Written by Rachel Freeman
Mother Panic is published by DC Comics under their Young Animals imprint. It is written by Jody Houser with art by Shawn Crystal.
Out of all the Young Animal titles, Mother Panic has definitely been my favorite (I’m also a big Shade the Changing Girl fan, but we aren’t talking about that today). Violet Paige is intelligent, ruthless, narcissistic and self-destructive. She’s basically the epitome of “badass bitch”. She has her moments that show she isn’t completely heartless, like when she saved those kids last issue, but ultimately she tends to not do anything if it doesn’t further her own goal. This is what makes her so enjoyable to me. She lives in Gotham alongside all of the bat family, but she has no interest in being like them. This issue is the first time we really see her “work” with anyone though. Note the quotation marks, because it’s a very loose term in this case. She meets another like her, someone subjected to pain and torture from the Gather House, although it was different from hers. It seems like none of the children subjected to their experiments underwent the same kind.
She feels sympathy for him. She knows his pain. But mostly, they have the same goal: destroy everyone who wronged them in that orphanage. So, why not team up? Sure, he seems batshit crazy and speaks in only nursery rhymes and old English, what could go wrong? Well, nothing really goes wrong per say. Not yet. But it’s going to. He is willing to cross a line that Violet refuses to. Killing a child. The child of the man who tricked them, who knowingly took them to that horrible place, but he’s still a child and unlike her tormentors, Violet doesn’t believe in using innocent children as a tool. Children are definitely her weak spot.This new guy though, he doesn’t care, and he’s definitely not happy when Violet, not only rejects his plan, but destroys his gun. Which really makes me wonder what kind of insane plan he’s already brewing up in his crazy head to take her down too.
Side note, there’s a guy who lives in a cellar-type-thing next to their basement who can talk to and control rats. And said rats have been “talking” to Violet’s mother. Which makes you wonder how crazy she really is. Because she DOES understand the rats, it seems. We aren’t sure about this rat guy yet though. I mean, he did almost kill that old lady who kicked him out, but then he didn’t. So I feel like he isn’t such a bad dude, even though maybe we’re supposed to think that right now.
I really liked this issue. I’ve liked all of the issue, though, so maybe I have a bit of bias. I just think Jody Houser is doing a phenomenal job with this character. The only complaint I really have is that I don’t like the art FOR THIS SERIES. I think Shawn Crystal is incredibly talented and his art is beautiful. But Tommy Lee Edwards had this grit to it, his style felt perfect. It’s also the style the series started with and had for its first three issues, so maybe I just need to get used to Shawn Crystal’s. For now though, it just doesn’t feel quite right for this character. We’ll have to wait and see. I suppose.<OVERALL SCORE: 9 / 10