Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #2 – Jody Houser, Writer; Ibrahim Moustafa, Paulina Ganucheau, Artists; Jordan Boyd, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Corrina: Is That Helena?
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Ray: One of the best issues of the series, Mother Panic: Gotham AD #2 takes full advantage of its new status quo to deliver an alternate reality Gotham that many people will think eclipses the mess Booster Gold made of Gotham in the main Batman book. Picking up as Violet has found out from an aged, depressed Joker that her mother is locked up in the new Arkham Asylum, she sets off on a mission to break her out – courtesy of some unexpected allies. This arc is moving away from the “fringes of Gotham” concept of the first series and bringing in a trio of iconic Gotham rogues in new forms. Those would be the Gotham City Sirens, all of whom have carved out roles for themselves in a Gotham ruled by the likes of Madame Gala. The only remnant of Old Gotham can be found in Robinson Park, which has been ceded to orphans and wild animals, under the protection of a mysterious overlord – Poison Ivy, who seems to have become one with the plants.
While Violet is making her way through the park, trying to find the entrance to Arkham’s tunnels, she encounters a pair of tigers – who are guarded by a retired, aged Catwoman who has a young protege of her own. Harley, meanwhile, seems to have fully regained her sanity in the way of Joker’s death and is back to being Harleen Quinzel, a well-regarded doctor at Arkham. Of course, given what’s going on at Arkham, that may not be a good thing. The issue has a tense, foreboding tone as it becomes clear that the overlords of Gotham aren’t done with converting the city, and the GCPD of this era proves just how brutal they are. I also love everything we see of Violet’s new partner in crime – she’s like a twisted hybrid of Molly Hayes and Hit-Girl, and every one of her scenes is hilarious. This is a genuinely new take on Gotham, and even Joker’s backup – written as a letter to an advice columnist – works surprisingly well. It’s. looking like an excellent relaunch.
Corrina: Before I get into the issue, I want to guess at the identity of Selina’s younger helper.
I hope/hope it’s Helena Wayne/Kyle. I originally thought maybe it was Harper Row or perhaps another Gotham vigilante but given how closely this character is associated with Selina…well….I’m hoping. (Also hoping that this younger helper of Selina doesn’t die in this Gotham.)
And I’m not sure at what point when I was reading this issue that I decided Jody Houser should write a Batman comic but now that I have, I want it to happen, stat. This relaunch of Mother Panic has been terrific, just the right blend of horror, mystery, and dark comedy, especially when it comes to Violet’s new partner and it’s been a great showcase for Houser and the art team.
So, while I doubt Houser will write a Batman comic anytime soon, she is writing Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. and that’s good for readers.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.