Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #5 – Jody Houser, Writer; Ibrahim Moustafa, Artist; Jordan Boyd, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: The penultimate issue of Jody Houser’s dystopian Gotham thriller, Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #5 is less of a superhero comic than a full-on war. The various warriors and villains of Gotham unite for a final battle, and Violet Page gets closer to finding answers about what brought her to this strange future world. As the issue opens, Gala lashes out against an unfortunate victim as she gets word that Mother Panic is accomplishing her goals, while Violet decides to descend back into the woods to try to get help from Catwoman. The rescue of Harley gets Violet into the woods, but that’s no guarantee of a deal. Not helping things is the presence of Fennec Fox, who as always is over-enthusiastic about killing everything in sight. Fennec Fox feels like a fun and clever deconstruction of characters like Hit-Girl and Honey Badger over at Marvel, in that we’re never allowed to forget that she’s a horribly damaged little girl whose desire for vengeance is a sign of what was done to her more than anything.
The future versions of the Gotham City Sirens are fascinating characters. We saw that Ivy’s transformed into an elemental, and she doesn’t really play a role this issue (although her presence is felt). Harley might actually be better-adjusted in this dystopia, in that she seems to have gotten further in getting the ghost of Joker out of her mind. Selina works really well as this overlord of the park, reminding me a lot of Genevieve Valentine’s run with her as the Queenpin of Gotham. Violet’s relationship with them is tense, but there’s a mutual respect and a lot of secrets. I’m still less fond of this take on Jason Todd, who seems to be evolving into the final villain of the run. There have been some darker takes on him, but I’m not sure I see how he goes from “Dangerous vigilante who wants to kill villains” to the deranged cult leader in this issue. Overall, this run has become something really special, and the eighteen issues of Mother Panic might be the most consistently entertaining book in the Young Animal brand.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.