Mother Panicwas the first Young Animal book that set off alarm bells in readers because it was set in and alongside the current Batman comics. But despite that initial wariness, Jody Houser, Tommy Lee Edwards, and now Shawn Crystal have done a great job expanding Gotham to include this weird, edgy, super-dark-even-for-Batman-comics anti-hero.
Violet Page’s world, while only mostly Bat-adjacent, feels like the Gotham that I still can’t figure out why anyone would live in. The world is gothic and shadowy, and Houser is skilled at hitting the right tone – especially compared to her work on Valiant’s Faith, Mother Panicfeels sparse. Edwards and Crystal are almost diametrically opposed in style, but they each bring something interesting to the book: Edwards with his grainy, noir-ish atmosphere, and Crystal a weight to the characters that makes the fights more impactful.
The book wraps up its first year by digging more into Violet’s past, while she tries to escape becoming a murdered statue. DC Comics sent along an exclusive preview of Mother Panic#12. Here’s what they have to say about the issue:
MOTHER PANIC #12 Written by JODY HOUSER, Backup story written by JIM KRUEGER, Art by SHAWN CRYSTAL, Backup story art by PHIL HESTER, Cover by TOMMY LEE EDWARDS, Variant cover by JOELLE JONES With the true face of an old friend revealed, Violet Paige must fight her way free or risk Mother Panic becoming a part of Gala’s grisly art exhibit. Back at home a disturbing revelation about Rebecca’s mental state comes to light. Includes the finale of “Gotham Radio” by the acclaimed team of Jim Krueger and Phil Hester!
Check out these pages and tell me I’m wrong about being dark and edgy while also feeling JUST like a Batman comic.