This Week our reviews head into the future with Mother Panic. A.D. and The Factory!
Mother Panic A.D. #1 (DC Comics)
With DC’s Young Animal relaunch under way, the next title to get a new fresh start is Mother Panic. But where the original series followed the lead character in current Gotham City, this new series, titled Mother Panic A.D., follows the character in a new reality that is decades in the future, where Batman has disappeared from Gotham. It’s a pretty drastic change, but it’s just the type of thing I was hoping for when DC announced they would be restarting this imprint.
Mother Panic has been in this “new” Gotham long enough to get her bearings, but still not enough to find answers. While the city looks like the Gotham she remembers, it’s extremely different. Batman is gone, the city is overrun by corrupt politicians and cops, and The Joker is a homeless man on a pier, speaking in rhymes and creating weapons out of balloons. As Mother Panic searches for answers, she eventually has to turn to The Joker, who tells her that the answers to her questions may lie with the woman formerly known as Catwoman.
Jody Houser’s script is, simply put, exactly what all of these Young Animal relaunch scripts should be. Houser spends the necessary time giving us background info that we need, but also crafts a solid mystery to propel this new story. As someone who didn’t even try out the original Mother Panic series, I was happy to find that I could follow everything in this issue, and get a clear sense of who the characters are and their relationships to one another. Not only that, but the central mystery of what’s happened in Gotham City is pretty damn compelling too.
Ibrahim Moustafa has a very clean art style that works really well with Houser’s script. There’s a great sense of fluidity to his art that comes across in the action scenes, and his use of shadows when Mother Panic is talking with The Joker is really effective. Many of the Young Animal books have an art style that can range from out there risks to boring, but I’m pleased to say that Moustafa’s art is some of the best I’ve seen in the relaunch.
I was very impressed with this opening issue, and I’ll definitely be checking out the next issue of Mother Panic A.D.. Jody House and Ibrahim Moustafa have the potential to tell a really cool story with this premise, and I’m glad to finally have at least one Young Animal title that I feel like I could latch on to.
The Factory #1 (Titan Comics)
A weird mix between Mad Max and The Island of Dr. Moreau, Titan Comics’ The Factory is certainly going to leave an impression on you. Written and drawn by Moebius collaborator Elgo (and translated by Marc Bourbon-Crook), the series follows a group of mutants as they cross the desert of a post-apocalyptic Earth. They’re looking for the Factory, one of the last remnants of human civilization. Of course, their adventure is easier said than done.
Make no mistake, The Factory is super weird. Elgo’s script is full of some of the strangest ideas for a possible future that I’ve ever seen. Weird heads float around on tiny robot bodies, precog humans are grown in tubes, and there are humans that have taken on the appearance of animals. It’s certainly one of the most unique comics I’ve read this year.
Adding to the uniqueness is Elgo’s art, which if I’m being honest, is way better than his script. Elgo’s panels are richly detailed, and that includes the gory aspects of this series. There were honestly some scenes that I had a hard time looking at because of the gory details. But it’s one of the things that makes The Factory stand out from the pack, and it’s definitely one of the reasons to check this book out.
The Factory is an extremely weird read, but it’s one that I think fans of dystopian fiction will like. The influences of properties like Mad Max, Planet of the Apes, and other famous future world franchises is on full display here, and in time, The Factory could very well join them.