Gotham has a new vigilante hero and she’s likely to break your jaw. The first issue introduced this new character with a mysterious past with the second issue taking her to task to kick even more butt. Is it good?
Mother Panic #2 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
Mother Panic is on the hunt, which means Violet Paige is out on the town, making a splash among Gotham City’s elite. But what role do missing kids play in her thirst for vengeance? And what does her target have to do with the mysterious death of her father?
Why does this book matter?
Jody Houser has been making a name for herself for some time now so it’s no surprise she’s involved in one of the primo Young Animal series. With her ability to cast strong dialogue you’re bound to relate to her characters. Add in Tommy Lee Edwards’ dark atmospheric art and you have a great combo.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue pretty much has everything you’d want in a second issue. You’ve got big named heroes popping up, key flashbacks revealing more detail of our hero, and excellent detective work followed up with some action. Violet continues to be cast as a rather tragic protagonist who has a lot of stuff to work through which makes her intriguing since most superheroes are pretty straight laced. The reveals suggest she’s had to live through some tough stuff and her mother – in some kind of Alice in Wonderland type room of weirdness – certainly adds to that.
This issue is much easier to follow than the last, with Violet going after a very bad man. Edwards continues to draw a very cool looking Mother Panic, the costume is cool and the fact that it’s white is brought up which might make you smirk, which looks even better when she uses those massive fists. As she goes out on the town, Edwards and Houser offer up a compelling sequence that reveals a lot about the character. Edwards does a fantastic job showing Violet’s emotion (or lack thereof) and by extension the amount of crap she’s dealing with emotionally. Strong stuff.
This issue is a nice reminder artists who color their own work can be a huge boon storytelling wise. Using orange in a background for instance enhances the trippy and weird scene as a character attempts to find his way out of a maze of staircases. In another scene, Mother Panic enters a server farm and the use of black, green, and blue make a very aesthetically pleasing panel. It certainly allows for a complexity that gives this book a more entertaining feel.
The backup by Jim Krueger and Phil Hester continues the story about a radio jockey in Gotham progressing things nicely. It’s not quite as impactful as the fantastic first portion in the last issue, but it’s going down a road that’s interesting if you’re at all interested in the power of emotionally charged programs.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The flashbacks are incredibly helpful, but I continue to have trouble relating to and understanding Violet. Her lack of emotion hinders your ability to get a bead on them, and while this might be on purpose, it hurts the story on some levels. Considering her anger issues and her actions in this issue she’s walking a fine line of villain and hero and that’s a tricky thing to keep up in the air. The mother character continues to be an enigma too. The fact that I’m interested in who they are and what their deal is is a good sign the writing is working, but it’s starting to try my patience.
Love this costume!
Is It Good?
Mother Panic is all grit and emotional baggage in the best of ways. The character is revealed more here as Houser and Edwards peel back her past. The art continues to be detailed and dark in the best of ways.