MOTHER PANIC #7 By Jody Houser and John Paul Leon
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
This month's issue of MOTHER PANIC is great if you're just jumping into the series and it certainly captivates the darker tone Jody Houser is working towards. Violet's character has a lot going on with her, regarding her past, that's being unveiled in this installment.
90 %
Dark, Revealing, & the Perfect Setup
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MOTHER PANIC #7 starts its second volume off with a bang. Literally. This is the creepiest and darkest start to an issue that has ever occurred in this series. The definite “mature audiences” labeled title is pushing Violet’s character into new territory. Unfamiliar readers can immediately get hooked by the revelations regarding her past and a new exciting storyline.

Murders, Cyborgs, and Revelations

Less than two pages into the issue, we see how tragic life can be in Gotham City. The start of MOTHER PANIC’s new storyline “Victim Complex” begins with a troubled family. A couple walking with their young daughter, encouraging her to return to school. Scared about a past kidnapping experience, the little girl panics. A man in a body bag approaches, shoots, and kills the parents in front of their daughter. The little girl is left staring at her murdered parents bleeding out on the floor. Especially relevant, the girl was one that Gala had kidnapped, and Violet saved in vol. 1. For those unfamiliar with the character, Gala used blood and body parts to create her art.

The sudden and immediately dark start of the book will leave many readers in awe. So far, MOTHER PANIC hasn’t had any costumed villains typical of Gotham City. We’re introduced to a new villain, and in a suit that tops even the Scarecrow when it comes to creepy. A silent murderer cloaked in a body bag? I think that takes the cake for bad guy design.

Mother Panic #7
MOTHER PANIC #7 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Comics.

READ: Craving some more dark Gotham stories? Take a look at our exclusive preview for BATMAN/THE SHADOW #2 here!

Mysteries Mount

To start, the attention then turns to Violet, who’s beating the crap out of a group of thugs. Making it clear to them to stay out of her neighborhood, she suddenly clenches in pain. The doctor that aided her in vol. 1 wasn’t just hired help to patch Violet up after fights. Apparently, Violet had a series of operations done to her back during her Gather House days. The signal of her current spinal implant is degrading, causing the weight of her cybernetics to increase. We’re also shown, in flashbacks, that Violet does indeed have some sort of heightened strength due to her cybernetics and that some sort of major brain surgery was conducted on her. At the end, flashbacks to her torturous days from Gather House explain many of Violet’s current troubles.

Creator Talk

No doubt, the writing in this issue felt smoother and progressed a bit faster than anything else in vol. 1. Writer Jody Houser is doing a fantastic job with bringing this new character to life. She’s slowly pulling back the veil of who Violet is, and is really taking advantage of the mature audience label. Furthermore, artist John Paul Leon is taking over for this arc. Leon carries the same gritty punk feel that the book has been known for so far. The look of Violet’s suit is finally falling into place with his work. It’s not as seemingly bulky, but a bit more proportioned and overall smoother.

Mother Panic #7
MOTHER PANIC #7 page 22. Image courtesy of DC Comics.

READ: Want the lowdown on vol. 1 of MOTHER PANIC? Take a look at our thoughts here!

Overall Thoughts on MOTHER PANIC #7

In conclusion, it isn’t essentially important to read the first six issues; new readers can pick up right here and get a great feel for the book. MOTHER PANIC is probably the darkest book in the DC catalog right now. Overall, Houser is getting more comfortable with this new title and character, and the art is cementing a stronger feel for MP. Finally, Houser will hopefully open up Violet’s character more and more for us to better understand her in this new volume!

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