When the new Doctor Mirage launches August 28, Shan Fong has to cope with the finality of death for the first time. With her connection to the Deadside suddenly severed, she can no longer commune with ghosts — which include her late husband, Hwen. To regain her connection to the Deadside, Shan is willing to do whatever it takes, but the situation is more complex than she realizes.

The Beat was able to catch up with series artist Nick Robles to talk about the new Doctor Mirage arc in an exclusive interview via e-mail. We are also able to reveal issue #3 covers, including the main cover by Philip Tan, variant covers by Raúl Allén and Pasqual Ferry, and a pre-order bundle variant by Tula Lotay.

Samantha Puc: What draws you to Doctor Mirage and her story, especially in this series where she’s lost her connection to the dead and to her husband?

Nick Robles: Death, and the myth and magic that surround it, have always been fascinating to me. Drawing characters that are saturated in that element are some of my favorites to work on, and Shan is facing it all anew in this story. Mags [series writer Magdalene Visaggio] has her exploring new facets of herself and the plot diverges from the normal. I was happy to join in on this and take things in a whole new direction to shake it up a little. I’m hoping my new-to-Valiant perspective brings a fresh vibe to the Doctor!

Puc: What can readers expect from this series?

Robles: A fresh look at Mirage, dipped in a psychedelic world that bends and breaks what a traditional Land of the Dead should look like.

Puc: Is there music or other media that help you get in the headspace to draw? If so, what has inspired you on Doctor Mirage?

Robles: I listen to a lot of soundtracks from video games, movies, and musicals. It’s not common they line up with the material I’m drawing, but sometimes! I’ve been taking in a lot of abstract and surrealism art for this series, letting it guide me to make strange and rule-breaking marks and lines.

Puc: Without revealing spoilers, is there anything in particular that you’ve been really excited to draw?

Robles: I’m having a lot of fun with the setting…which is unstable and nonsensical at times. It’s a weird world we’ve got Shan walking through!

Puc: How has it been working with Visaggio and Jordie Bellaire?

Robles: Both are very supportive and on board to make this book look like its own thing and like nothing else out there!

Puc: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Robles: I don’t think so! I hope everyone enjoys the book and embraces the return of Doctor Mirage!

Doctor Mirage #3 main cover art by Philip Tan
Main cover art by Philip Tan
Variant cover by Raúl Allén
Variant cover by Pasqual Ferry
Pre-order bundle variant cover by Tula Lotay