Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Tommy Lee Edwards
Mother Panic has been my biggest surprise of 2016. It has a great new character, awesome art and brutal action. The icing on the cake: it’s set in Gotham City, home to the Bat! What more could you ask for? I loved the first issue, so let’s take a look at “A Work in Progress” Part 2 and see how this Young Animal book is going.
Immediately, it’s revealed that Violet doesn’t dress up to help people, like Batman does. It still isn’t totally clear why she does what she does but it seems for selfish gain somehow. She isn’t liking how she’s getting sidetracked to help someone. While trying to find a lead to help this person she saved from getting killed in the last issue, she goes to a Gotham Victims Fund Gala where many people are dressed up as ways people have been killed and also as Gotham’s Most Wanted, like Two-Face, Penguin, and the Joker. I love this imagery here, I see it as these people were victims of these terrible villains and crimes and they’re dressing up as them as a way of empowering themselves and overcoming their tragedy. It’s a great way to show how terrible of a city Gotham City truly is.
I’m still very curious what she’s doing in Gotham in the first place and why she dresses up to fights thugs. The continuing flashbacks of Violets past are great here as well. We get more of her past as a child and how dark her childhood was. I won’t spoil what happens at the end of the issue here for her flashbacks but it’s pretty shocking and I’m interested to see what comes next with it. The issue also deeper solidifies that Violet is a terrible person. She’s one of the biggest anti-heroes I’ve seen lately and I can’t wait to see where Houser goes with her character, if she is redeemed or continues to be a brutal vigilante. I hope they explore Batman encountering her and trying to help her ease up in the future. Speaking of bats, the issue also has another Bat-family cameo, who I won’t spoil here. It’s really great and, like with Batman in the last issue, it isn’t forced at all.
The art is still so great from Edwards. I love the dark, gritty and dirty look he gives to Gotham City and it’s citizens. Whoever created Mother Panic’s suit was so smart. As her costume is white it really stands out through all the dark and under-saturated colors of each panel and she really pops. The back-up story to Mother Panic is getting pretty interesting as well, Gotham Radio Scene 2 “The Mourning After.” It’s an interesting murder mystery in Gotham where we are introduced to Debbie Stoner, the assistant to the radio host from the last issue. It’s pretty short but sweet and I can’t wait to continue it as well.
I loved this issue; Houser is doing a great job with the writing of Mother Panic and Edward’s art is amazing. The story is intriguing and it makes me want more from this. I also want more Violet as she is so new. Even though we are still getting revelations about her, I still want more of her character and what her motivations are.