Another big Young Animal book debuted on Wednesday, and Mother Panic finally makes its way onto the Subway with me. The new superhero joins Lana Lang possibly seeing things over in Superwoman and the gang still trying to get out of that Mall-Mart in Scooby Apocalypse.
Mother Panic 1
Written by Jody Houser
Art by Tommy Lee Edwards
I think of all the Young Animal books that have come out over the last few months, Mother Panic may have been the most anticipated, as it is potentially the closest link to the mainstream DC Universe that Gerard Way’s new imprint has. Taking place in Gotham City and including frequent mentions of The Bat – along with a sighting, too – Mother Panic is going to be popular because of its connections.
But does that make it good? Hmmm…
I feel like I learned more about main character Violet Paige from the write-up in the back of all DC Comics for the week than I did from the book’s main story, and that didn’t really sit well with me. I enjoyed the book more than I did the first issue of Young Animal flagship book Doom Patrol, but not as much as Shade and Cave Carson. There was nothing that really stood out as completely off-putting – Jody Houser’s story was interesting if not a bit involved for a first issue, introducing a LOT of characters to keep track of, and Tommy Lee Edwards’ art set the tone pretty well.
It just feels like the people behind the imprint didn’t have much faith in the concept, so they decided to throw it in the middle of Gotham City and make as many Batman references as possible, so people buy the book to see how Batman will get involved. If you’re going to start a new imprint, though, maybe don’t tie one of your first new characters to the main universe. Just seems like a bad idea.
Anyway, Violet Paige had a rough childhood, left Gotham after one of her parents died and then returned determined to go after the bad guys in the City. Sounds familiar, no? The table’s been set now, though, so let’s see what Mother Panic has to offer. Hopefully it’ll be a little more filling.
Scooby Apocalypse 7
Written by Keith Giffen and JM DeMatteis
Art by Howard Porter
After a few issues of being stuck in the Mall-Mart, hiding from a bunch of monsters, the Scooby gang finally decides they’ve had enough and enact an explosive plan to distract the monsters and get them out of dodge. Nothing goes exactly to plan, though, and the team takes a few lumps, including a monster breaking Fred’s leg and Scooby volunteering to run and lead some remaining monsters away while the team managed to escape into the Mystery Machine. Oh, and Velma and Daphne continue to bicker but gain grudging respect for each other and Shaggy had to use the bathroom.
We did not, however, get any more scenes with Scrappy Doo, although Shaggy does reference him during the issue to keep him fresh in the minds of readers.
The bickering between the two women on the team really drove the heart of the issue, as a lot of information and plot advancement came from the in-fighting, and because it’s Giffen and DeMatteis, it’s pretty much comedy gold.
With the next issue, we’ll get a new setting – the team is heading to a hospital to try and get Fred’s broken leg set – but danger is still afoot, as the comic’s last page shows. And Scooby Apocalypse continues to impress.
Written by Phil Jimenez
Pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks by Ray McCarthy
I’ve spent a lot of time complimenting the pace of this comic book, as Phil Jimenez has packed every issue with more story beats than most books get to in three issues. Every issue has made significant use of every inch of real estate in every book, which makes the story completely worth the $2.99 per month.
This issue, though, took a bad turn from the high quality I have come to expect from Superwoman, although I’m sure all hope is not lost.
My main problem with this issue was that it felt like there was too much exposition, too much of a recap of previous issues and not enough story advancement. Lana spends a good chunk of the issue talking to what she assumes is the ghost of the New 52 Lois Lane, debating what she should do about her relationship with John Henry, the situation with the pre-Flashpoint Lois and Clark, the powerless Clark Kent and the fact that she’s possibly dying. A lot of this was covering events from Action Comics, but I imagine if you’re reading Superwoman, you’re probably reading Action Comics, too.
Even when the issue tries to advance the plot, it reads like a bit of a jumble, without the focus of the first three issues. Sure, Jimenez is allowed a bad issue here and there, but it was a bit disappointing after the last three issues.
Hopefully, things get back on track next issue, as Lana, John Henry and company take the fight to Lena Luthor and her Bizaresses.