Soccer mom April Walters’s dedication to rescuing her kidnapped daughter Taylor is pretty remarkable, to say the least. Throughout the first two issues of Bad Mother, April’s been in the midst of a store robbery, found the corpse of her daughter’s boyfriend, and uncovered crooked cops. Nevertheless, she persists. In Bad Mother #3, writer Christa Faust and artist Mike Deodato Jr. have April bring the fight to the crime syndicate. But will it be enough?
Bad Mother has been such a good journey so far, and issue #3 is no exception. Most of the issue plays out like a reconnaissance mission — we see April doing things like following crooked cops around, peeking out of car windows with binoculars, noting people’s daily routines, and stocking up on highly flammable chemicals. It all leads up to a stunning final climactic ending that elevates April’s status from soccer mom to total badass.
This issue has very minimal dialogue and instead lets Deodato Jr’s illustrations carry the bulk of storytelling. It’s done in a very impressive fashion with the story, pacing, thrilling panel moments, and artwork all feeling properly balanced. The unique blending of continuous panels and stunning pencil work makes me compare Mike Deodato Jr.’s work in Bad Mother to other great artists like Mike Patterson, who was responsible for the awesome artwork in a-ha’s legendary video for “Take On Me“.
Aside from that, you have the action. You have the drama. But one of the other highlights that Faust represents in Bad Mother #3 is the qualities that constitute just what a mother is. Through April’s long moments surveying people from her car, April shows us patience. Through her shopping trips to buy hazardous chemicals to cook up a plan against the bad guys, we see her willingness to learn. And there are several other examples throughout the book. All these traits are what makes a good mother.
Bad Mother #3 is a good, quick read that makes you want to come back for the fourth issue. Solid script, fantastic imagery as always, and superbly engaging, Faust and Deodato continue to push the boundaries of their creativity.