I didn’t like this comic, I’m telling you this right now. Mother Panic seemed to start off strong in the first 3 issues. You had a art style similar to Sean Murphy, Jody Houser seemed to be at her peak, and we were diving into a similar Antagonist to Marvel Comics’ Daredevil (2016) story arc of The Dark Art. It was hitting all the right notes, especially since this seemed to be a new Bat Family Character. This felt like a comic I could get behind but something changed.
We’ll get into a brief synopsis:
“While hunting a new target, Mother Panic may have found her first ally in the strange and enigmatic Pretty. But nothing involving Gather House is ever what it appears to be. Can Pretty really be trusted? And what exactly is going on in Violet Paige’s basement?” – DCCOMICS.COM
I noticed when issue four was released, DC Young Animal’ Mother Panic received a new artist. It was no longer Tommy Lee Edwards, although he continued to do the covers. The artist was switched to Shawn Crystal, which turned me off personally. I don’t like when the artist is switched in a ongoing comic so early in game. The funny thing is, upon reviewing Shawn Crystal’s art, it seemed he was the perfect fit for Mother Panic but something was off. To me, it lacked consistency. Which plays a HUGE factor in reviewing and reading comics.
Now, let’s head into the writing. I’m very familiar with Jody Houser’s work. From her Vertigo Quarterly to IDW’s Orphan Black to Valiant’s Faith. I’ve read it all and follow her. Which is why it hurts me to say this was not a good issue. Please, make sure to focus on what I just said, Good issue. This doesn’t mean I damn her as the worse comic writer ever but for a storyline that I’m suppose to be invested in emotionally, it did not accomplish that. It felt very random with Mother Panic randomly walking into a roof top to stop someone from assassinating a child in a very anti-climatic way to just walking back down the stairs to exit.
All and all, this comic feels like a miss to me. Which is disappointing because I want to enjoy this comic. Does that mean you shouldn’t pick up this issue? No, if you’re already invested yourself this much into the story there is no point of stopping. Who knows, you might enjoy it. Is this a good starting point? No, this is mid-way into a new story arc. Is this the strongest issue of the series so far? No, this one actually feels a weak but it’s also early on in the series (only 5 issues in) so I hope it’s nothing but clear sailing after this bumpy issue.