Story By: Emma Ríos
Art By: Hwei Lim
Published on February 3, 2016 by Image Comics
Lewis Carroll was famous for making up words, most notably in the poem “Jabberwocky.” One of those words is mimsy, which Humpty Dumpty explains to Alice in Through the Looking Glass is a portmanteau for miserable and flimsy. But I’ve always thought it was a mash-up of miserable and whimsy, and this error refuses to right itself in my brain. It is this meaning I kept mentally attributing to Mirror, which shares its use of looking glasses, transformations, plays for power, and talking animals with Carroll’s famous sequel.
The story centers around a boy, Ivan, who is the ward of a magician named Kazbek and is to be trained in magic himself. His dog Cena is the subject of magical experiments by Kazbek that over time give her human qualities including the ability to speak and, eventually, love. That love is seen as an abomination, and the two attempt to run away together, only to be apprehended and separated as Cena escapes into the wilderness. That early part of the story is mirrored with the state of things about 30 years later, when Ivan is a talented magician still under the watchful eye of Kazbek. Kazbek has now succeeded in creating a minotaur, a sphinx, and a talking lab rat, and has been attempting to reproduce the creations ever since. Ivan finds his work immoral and strikes out against him. Mirror #1 sets the stage for an emotional journey where Ivan, Cena, and Zun fight for dignity and freedom.