this series has been so fascinating so far; we don’t yet know what is true and what is an illusion.

Doctor Mirage #3 is a surreal quest, weaving together different lore about life and death, all while leaving us wondering if what we’re seeing is real. It’s no wonder Doctor Mirage is so hesitant to believe; who can blame her?

No matter how you look at it, there’s no doubt that Doctor Mirage has found herself in the middle of a complicated mess. The real question is, how is she going to resolve it?


Doctor Mirage #3 has perhaps some of my favorite artwork for the series, which is saying something. It’s vibrant and surreal, and it fits in perfectly with this sensation that we can’t trust what we’re being shown.

Nick Robles was the lead artist for this issue, and the landscape and characters he brought to life in this issue are…to put it simply, fascinating. They’re warped versions of gods and legends of the dead, and I just can’t stop looking at them.

Jordie Bellaire’s artwork only serves to heighten the artwork in this issue. The real sense of the surreal comes from the coloring, which is almost psychedelic. It certainly makes for an emotional issue! And it’s challenging to take your eyes off of.

Finally, Dave Sharpe did the lettering in this issue. And his work is the epitome of knowing how to be subtle and understated.


Doctor Mirage #3 was a surreal masterpiece. The artwork and the plot combined leave the reader unsure of the truth. And the result was something luminous and vibrant. I already can’t wait to get my hands on the next issue, and I know I’m not going to be alone in feeling that way.

This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.

Review: Faith Dreamside #1

Faith Dreamside #1

Faith Dreamside #1
Publisher: Valiant
Released: September 26th 2018
Rating: 4 Star

Okay, so confession time. I’m not even up to take on the older Faith series. I keep meaning to read them all, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Still, I love Faith so I knew I was going to give this series a try (hey, sometimes it’s easier to get into a series and stay caught up then it is to get caught up in the first place!).

So obviously I’ve missed some things. Like the bad guys teaming together and framing Faith for murder. Man does that stink. I feel like this is the sort of trial any legit superhero has to go through though, so in a twisted way I’m glad to see we’ve hit that point with her character.

I’m not surprised by the way Faith has decided to handle the dilemma – she’s never been the type to want to hurt people, and by showing up at scenes she risks altercations with the police. So while it’s a shame to see it happening, I sort of agree with her decision in this case.

I can’t wait to see what’s going on with the girl and how Faith is planning on helping her. Again, I think the girl is something else I’ve missed in the series, but I’ll get through the backstory of it all some other time. Right now I think I know enough to understand what’s going on.

As per usual the artwork for Faith was fantastic. I love that Faith doesn’t really look or act like a typical superhero. I mean, she’s a total nerd so obviously I relate to that. So it’s hard not to love her. I also like that her mild mannered alter ego is the one that wears the wig and disguise, as opposed to the other way around. It’s a really nice change.


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