May 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #333: Madame Mirage

Paul Dini once made a character based on his wife.

Animation writer and producer Paul Dini made a name for himself writing many of the best-remembered episodes of Batman the Animated Series.  He was one of the creators of Harley Quinn, wrote some great episodes involving Joker, Mr. Freeze, and the Mad Hatter among others, and has continued on with a number of animated superheroes, even writing comics from time to time.

In fact, he wrote a six issue mini-series for Top Cow based on an original character named Madame Mirage.  Thanks to the YouTube channel Mr. Rogues for his video letting me know this character even existed.

Madame Mirage was actually based on Dini’s wife, the voiceover actress and magician Misty Lee.  And, having seen pictures of Madame Mirage, well, I gotta wonder how Misty Lee feels about that.

I get the feeling it was a bit cold there. Just a thought.

Regardless, Dini created a whole world for Madame Mirage to do what she does in.  That universe had its own superheroes, but here they were all products of mad-made “mega-tech” granting them various superpowers.  The scientists who invented it did so to create some much-needed superheroes, but eventually, criminals got a hold of it and made some supervillains, many of whom work for some kind of corporate criminal enterprise.

But then the technology was banned.  Heroes became criminals, and criminals went deep underground.  One gang, based out of Los Angeles, set up a dummy corporation that hid a gang of vicious supervillains.  Things were going well for them there…until Madame Mirage showed up and started killing them.

See, Madame Mirage, often riding around with her kid sister Harper, was envisioned by Dini as some sort of female version of the Shadow, having all kinds of mental powers and absolutely no compunctions about killing bad guys.  Quite frankly, from what I have found out, most of the six issues showed Madame Mirage basically plowing through all these supervillains, so best not to get too attached to any of them.

Like this guy apparently.

That said, there was a twist to the story:  Harper is not Madame Mirage’s kid sister.  No, she is Madame Mirage.  That’s not that surprising when you consider Mirage has illusion-casting as one of her powers, so it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility that the shorter, skinnier, and, well, less voluptuous woman was the real thing.  It turned out there was a real Mirage at one point, but then bad guys shot her, Harper, and then framed the girls’ father for crimes and sent him off to prison. Harper survived, developed the tech she was working on, and went out wearing a disguise to look like her dead sister Angela.

Once all the bad guys were dead, it looks like that was it for Madame Mirage.  That may be for the best.  I mean, when you finish off all the villains in six issues, what’s left to do anyway?