Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mother Panic #1

This could be the title of my autobiography.

I have no idea what this comic book is about. I suppose it's about a superhero named Mother Panic. Well, not really a superhero. More like a Protagonist Who Utters Poetically Profound Nonsense Which Makes Young Readers Nod Their Heads In Agreement Because It's No Doubt Artistic. I haven't even read a single page of this comic book and I'm already unbearably cynical about it!

This issue is called "A Work in Progress" which isn't encouraging. It's quite possible Jody Houser turned in the script and forgot to give her script she'd been working on a title. The editors probably didn't notice because they didn't want to question something that was obviously so artsy. If you question art, people think you're stupid. So it's better to just pretend you understand the art the way everybody else is pretending to understand the art.

Some young woman named Violet Paige is returning to her home in Gotham City. She was possibly in rehab or just pretending to be for appearances. She's rich and has lots of fans and one of the first things she does is flip off some reporter asking her a question. He says, "Care to comment on the fact you were seen at Vue with Shawna Schulz right after --," and she says, "Care to comment on your face?"

Do you hear that? That loud thub-a-lump-pitter-snap? That's my heart beating like crazy because I've found my comic book character soulmate.

Also, I should probably work on my heart beating sound effects. If I listen closely, there's a lot more snapping than I made it seem. I think maybe I've eaten too many tater tots over the last forty years.

Fifteen years before the opening scene, Violet went on a camping trip with her father while her mother was raving from some neurological problem. Since Violet decides that's the beginning of her origin story, something terrible must have happened while she was on that trip. Like maybe her marshmallow she was roasting fell off of the stick. Or maybe her mother died while she was gone. Or know what? I'm planning on having a good day today so I'm not going to suggest any other terrible things that might have happened to her on this trip that nobody wants to think about. It probably was the mother dying thing anyway.

The first night Violet is back in Gotham, she goes to a fundraiser. At the fundraiser is some bearded guy who got a full page scene about showing his work of art to his boy-toy. He keeps it in a storage facility and, judging by Dominic the Boy-Toy's expression, it's shocking. I bet it has male appendages in it!

Oh, it isn't a camping trip. It's a killing trip!

I don't like the cut of Fred's jib. He might make me acknowledge the thought I was trying to suppress so that my day isn't ruined. But I bet Violet has learned since this moment how to pull the trigger! I bet she's a real anti-hero killer since she has to be some kind of funhouse mirror reflection of Batman. You can't live in Gotham City and not be a reflection of Batman.

Violet is approached by a reporter who wants to talk about her father's disappearance fifteen years ago. Okay! Now we're getting somewhere! Daddy Issues ahoy! Also probably Mommy Issues. And maybe some issues caused by Fred.

It turns out Dominic is not the bearded guy Hemsley's Boy-Toy but his bodyguard. Apparently showing him his "art" was a test and Dominic failed because he tries to ditch Hemsley. Also, Violet is busy following Dominic so that she can kidnap his bodyguard who can lead her back to wherever Hemsley hangs out where she can kill him in private. Maybe. I'm making a lot of assumptions here because I haven't finished reading the story.

But then Mother Panic steps in to save the bodyguard!

And a, um, rabbit shits in a, um, skull?

Don't think that last caption was me questioning that panel! I totally get it! It's! Such art. Man. Incredible! You get it, right? Of course you do! What kind of a dope doesn't understand the whole rabbit in an upside down skull thing! It's like a representation of fertility and mortality. Um, right?

Each criminal beaten down by Mother Panic gets a subliminal picture to go with the pain. So one guy is all, "Ow! I'm like a tree that just got struck by lightning! Not as profound as being beaten like a bunny shitting in a skull but still painful!" Then the next guy is all, "Holy ouch! Seven arrows in a swan!" And the next guy is all, "Melting candles on a birthday cake! SO PAINFUL!" And the final guy is all, "A pink snake eating a rat! I got off easy!"

Mother Panic knocks out the bodyguard so she can take her with him. But first she says, "Fuck the bat," because the kid thought she worked for the Batman. Later, Batman happens upon the scene and he wipes a tear from his eye as he asks Penny-One, "Why would somebody say fuck me? What did I do?!"

Mother Panic (or Violet, of course) takes Dominic back to her mother's indoor gazebo where her mother spends her days singing. Her mother speaks in cryptic sentences that actually mean things if you're into poetically profound nonsense. Like me, of course! So good! And smart!

Elsewhere, Hemsley pays a visit to Mother Panic's real nemesis, Gala. She's a criminal who does art crimes! Murderous art crimes! Who could have guessed?! I suppose I came pretty close to the mark in my initial summation of what I figured this comic book would be. But then it's not hard because it's obvious the Young Animal comic line is meant for pretentious pieces of crap.

Anything can be art if you have enough gall to tell people that it is!

Anybody can take a shit but it isn't art until somebody takes a shit and tells other people that it's art. Sometimes they explain the meaning behind the art so that people nod vigorously and say things like, "Right! Right! I totally see that! What a mind blowing piece!" And sometimes they don't explain it because what can you really say about a piece of shit that hasn't already been said by smarter people who aren't trying to fool everybody into believing you're profound.

Mother Panic questions the bodyguard to find out what Hemsley's been doing. But he isn't blabbing his story or what he saw until next issue. Until then, I'll just have to be content with the back-up story, "Gotham Radio Scene One: 1621."

In it, some radio talk show host is talking about how we're all holes and we just can't get enough dicks stuck in us to ever feel whole. But then he's shot live on the radio by some hooded guy who takes over the microphone and is all, "Thanksgiving." I guess the rest of his deep thoughts about the holiday will come next issue.

The Ranking!
I think I could enjoy this. But I promise I'll continue to be super cynical about it. Because that's my art! To see bullshit in everything. Tearing everything apart is my canvas! Destruction is my creation! I'm just a trite, cliché, petty write who doesn't know how to bare his soul to any other human being! I don't want to fill the hole at all. I just want to be bigger hole!

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