Mother Panic collected issues #1-6, and is written by Jody Houser with art by Tommy Lee Edwards.

The Story (aka from the Publisher)

Mother Panic is part of Gerard Way’s new imprint, DC’s Young Animal!

Gotham has long been the city of the Bat, but there’s a new vigilante on the streets, and she’s got her own brand of violent justice to deal out to the criminals of the city.

Enter Mother Panic! By day, Violet Paige is a celebutante with a bad attitude and a temper to match, whom no one suspects of having anything lying beneath the surface of her outrageous exploits. But Violet isn’t just another bored heiress in the upper echelons of Gotham City’s elite. Motivated by her traumatic youth, Violet seeks to exact vengeance on her privileged peers as the terrifying new vigilante known only as Mother Panic.

Mother Panic is a part of DC’s Young Animal–a four-book grassroots mature-reader imprint, creatively spearheaded by Gerard Way, bridging the gap between the DCU and Vertigo, and focusing on the juxtaposition between visual and thematic storytelling.

Homecoming

Violet Paige is a modern-day celebrity like Kim Kardashian or her siblings. Wherever Violet goes there is a social media frenzy that goes along. No one gets too close personally. Her relationships, romantic or otherwise, are usually short-lived.

But behind the celebrity, are shadows of Violet’s past, including horrific experiments. Her return to Gotham is a homecoming of sorts. Not one of renewal, rather one filled with chaos and violence.

Her purpose in returning to Gotham is to track down those from her traumatic past and deliver justice. Whether they live or die is not her concern. She sets out to right a wrong that directly affected her.

Unlike Batman (who only makes a cameo, despite being featured on the cover) and Batwoman (who fills  a supporting role) whose justice seeking is for the good of all society, Mother Panic is concerned only with herself.

The gritty artwork from Tommy Lee Edwards adds to the idea that this is not a Batman replacement. Mother Panic is darker (she may be the only DC character who drops the f-bomb in reference to the Bat). The overall look is more modern and slick. When the artwork switches from Edwards to Shawn Crystal it becomes more cartoony and more sexualized, which becomes problematic. Edwards’ Violet/Mother Panic appeared more genderless, breaking down a barrier. Crystal’s artwork affects the illusion, and possibly Violent’s story.

The Real Problem

It seems that Mother Panic’s style of justice lives in the chaotic. And in unforgiveness. The sins that were committed against Violet Paige have left deep wounds. Violet’s Mother Panic is akin to pouring peroxide on a wound. It may bring healing, but not without its own pain.

But no amount of peroxide will erase the pain Violet has gone through.

Only forgiveness will.

When we have been wronged, or when someone has done wrong, we have two options. We can pass judgement on that person, or we can walk in grace with that person. Too often we chose judgement.

This is the real problem. We, like Mother Panic, choose judgement. And when we do so, chaos follows us. We do more harm to others (and ourselves) than good. It’s like the sign that reads, “Dear God, please protect me from myself.” When we choose judgement, we run the risk of destroying ourselves.

But, when we choose grace, we begin to see others as God sees them. We slow down and have conversations with those we otherwise would not. We walk along side people we have deemed “other.” And we forgive others.

And when we forgive others, there is a high chance we will be forgiven. 

You could say, we are all a work in progress.

And perhaps Violet Paige/Mother Panic is moving from judgement to grace. By the end of this volume, she has gathered together an unlikely team of her mother (who is talking to rats), Batman villain Ratcatcher, reluctant Dr. Varma (who has connections to Violet’s violent past) and a nurse, Dominic.  The additional collections will reveal just how far toward grace Mother Panic will go.

The final scene, however, may be too swift an ending, and too cute for a gritty vigilante.

You can purchase your own copy by clicking on the image below:

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.