Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Mother Panic #11 Review and **SPOILERS**

Raw Materials
Mother Panic #11

"Under the Skin, Part 2"

Written By: Jody Houser
Art By: Shawn Crystal
Colors By: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: September 27, 2017

Well, if the comics "journalists" are to be believed, today we'll be discussing the penultimate (for now) issue of Mother Panic.  I gotta say, this book has managed to somewhat win me over... which has taken me completely by surprise.  I'll also say that I am clearly not the target audience for this book... and that's okay.  I don't have to be the target for every single book.  It would be nice, however, if the audience this book was endeavoring to reach was a bit more sizable (or were, ya know, actual paying customers).

There's a feeling of unease, an aura of distrust... and still so many questions to be answered.  In this (presumably penultimate) issue of Mother Panic, we are formally introduced to Jane... a girl who Violet knew from Gather House... one who she might've been "more than friends" with.  From what we can see, it looks as though she both her protector and perhaps her lover, though the latter is a bit ambiguous.

We continue to build on various mysteries dating back from the very opening pages of this volume, with an added wrinkle early on alluding to the possibility that there is a traitor among Violet's "associations".  This was all done quite well, in that when I first read the page where the allusion was made, my brain began to race with possibilities.  A case can be made for nearly everyone she has been in contact with.  Jilted-lovelorn Dr. Varma?  A not-quite-reformed Ratcatcher?  Dom the intern... and former boy-toy to Hemsley?  Her not-quite-right Mother?  Or perhaps even one of Violet's love interests/diversions.  We do get our answer here... which is perhaps a bit quick as far as pay-offs go... though, I will concede that this was no fault of the story, and basically me building up my expectations.

Violet's mother's eccentricities are... well, not so much addressed, but they do come up in a conversation between Dom and Otis the Ratcatcher.  They agree that there's certainly more to her than what we can see.  This has been one of the more engaging lingering-plots up to this point, and it's nice to see some forward progression.

Shawn Crystal's art has been a bit of a rough point for me in reviewing this series as I both like it... and dislike it.  I think his stylized take on things can be quite fitting, however, for this issue everything feels just a bit too exaggerated.  When we're finally introduced to the "big bad", their face doesn't look menacing... it looks comically "wacky" and insane.  That might work for the Joker, but here it just felt "off".

Without giving too much away, Violet finds herself in a position wherein she will serve as someones "raw materials".  I appreciated the way this was worded, as this certainly isn't the first time she's been looked at in that way.  This poor girl has been "used" for much of her life... and it's only fitting that she is set to hopefully overcome one such user.

Now, when I first read that Mother Panic would be joining Shade the Changing Girl and Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye on "the bench" until January, 2018 I wondered if that may have been a typo.  In reading this issue, I can say that it sure feels like we're gearing up for next month's issue #12 to be the last one for a little while.  While that's disappointing on one hand, I'm hopeful that absence might make this reviewer's heart grow fonder.  I guess we'll know for sure if next issue ends with a blurb for "Milk Wars".

Bits and Pieces:

We're definitely building toward an ending... and it feels like we might be rushing a little bit.  Several long-standing questions are addressed, and perhaps a few more are raised.  It looks like, for better or worse, everything is about to come full-circle.


1 comment:

  1. Unfortunate. Mother Panic is one of my favorite new titles. It's a bit rough here and there, but what's not to like about a Vertigo-style Bat-Family book? I really hope they do bring this one back in January, or at least keep the character around. . .maybe on the Detective team?