What that is, exactly, we don’t learn in this first issue from writer Jody Houser and artist Tommy Lee Edwards. We see her return to Gotham as Violet after some time away and abuse the press who show up to meet her. We see her as Mother Panic rescue a criminal bodyguard from mobsters working for a guy who buys from an artist who likes to torture people. We see her in flashback on a hunting trip with her father. And we see her being gentle with her mother, who lives with Alzheimer’s.
The artist, Gala’s, commentary on art may be a meta-moment, trying to say something about the comics form, or it may simply be showing us that here we have a pretentious twonk. I don’t know. I was annoyed on page one by Violet’s opening narration, and the deliberately messy word balloons letterer John Workman is saddled with, and things never really pick up. I like the vignette with Violet and her mother, and am intrigued by the inset images around the big fight scene, but they’re not enough.
I’m not saying this is a bad comic – it’s creators may be succeeding in everything they’ve set out to do – but it’s certainly not a good comic for me.