Another comic from the Young Animal line is out today with the talents of Jody Houser and Tommy Lee Edwards aiming to deliver. We delve in completely blind (didn’t even read the summary!) and answer the question, is it good?
Mother Panic #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? Just read our full summary and preview!
Why does this book matter?
Is it just me, or does Houser’s name come up and more and more lately? She’s been the writer of a lot of good comics and her ability to write a strong lead character is obvious. I know Tommy Lee Edwards from his work on Turf which has a darker tone and a moody style. Together we’re in for something truly unique!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I wonder what kind of animal she’s wearing.
If you ever wanted to see a younger, angrier Batman, this is right up your alley. Houser deftly introduces Violet Page’s current and past states of mind, delving into her childhood and what made her get the edge she has today. The first half of the issue reveals a hard drinking, hard living girl about as famous as a Kardashian, but way cooler. Houser dips in and out of flashbacks, connecting moments today as Violet is reminded of a mother who appears to have dementia and a father who’s tough on her. At the halfway point the super heroics kick in, Violet dons the costume you see on the cover and more is revealed.
One of the best scenes in the issue involves the, presumably, villain of the series. She’s violent, viciously unfeeling, and has a unique way of creating art. The character is quite unique and when you consider Violet may be directly fighting this woman the dynamic is titillating.
Edwards is good, especially the superhero scenes, with easy to follow action and an awesome looking costume for Violet. Characters have a realistic look and feel, but the environments top them by far. The city is gorgeous, especially Violet’s home base, and you’ll never be lost in a scene due to the time spent making the scenes deeply detailed. The use of color is well thought out and compelling too. While many scenes use monotone colors, a pop is used here and there to make the city or scenes come alive.
The book ends with a quick three page backup story written by Jim Krueger with pencils by Phil Hester. The story delves into a Gotham radio program and speaks to the sorrow one feels when there’s something missing. As a radio announcer speaks on the subject Hester shows us scenes around Gotham in beautiful 12 panel pages. When something happens the listeners all react and the final 12 panel page is varied with all the listeners drawing you into the people of Gotham. Cool stuff, and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I found myself getting lost by the visuals here and there. Take for instance the page below, where Violet looks nothing like herself in the second panel (black hair…the wrong eyes) and while the clothes are the same I was taken out of the experience.
Is that the same person?
Another element that was confusing to me (maybe this book requires multiple readings?) was the henchmen around the villain. The villain is clear and understandable, but how her henchmen function seems strange. A certain bespectacled character pops in and out of the story in this issue and eventually meets up with her, but what his deal is with her and her organization is confusing. This character pops up early on and his intro is a confusing one. He appears to be kissing another man, the art isn’t clear on this as they are so far away, he shows a piece of art to the same man, there’s a bit of shock and then we’re back into the main narrative. The purpose of this scene is bewildering and it’s hard to fathom its intentions.
Is It Good?
Mother Panic will pull you in with its good character work and fantastic art. Gotham has another rich elite fighting crime, but based on this there’s clearly room for her.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!