Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Mother Panic #7 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Bag Man Cometh?

Mother Panic #7
"Victim Complex, Part 1"
Writer: Jody Houser
Interior and Cover Art: John Paul Leon
Interior Colors: Dave Stewart
Letterer: John Workman
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: May 24, 2017 

Just recently I met up with some old friends of mine.  Fellas I haven't seen in years.  We used to work together, though I may want to use quotes around "work".

A lot of our time was spent goofing off and messing with our other co-workers... think the Swamp from M*A*S*H, only without the medical degree... or the charm.

Anyhoo, while we were working together YouTube kinda became a "thing" and took off, and so... like so many other office drones of the day, we began wasting way too much time watching stupid videos.

While at dinner the other night, one old buddy asks me "Hey, you remember Tourettes Guy?" (and I mention this fully expecting nobody reading to have any idea who I'm talking about... though, it should be self-explanatory)

... and, no lie... this book was the first thing I thought of.

What Happened?

The guardians of one of the girls Violet saved from Hemsley are murdered in a parking structure by a character adorned in a Gotham City Coroner's Bag while she watches.

Elsewhere, Violet is beating the hell out of a thug, when... she begins to feel intense pains.  She pops in on Dr. Varma for a check-up, and we learn that perhaps Violet is more metal and machine than we thought.  It's not like she's a robot or anything, she's just got herself some enhancements.

While Varma "does" the diagnosis, Dom (remember him?  Hemsley's old bodyguard) shows Violet the news of the murder in the parking structure.  Violet gets off the table, and heads back into action... despite the Doc's suggestions to the contrary.

As Mother Panic heads to check in on the young girl, we get a flashback to Gather House.  We see that Violet was part of something called the Atalanta Program... which immediately makes me think of the girl from the Pantheon Saga from Peter David's Incredible Hulk.  Turns out Atalanta comes from Greek mythology (go figure), wherein King Iasus was disappointed to have been given a daughter instead of a son... and so, like any rational King, he leaves her on a mountaintop to die.  She didn't.  Anyhoo, we see Violet demonstrating her great strength at the school by lifting a large weight over her head.  All the while a Nun is doing commentary.  The nun eventually hands her a pistol... but we'll get to that in a bit.

Mother Panic meets with the young girl, who immediately recognizes her as her savior.  They embrace and she shares what she can remember about the killer.  Mother Panic then leaves, heading up to the roof... and in the distance we can see just the ends of a dark cape... as though somebody might be watching.  Now, who wears a dark cape in Gotham City?  Perhaps the better question might be "Who doesn't?"  Violet curses a bit, and hops on her bike.

We wrap up in flashback mode where Violet is handed the pistol... and it's illustrated that even armed, and regardless of how much abuse she has experienced at Gather House, she cannot pull the trigger and kill the people responsible.

What I Dug:

I really like the idea that Violet's body might be breaking down on her.  I'm not sure how long for the world this title is, but introducing the thought that Violet's body might just "give out" at any given moment raises the stakes a bit.  I'm not sure if any other creators would be interested in using Mother Panic... or even bringing her into the mainstream DCU.  If she eventually dies, that's no longer a concern.  If I were a betting man, I'd say that this series will likely end with her death.

Violet not being sure how to respond to being hugged was great to see.  Since this series started we've seen her on dates, making out, dancing, and going to bed with random folks... and she never looked uncomfortable or lost.  She looked petulant, and face-punchingly irritating... but not uncomfortable.  I think it speaks to how little emotional investment she makes in her random dating and mating.  Here, she's hugged by a girl who sees her as her savior... and, she looked shaken up... probably choked up, too.  This really humanized her for me.

John Paul Leon on art was great in that it was sort of somewhere between Tommy Lee Edwards and Shawn Crystal (leaning decidedly more toward Edwards though).  I feel it really fit the tone of the book, and he makes the Mother Panic costume look a bit less ridiculous.

What I Didn't:

Now where did I leave that broken record... oh, there it is!  The cursing.  It's too much... it's embarrassing... the words lack any impact having been rendered meaningless.

... and that's about it.

Bits & Pieces:

Going into its third story arc, Mother Panic has matured into something worth reading.  While not perfect, and perhaps a bit too loose with the gratuitous expletives, the story and mystery surrounding the titular character are becoming more engaging by the page.


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