Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mother Panic #9 Review and **SPOILERS**

The Bag gets Bagged?

Mother Panic #9
"Victim Complex, Part 3"

Writer: Jody Houser
Interior Art: John Paul Leon
Interior Colors: Dave Stewart
Letterer: John Workman
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: July 26, 2017

Whenever I read an issue of Mother Panic that's divisible by three... I have to stop and think about what year we're in.  Three issue arcs... in 2017?

It feels so wrong... but yet, so right!  So refreshing that we don't need to wait a half-year for one story to end... and lead directly into the next trade-sized jaunt.

Let's check out how the third story arc of Mother Panic shakes out.

What Happened?

Violet hides in plain sight after appearing on Impossible... But True! in hopes that the Coroner Bag Killer (who I guess we're calling "Remains") will finally step out of the shadows.  While sitting in a trendy club that I bet smells like B.O., she flashes back to a conversation she had with Mother Panic... er, that is Mother Patrick back at Gather House.  Apparently "Mother Panic" is something they call the main nun in charge, and she really doesn't dig it all that much.  Violet gets back-handed for her insolence... and it looks as though the worm is about to turn.

We witness a scene between Violet and Dr. Varma... just as the latter is getting ready to skip town.  Ya see, Varma is depicted as being a bit too close to her patient... and has gone so far as to offer another surgeon to perform the implant.  Violet ain't havin' none of that, and Varma meekly agrees to go through with the procedure.

Another night on the town, Violet heads into an alley to take a swig off her flask... only to find herself staring into the business end of the Coroner Bag Killer's pistols.  She proceeds to beat the holy hell out of him... until she seizes up again!  Just when it looks as though Violet's about to be perforated about the skull... Batman swoops in for the rescue!  

He beats the snot out of the baddie, and reveals him to be some nobody who used to work for Impossible... but True!  Batman gives Violet some words of encouragement, and ribs her about wearing white while "working".  In typical Violet fashion she flips him off.  Yeesh... a few steps forward, a few steps back.

After the dust settles, Violet sends a note to the girl in the hospital and has a delightful chat with her mother and the former Rat Catcher.

The issue ends... somewhat predictably.  We flash back to Violet at Gather House.  She is holding Mother Panic aloft by her throat... and after a moment, snaps her neck!  From here, she proceeds to burn Gather House down... which is pretty much what we've all been expecting since the first mention of the place having been burned down.

What I Dug?

Quite a bit, actually.

Violet "putting herself out there" was perhaps the first true altruism we've seen out of her to this point.  Hiding in plain sight, all the while knowing her body could give out on her at any moment (which it does) depicts her as an actual hero.

The fight between Violet and the Coroner Bag Killer was quite well done.  If not for her implant acting up, it shows us that even without her costume/armor, Violet is a force to be reckoned with.  Just give'r a handful of spiked knux, and watch her go.

The Batman cameo, all things considered, was great... and welcome.  It would be too easy (and lazy) to have Batman swoop in to give an endorsement to a new hero.  Normally, that would be something that would happen around issue... two.  Marvel did the same thing with Spider-Man... just a way to legitimize a new hero without actually having the hero do anything to earn the readers' respect.  Waiting until issue nine to have the first face-to-face between Batman and Mother Panic is a welcome change, and feels far more organic.  We know Batman has been watching her... just like we've been.  It stands to reason that he would have a sort of respect... or at least a curiosity about her.

What I Didn't?

Not much not to like here... though, I will say flipping off Batman is kind of a stupid thing to do.  I mean, we get that Violet's a bit precious... so it's not like it doesn't fit.  Just because it makes sense, doesn't mean I've gotta like it though.

The reveal as to who was behind the Gather House fire... well, that was sorta predictable.  Hard to hold it against a story for meeting expectations, but I can't say I wasn't holding out for a bit of a swerve.

Otherwise... and in keeping in mind that my complaints were a bit of a reach, this was a damn fine issue.

Bits and Pieces:

A satisfying ending to the story arc, with enough threads left loose to keep us coming back next month.  Violet is becoming a character worthy of empathy, and her cast members are being fleshed out quite well.  It's unfortunate that it's taken us three story arc to get here, but better late than never.


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