Review: Mother Panic #4

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Mother Panic gives Gotham a solid kick in her new issue


To put it bluntly; Mother Panic is good.  Surprisingly good.  The alternate Gotham universe, penned by Jody Houser, at first glace, looks like a pretty spider web.  Now it is starting to look like a blood-stained tapestry of Frank Miller proportions.

In this recent issue of Mother Panic, Violet Paige has stepped into the lime light, revealing herself to be the heiress of the ‘Paige Publishing Fortune’.  Not only does this shed light on her origins and her familial connections to other characters, but this allows Violet to step into the Bruce Wayne persona of a well-moneyed public figure.  Mother Panic now has a whole new dimension to her story, all the while staying close to the classic Batman framework.

This is not a common trope being rehashed, but a prismatic view of Gotham’s new vigilante.

Speaking of prismatic, check out these newer developments; Violet’s brother, Victor Paige, is the source for all funding in the Collective’s experimental project, shown to have willingly experimented on his own mother and sister.  Victor is then shown to be the leader of the Cult of the Bat, with a member referring to him as ‘Lord Robin’.  Victor calls himself the sole surviving Robin from the long-line of sidekicks.  The only difference is this Robin is working along side Scarecrow in order to instigate citywide fear, forcing Gotham to turn to vigilantes again.  The only hitch in their plan; the arrival of Mother Panic.

Even more surprising is that there is a clone, another Violet Paige, still inside of Arkham being experimented upon.  The Violet Paige we know as Mother Panic is actually younger than her clone.  Just when we think we are getting more of the story, Jody Houser takes us on a whole new path.  We even get a few more cameo appearances by other members of the Rogues Gallery, surprises that I will not spoil.

Is Mother Panic the real Violet Paige?

What happened to the other Robins?  What caused this alternate future anyway?  If her mother is an oracle, can she see alternate timelines too?  Is Jody Houser the damn Riddler?  I have the new issue in front of me and more mysteries to solve.  Dark Knights Metal was a series of alternate universes smashed together, like Marvel’s Battleworld in Secret Wars.  Mother Panic’s alternate Gotham is more sleek, but remains gritty, reminiscent of Aeon Flux or Ghost in the Shell.

Score: 9.5/10

I can’t wait to see where they are going with this storyline.  I feel like Rocco in Boondock Saints; jumping up and down, yelling ‘what the fuck’.  Whatever vigilante shenanigans Mother Panic has planned, I am all in.

Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #4 is now on sale ‘in every city in America’.

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