By Maxi Kim | October 15, 2017
In celebration of the two year anniversary of ComicBlitz, we spotlight one of Valiant Comics’ most dynamic power couples—Hwen and Carmen Mirage. Co-created by writer Bob Layton and artist Bernard Chang, The Second Life of Doctor Mirage follows the adventures of a pair of scientists who investigate both the supernatural and paranormal.
Doctor Strange meets The X-Files, Layton & Chang’s labor of love is notable for showcasing one of the few multiracial couples in comics in the early 1990s. In an interview in ’94, Layton revealed that the series was originally created after talking with a close friend who wanted a comic that catered to female audiences. Chang has later gone on to say that it was partly because the character of Hwen Mirage was an Asian American that led him to join the project.
The fact that we have yet to see a live-action adaptation of Hwen and Carmen speaks volumes about how far we have yet to go culturally. Below are our top casting choices if they ever should make a Doctor Mirage movie or television series.
John Cho as Hwen Mirage
Perhaps best known for his role as Harold in the Harold & Kumar movies and Sulu in the Star Trek reboot, the Korean American actor has always been vocal about the importance of onscreen representations of Asian Americans. When asked to do a stereotypical accent for a film, Cho refused. He didn’t want “young people laughing at an accent inadvertently.” In a recent Twitter comment, he wrote: “Stop turning Asian roles white. It’s bullshit and we all know it.” Who better than Cho to play this landmark role as the romantic lead of a multiracial superhero couple?
Having already played the romantic lead in a television series, Cho has pointed out that “Asians narratively in shows are insignificant. . . . You see them in the background.” Doctor Mirage is anything but in the background. And rumor has it that Cho is chomping at the bit to play and embody such iconic comic book characters.
Zoe Saldana as Carmen Mirage
Widely known as Uhura in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy, Zoe Saldana has quickly won the hearts of discriminating fanboys and fangirls alike with her deft reinterpretation of pop cultural icons. Having proudly waved the flag of multiculturalism with her insistence on speaking both Spanish and English around her children, Saldana would bring a level of sensitivity and sociopolitical awareness to the role of Carmen. It also doesn’t hurt that Saldana has had dance training; after all, the character of Carmen has had martial arts experience.