When you can interact with the dead, the finality of mortality carries a different weight than it does for everyone else. Valiant’s Shan Fong, a.k.a. Doctor Mirage, has long had a connection to the Deadside, which gives her the power to talk to ghosts — including her late husband, Hwen. However, a recent and sudden loss of that connection means everything is about to change for her. For as long as Shan can remember, she’s been able to see the dead. Now that she can’t, how will she cope?

In the new Doctor Mirage series, launching in August, Shan is willing to do whatever it takes to get her connection to the Deadside back — but the situation is far more complicated than she realizes. io9 shared an exclusive preview of Doctor Mirage #1 on Thursday, in addition to comments from series writer Magdalene Visaggio about what’s to come.

“Her grief right now is denial,” Visaggio told io9. “For the first time in her life she’s utterly, uncontrollably alone. She’s been trying to school herself in the magical arts to figure out a way to do what she’s done before because she thinks that tapping back into the Deadside will make her problems go away. She thinks that she can bring Hwen back, but she doesn’t really see quite yet is that one of the biggest things standing in her way right now is her own trauma.”

She continued, “We know that Hwen was a sorcerer when he and Shan were working together, but because they were a team, she never really had to learn the technical aspects of magic. Her armor’s the perfect analogy because it’s got all of these amulets and hexes and charms all over it to protect her, but that’s all stuff Hwen did, and now that she’s there by herself, she’s got to face these challenges on her own. That gives her the chance to finally and go out to explore these things for herself, and for me, the fun is in finding things with her.”

In addition to Visaggio’s writing, Doctor Mirage will feature art by Nick Robles and colors by Jordie Bellaire. The first issue hits stands August 28. Check out the preview below.

Doctor Mirage #1 preview page 1
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