The comic that Never was published.
August 29, 2014 http://valiantfans.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=7391&
Below is the text and description for the pages of Acclaim's Dr. Mirage. The pages accompany.
Full Page Splash - An gravely injured Hwen Mirage staggers down corridor of ancient temple. Hwen is bleeding pretty badly, and it doesn't look as if he has long to live. This is a dream his wife Carmen is having. She doesn't know about his secret identity, so Hwen SHOULD NOT be in his "Doctor Mirage" costume. As the temple is high in the mountains, give him a thick parka-style coat and heavy winter clothing (which have been torn by whatever injured Hwen), and a pair of glasses (a flashback to the original Doctor Mirage). A few torches along the wall provide what little lighting there is. The stone walls of the temple corridor should be ancient looking, with strange symbols and pictures of menacing-looking creatures carved into the rock. This place is pure evil, so really go for as nightmarish looking as possible.
Pages Two and Three
Multiple Panels across Two Pages - Hwen can't go on, and the monsters close in for the kill. The monsters should be kept mostly in shadows, so we only see a rough outline of how big they are (approx. 8' foot tall). We do get glimpses of parts of the monsters - huge razor-sharp teeth, long dagger-like claws, etc. Although you can't tell it here, the things about to pounce on Hwen are Yeti (i.e. the legendary Abominable Snowman).
Panel One - Hwen propped up against wall, barely able to stand.
Panel Two - Reverse angle - Hwen looks back down the corridor he came from, a look of fear on his face. The shadow of whatever is pursuing him covers him.
Panel Three - Hwen's point-of-view - We see the dark outlines of several large creatures almost on top of him.
Panel Four - Extreme close on Hwen's eyes. His eyes are wide open in terror. It the reflection in Hwen's glasses, all we see are those razor-sharp teeth coming at him.
Panel Five - Blood splatters on stone wall. Make the stone carvings on this part of the wall very ornate and unique (different from what we've seen on the other walls). Later in the story, Carmen will recognize this pattern and it will help her find the magic gauntlets.
Panel Six - Carmen sits up in bed, clutching the sheet covering her as if it were some kind on security blanket, tears streaming down her face. She had that nightmare again, the same one that has plagued her off and on ever since Hwen's death six months earlier. Really play up Carmen's vulnerability here - a beautiful woman in lingerie alone in a huge king-size bed. It's a very sad thing.
Panel One - Establishing shot of cemetery. This is a very exclusive "rich persons" graveyard, so the place is huge. Lots of open spaces, lots of mausoleums and big statues, some smaller headstones.
Panel Two - Long shot for behind tree looking over shoulder of shadowy figure in foreground. The figure, who we will be introduced to on page six, is Martin Devereaux (the bad guy). In the background is Carmen, who is standing in front of a large stone monument, holding a bouquet of flowers. The monument, Carmen's memorial to Hwen, is a large marble base topped by a life-sized gothic angel with its wings fully extended. Carmen is dressed casually - pants, turtleneck top, jacket, boots (she doesn't don her "costume" until the end of the book). Devereaux is obviously watching her.
Panel Three - Medium close on Carmen and the statue. The inscription carved into the statue's marble base reads: "To the Loving Memory of Hwen Mirage - Devoted Husband and Scholar - He Died in the Selfless Pursuit of Knowledge." Carmen lays the flowers down at the statue's feet. She starts talking to the statue as if she were talking to Hwen.
Panel Four - Reverse angle medium close up on Carmen. She has a sad look in her eyes. Things haven't been easy on her since Hwen died. She says that she knows this isn't Hwen's final resting place (his body was never found), but this is the place where she feels closest to him.
Panel Five - Pull back shot slightly. Carmen is looking up at the statue, a single tear is rolling down her cheek. She's really trying to maintain her composure, but it's really hard. She makes small talk.
Panel One - Carmen closes her eyes, more tears streaming down her face. She's starting to lose it. No dialogue this panel.
Panel Two - She says she had the dream again, and how she prays to God that wasn't how he died.
Panel Three - Shot from behind statue's shoulder, looking down on Carmen, who has opened her eyes, but is still crying. Carmen finally says the questions that have been weighing on her mind since the day Hwen died. Why did he have to go? Why did he have to leave her alone?
Panel Four - Shot of the angel statue. No dialogue.
Panel Five - Carmen turns her back to the statue. It's as if she were expecting some answer, but it never came. She says she didn't think he had an answer.
Panel Six - Long shot. Carmen walking across the lawn towards her car (something sporty and expensive… think Porsche)
Panel One - Carmen is nearing her car, when Martin Devereaux walks up to her. Carmen doesn't want to talk, but Devereaux is persistent. He specializes in estate purchasing, and he has several clients who are interested in Hwen's many collections, especially his vast library. Devereaux is a very handsome man in his early 30's, but has a somewhat sinister quality about him. It's nothing one can put their finger on, but more of a vibe he gives off. Visually, I'm thinking of someone like a Gary Oldham (I can provide reference, if needed).
Panel Two - Carmen continues to walk, with Devereaux right beside her. Although she says she isn't interested, Devereaux manages to get her to take his business card.
Panel Three - Reverse angle so Carmen, who continues walking, is in foreground, and Devereaux, who has stopped walking, is behind her. He says something to the effect that he can make her an offer she shouldn't refuse (it'll be something that seems innocent in this context, but will have a much darker connotation later on). Carmen mumbles something under her breathe.
Panel Four - Carmen looks down at the business card and stops in her tracks. On it are the same strange symbols Carmen saw on the temple walls in her dream (not the ornate symbols from the panel with Hwen's blood splattered on it, but those found on the other walls - the evil symbols).
