Mother Panic, written by Jody Houser and drawn by Tommy Lee Edwards, is the fourth title, and currently final, to be released under DC’s Young Animal imprint. This is the first title I’ve actually manager to read of the Young Animal stuff, though I do have the other 3 books in my to read pile, and thoughts on those books should be coming soon.
I thought the issue did well in establishing this new character, which is exactly what a #1 issue should do. Here’s what we know about Mother Panic. Her real name is Violet Paige. She’s a celebrity, though we don’t exactly know for what. But really, in today’s pop culture world, does there need to be a reason. She’s a bit of a rebel. Her mother had some type of dementia. We learn that her father died somehow when she was younger.
And if you missed any of that during the issue, there’s a lovely profile page at the end of the issue that tells you a few more details. The additional details include that she has an older brother. Her father died in a hunting accident when she was 13. (There were flashbacks about her going on a hunting trip, so I assume that we’ll see the accident later.) After the death of her father, she was sent to some special school, and not seen for 10 years, reappearing in Gotham high society.
Oh yeah, this book takes place in Gotham. I doubt that it’s really going to matter that the book exists in Gotham. There are a few comments from people thinking that she is in the Bat group, but it’s pretty clear she isn’t. Although, using Gotham as the setting does save you the time of having to create the setting from scratch. Everyone reading this comic should be familiar with Gotham.
There is a strange, coincidental, but interesting intersection developing between Mother Panic’s perceived mission, and who is obviously being set up as a villain. Frankly, we don’t actually know right now what Mother Panic’s mission is. We just know that she was trying to abduct Mr. Hemsley’s bodyguard, in order to get some information from it. But, it just so happens that Mr. Hemsley’s bodyguard is now on the run, because he’s seen something he shouldn’t have. Which brings us to the obvious villain.
Hemsley visits a woman named Gala. She had done a work of art for him that he wasn’t supposed to show anyone, but did show Dominic, his bodyguard. Dominic freaks out, and that’s why Hemsley’s men was trying to kill him. In Hemsley’s meeting with Gala, we see that her art consists of killing people With Hemsley’s work, possibly kids.
I expect the story to go along the lies of Violet struggling between just dealing with whatever beef she has with Mr. Hemsley (I suspect her father’s death) and the information about the art that she’s receiving from the bodyguard. And that’s a story I’m interested in.
The art is a style that I don’t particularly like, but that’s more of a personal preference than an actual critique. It’s fine. If you’ve read many of my reviews, you know that I value story more than art, which I do understand is odd with comic books being a visual medium, but I will stick with a book that has a good story and bad art far longer than I will stick with a bad story that has good art.
I liked this issue. I like the pacing of the story. I like the level of information presented about the characters, and the hints of things still to come. It’s the something different I was looking for, while still being familiar. Like when you go to your favorite restaurant, and decide to try something different, rather than your usual.