Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #6 Review and **SPOILERS**

See ya later, Animals!

Written By: Jody Houser
Interiors Drawn By: Ibrahim Mustafa
Interiors Colored By: Jordan Boyd
Lettered By: John Workman
Cover By: Tommy Lee Edwards
Edited By: Molly Mahan
Executive Editor: Mark Doyle
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: August 22, 2018

Regardless of the recent note in the back of the Young Animal books penned by the imprint's "curator" Gerard Way, I still feel like we're "turning out the lights" on the little pop-up with this very review.  Maybe we'll be seeing it again come 2019... but, lemme tell ya, I wouldn't start putting my four-dollar bills aside just yet.

Mother Panic has been the surprise MVP during this "season", and is definitely the only book from the run that I will miss.

Let's get to it.

Not a hero... not a hero... not a hero... we keep hearing this throughout this series (and its predecessor).  Now, normally (and initially), this is something that would immediately cause me to roll my eyes.  Ya see, without getting too deep into the weeds of "thou doth protest, yadda yadda", there's a certain amount of preciousness present in so many "coming of age" or "redemption" stories that, A) We see all the twists and turns coming a mile away, and B) They're just old hat... nothing new under the Sun.

There's also that self-depreciating bit.  I mean, it's almost a rule at this point, especially in the age of ubiquitous social media connection we're in now... where you can post (or shout on a street corner) that you're the worst of the worst... and someone will blow the requisite sunshine up your skirt and tell ya you ain't all that bad.

That doesn't really happen here.  And it's pretty great.

It isn't often that Violet Paige is corrected when she proclaims that she's "not a hero"... because, at the end of the day... she's not a terribly altruistic person.  Most of her motivations are selfish.  In fact, the few times she did work in the interests of someone other than herself, she felt weird doing so.

Now, this isn't to say the character didn't see a tremendous amount of growth during the last nearly twenty issues, because she did.  And it could certainly be argued that this volume ended with her truly embracing (at least the idea of) being a hero.  However, I can't say that it has been a "telegraphed" journey, and this run was all the better for it.

Now that was a heck of a preamble I never thought I'd write.  What the Hell, let's send Young Animal back behind the barn with a long 'un.

The issue itself was wonderfully satisfying, and managed to tie together most of the ongoing threads (even from the previous volume) in a way that both made sense, and didn't feel forced.  There were certainly bits that felt rushed, and perhaps a hair undercooked... but, that comes with the rigors of cancellation.

The teased confrontation between Mother Panic and Jason Todd paid off quite well.  Violet's final infiltration of the Collective's Headquarters was also quite well done, and featured the reintroduction of a couple of familiar faces... a neat callback to the prior volume.

Without completely spoiling the ending, suffice it to say... this new Gotham has become Violet's home, whether she likes it or not.  There are definitely more stories that can be told in this universe... and I hope someday they are!

So, what wasn't to like?  Well, with Mother Panic, it's the same as it ever was.  The forced pottymouthery is a bit much.  It's to the point where I feel Violet saying "dammit" would carry far more dramatic weight than her saying "mother-effer".  As always, if you're going to curse... make it mean something!

Overall, there's a great sorta-Elseworlds story here, and I'm sure it will read well in trade paperback.  If you're a "trade-waiter", first of all... whattaya tryin'a do, kill the comic shops?  Second... I'd go so far as to say this is the only Young Animal "Season Two" trade worth tracking down.  Outside of a very few key bits, you'd never guess this was a story that had its wings clipped halfway through.

Bits and Pieces:

Both the most satisfying ending and overall-read of this second "season" of Young Animal... and dare I say, the only one worth reading.  The creative team managed to craft a riveting story even under the pressures of cancellation/truncation.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the work you and Reggie have put into reviewing the Young Animal books, Chris.
    I liked Violet Paige from the start and I was really glad when the two of you started to like the book.
    Jody Houser told an excellent story here and I'm looking forward to reading her works in the future.