Being a decent parent takes a lot of hard work. Try as you might, no one knows this greater than a mother. So if someone kidnapped your child, what would you do to get them back? How far would you bend the rules of the law or your ethics to make it happen?
Writer Christa Faust and artist Mike Deodato Jr. explore these questions in the form of April Walters in their new series, Bad Mother. Think Taken meets Peg Bundy, but with a lot more intellect. Bad Mother #2 sees April Walters channel her inner Batman detective skills to figure out where her missing daughter is. If you’re not familiar with the plot already, you’re in luck: it’s only on the second issue.
The story follows April Walters, a suburban housewife whose life has become nothing more than a mundane repetitive revolving door of existence. Things go awry after her daughter comes home one night from her boyfriend’s, all bruised up and shortly after goes missing. This issue sees April fall further down the rabbit hole of corruption going on right in her town.
This story hits you emotionally from the start. April Walters’s daughter, Taylor, gets kidnapped by an unknown woman named Ava who works in cahoots with someone involved in sex trafficking women. We the reader see who has taken Taylor and are given a small notion of the horrors her assailant has planned for her. It’s a well-written cat and mouse build up that leaves April to fend for herself while searching for her daughter.
April herself is a very relatable character to the reader. She’s kind, loves her children, and lives a simple life. From the first issue, you can tell that she’d do anything for her kids. If this ever were to get picked up for a TV show or movie, Melissa Leo or Jean Smart would make a great casting choice as April Walters.
Of course, there are a host of other elements that make Bad Mother #2 a must-read book. It shows the lengths a mother will go for her child. It also exposes sex trafficking, crooked cops, and how far deep into suburbia these things can go sometimes. Fault does a tremendous job taking the reader on a journey with April using her daughter’s cell phone as a plot device to move the story forward.
The art by Deodato Jr. in Bad Mother #2 without question fits perfectly with the story Faust is trying to tell. Just like much of his early work on projects like Thanos (2016), Deodato knows how to flesh out characters and their environments. His panel usage through each issue gives a great illusion that the events could be happening in a single shot.
The colors of Bad Mother #2 are brought to life beautifully by Lee Loughridge and give each panel just the right edge to tell this gritty story. Completing the book is the well-placed lettering talent of Dezi Sienty, who adds just the right balance to make sure the art and colors shine through. Kudos goes all around to this impressive team and I can’t wait to see what they do in the next book. The only minor flaw is the lack of variant covers for such an awesome story.
Bad Mother #2 helps sell the emotional aspect of the first issue and stacks the deck against the main character, April. It’ll be interesting to see what she does next to try and get her daughter back. Otherwise, the pacing, writing, and art are all solid here.