Written: Jody Houser
Art: Ibrahim Moustafa
Colours: Jordan Boyd
Letters: John Workman
Cover: Tommy Lee Edwards
Published: DC Comics
From the beginning of this issue we dive right into the midst of a war breaking out in this alternative Gotham. A lot is unexplained and a little confusing at times but that is to be expected when diving into the middle of the action. However, despite this, it gripped my attention making me want to know more about what is happening, the different factions on this war and about the main characters; Mother Panic and her young sidekick Fennec Fox. I would say that is the mark of a good comic – I’m not entirely sure what is happening but you have my attention anyway.
It is fast paced and ensures to keep your attention but it is not all action. There is a good dynamic range featured, fast paced action is mixed with moments of sentimentality, conversation and emotional struggles. Not to mention that this issue ends with a great cliff hanger that I didn’t expect at all.
The art style which reminds me of older comics rather than the bright and clear illustrations we see in modern DC Comics. It is illustrated in darker tones and what colour there is appears muted and dull. I think it is a great addition to building on the tone of the piece. The Gotham that we see her is decaying (more than usual) and grimy. That being said, it would be nice for it to be a little brighter so that you could maybe see a little more of what is going on. Overall it is a nice mood setter and fits the story well.
Art and writing work hand in hand here. The characters feel fleshed out and real, so much so that diving into the middle of this comic you don’t feel lost about who these characters are. Fennec Fox is a kid who doesn’t know quite the danger that she is putting herself in or the true repercussions of her action, she just sees it as cool and justice. Mother Panic is battling with her own demons. Between caring about herself and wanting to get home and giving a damn about this alternative Gotham. And it is this grey area that is being explored which makes this murky illustration fit so well. There are also a few sweet moments between Mother Panic and Fennec Fox which I really enjoyed, especially because it alleviated some of Mother Panic’s serious atmosphere.
As well as enjoying this new characters I really loved seeing the alternative versions of classic Batman characters, like Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Jason Todd. It can be difficult to create something unique without creating a whole new character, and I think they were successful here.
If grime and girl-power are your things I can’t recommend this story enough.