[This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Ibrahim Moustafa
Colors: Jordan Boyd
One’s own personal experience necessarily impacts how one experiences any sort of entertainment medium. It’s not possible to be in a complete vacuum. As Mother Panic proceeds, it’s impossible to not think of my own daughters when I read about Violet’s life. As a father who truly loves his daughters, there are some moments that are difficult.
Violet is cogitating on her role as hero, adoptive parent and daughter when she comes to the realization that she has a less selfish role to play in this world that is not her own. Violet and Fennic Fox go back into the forest to talk to Catwoman and her allies to try and form an alliance. Once Violet reveals that she knows Bruce’s identity as Batman, Selina throws her out. Fennic Fox is still down to fight the bad guys, but Violet retreats to her mother. An alcohol induced conversation turns Violet around.
Meanwhile, Violet’s alternate Earth brother is under extreme duress at Gala’s hands. As the battle that Violet has joined escalates, she is surprised as Jason Todd surprises her from behind in an attempt to take her down, unwilling to relinquish the prophecy of the return of the Bat!
Perhaps, one of the most intriguing aspects of this comic is Violet’s role as unwilling hero. She doesn’t feel like a hero, and yet she does so many things that mimic the actions of a hero. It’s easy to imagine her as a female Batman in her modus operandi, but her own experience of “losing” her parents is just as easy a similarity to explore. In the end they both want to prevent others from experiencing their own tragedies. Violet’s contemplation of her situation at the start of this issue points to this similarity, even if she doesn’t realize it herself.
Violet has a real emotional connection to her mother, despite her mother in this reality not really being her real mother. However, it doesn’t really seem to matter to Violet. She can’t separate the difference. This emotional connection is the heart of the book. It’s this plus the extended Bat-verse that really draw a reader in.
This issue has a better balance between Bat-verse and Mother Panic. It’s incredibly intriguing. It’s hard to find a negative in this issue. Despite wanting to know more about Jason, this issue leaves a huge cliffhanger for the finale!
Mother Panic shifts between too much Batman and just the right amount of Batman. Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. has struggled more than it’s previous incarnation. Despite having a little too much Bat-verse, this issue is quite satisfying because it insinuates questions about parenthood. Still, more Violet and less Bruce would make Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. a 5/5.