Panel Five - Pull back shot. Carmen turns to ask Devereaux about the symbols, but he has vanished.
Panel Six - Medium close on Carmen. Something weird is going on.
Panel One - Establishing shot of stately Mirage Manor. Think huge country estate with huge mansion house (i.e. like Wayne Manor in the Batman books). The mansion is on a 50-foot high cliff over looking the Atlantic Ocean. It is late at night.
Panel Two - Upstairs, in her darkened bedroom, Carmen is asleep. She's wearing a satin and lace teddy and matching panties (you know… the kind of stuff guys think girls wear when they sleep).
Panel Three - Downstairs, in Hwen's darkened study, a window is forced open. Near the window is a small marble pedestal with a bust of the famed German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (it's part of a bit coming up).
Panel Four - A huge, massive shape tries to squeeze it's way through the opened window. One leg is through, plus an arm, the head and part of the upper body. The thing breaking in is Aram Armstrong, the guy who will help Carmen solve this mystery. Aram is huge - 6''8", 400 lbs. of pure muscle (you have ref for him). He's dressed all in black, and is even wearing a black ski-mask to hide his face. Aram is breaking in because he doesn't know how much Carmen knows about Hwen's "second life," and he felt it better not to involve her. In Aram's hand is a small flashlight, which he uses to light his way.
Panel Five - Aram finally squeezes the rest of his huge body through the window, but in doing so, he knocks the bust of Bach off its pedestal.
Panel One - Aram catches the bust before it hits the floor. He breathes a deep sigh of relief.
Panel Two - Aram places the bust back on it's pedestal, apologizing to the statue, "Sorry about that J.S.…almost caused a chip off the old Bach. Luckily nothing baroque…" (ugh… that's pretty bad).
Panel Three - Aram walks over to a large (10-foot tall) bookcase that is built into the wall, and shines his flashlight on the books. He asks which one of them controls the portal, telling them all not to talk at once. He thinks he has found it. Beside the bookcase is a huge mirror (it's the physical portal to Hwen's Sanctuary), which will come into play shortly.
Panel Four - Aram is reaching for a book… when a light in the study comes on. Busted!
Panel Five - Aram's viewpoint. Carmen's is doing a flying kick, so her bare right foot is about to make contact with Aram's face. This isn't going to be good for Aram. Carmen is still wearing her teddy as a top, but she's slipped on a pair of jean shorts. She also has a sterling silver heart ankle bracelet around her right ankle (this is a set up for something later).
Panel One - Carmen's kick to the face sends Aram staggering back into the large bookcase behind him. Because the bookcase is built into the wall, it doesn't come crashing down, but a bunch of books fall down on top of him. Amazingly, the one book he was reaching for stays where it was.
Panel Two - Carmen lands on her feet with almost cat-like grace.
Panel Three - Carmen grabs Aram by the wrists and pulls him forward towards her as she is falling backwards at the same time. She's going to monkey flip Aram.
Panel Four - In one smooth, fluid movement, Carmen rolls backwards, pulling her legs up so her feet are against Aram's chest and she pushes off with her legs, flipping Aram backwards.
Panel Five - Aram comes crashing down on a table, crushing it under his weight.
Panel Six - Shot from above looking down. Carmen is standing on Aram's chest, asking if he gives up. He has no problems with that.
Panel One - Pull back shot. Carmen is cautious as Aram gets up off floor and removes his mask.
Panel Two - Medium close on Aram. He tells Carmen who he is (in the scene at the memorial, Carmen mentions that Hwen's lawyer was still looking for an Aram Armstrong who was named in Hwen's will).
Panel Three - Medium close of Carmen. There's fire in her eyes… she is pissed!!! "You mean you broke into my house to get a book that my husband left you in his will?!!!"
Panel Four - Aram walks over to the bookcase and reaches for that book again (it's one of the few books still on the shelves after Aram crashed into it). "No… I broke into your house because I didn't want you to see this."
Panel Five - Pull back shot so that entire side of the room is seen. Aram has pulled out the book, and the big mirror has changed into a swirl vortex of colors. It's a portal to another dimension. Carmen, who is in the foreground with Aram, is speechless.
Panel One - Medium shot of Carmen and Aram. Carmen is still wide-eyed by what she's seeing. Aram gently puts his huge hand on her shoulder and tells her to follow him.
Panel Two - Pull back shot slightly. Aram walks through the mirror, so only part of his body (the back half) can be seen.
Panel Three - Reverse angle, medium close on Aram and Carmen. On the other side of the mirror, Aram is standing and waiting as Carmen passes through the mirror. On this side of the mirror, the mirror is transparent (not the vortex as we saw on the last page), so you can see part of the study Carmen and Aram just left.. If it's possible, Carmen's eyes are even wider in disbelief… what she is seeing (what we'll see next panel) can't be possible.
Panel Four - Biggest panel on page (1/2 page splash?). Pull shot way back so Aram and Carmen are very tiny figures standing on a narrow bridge of pure light. At one end of the light bridge is a circular platform, at the other end is the dimensional gate (the mirror) they just passed through. The light bridge is floating in complete blackness, as if it were in deep space. In the distance, giant galaxies float by and mingle with supergiant atoms and molecules. This is Haven, a parallel dimension under the control of Doctor Mirage.
Note: Haven is a very weird place, a dimension that exists parallel to our own dimension. It exists simultaneously on a scale of the infinitely large (galaxies and clusters of galaxies) and the infinitesimally small (atoms and molecules). As it is a total impossibility with no possible basis in the real world, have fun with it and make it look cooler than heck.