Impossible... but True!
Mother Panic #8
"Victim Complex, Part 2"
Writer: Jody Houser
Interior Art: John Paul Leon
Interior Colors: Dave Stewart
Letterer: John Workman
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: June 28, 2017
Impossible... but True! indeed. How is it the book I, at one time, most dread... I mean, really... when Reggie would tell me "Hey, next week's Mudder Paneek" I'd get a pit in my stomach... is now one I'm actually looking forward to?
The thought, early on, of reading about a horribly unpleasant character... dodging "F-bombs" (and lemme tell ya, I hate the term "f-bomb") left and right... and dealing with somewhat unclear art made following and covering this book a real chore.
Now, whether I'm just softening... or, more likely, the book and character are becoming more likable, I can now say with confidence that I no longer try to convince Reggie and the gang that I'm "coming down with something" every fourth Wednesday.
Violet did a bit of detective work in trying to deduce who might have been behind the parking structure killing last issue. It would appear that this case is really causing our girl to mature a bit. She tries to convince herself that her efforts might not be worthwhile before coming to the realization that the girl in the hospital has nobody else to turn to.
One of our newer cast members starts earning his keep... the former Ratcatcher, Otis, lets Violet send his rat army on a surveillance mission... where they happen across another Coroner-Bag attack! This time on a museum security guard with a prosthetic leg. Violet wonders... could their be a connection?
Well, there is one... it's nebulous, and a stretch... but both the little girl and the security guard had at one time appeared on the talk show Impossible... But True! In an attempt to lure the Coroner-Killer out... Violet herself makes an appearance on the program, to share the story (or a version of the story) of her father's death.
What I Dug?
Violet is actually displaying some redeeming qualities! I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but I quite liked her this issue. She has shown so much maturation over the past couple of issues, it's hard to believe she's the same woman from the first story arc.
Not only is Violet acting altruistic in her attempt to aid the girl in the hospital, she is even going so far as to glorify her monster of a father to do so. The plan to lure the Coroner-Killer out is a bit of a long shot, but it's the only lead she has... and she intends to see it through.
Throughout the issue, we see several instances of Violet dealing with intense pain from her failing spinal implant. I was happy to see this, as it made it so Mother Panic would have to be benched... what's more, Dr. Varma refused to give Violet any pain-killing injections. A less action-y story resulted... but I believe it was the story we needed. Also, Violet being "struck" by the pain was expertly depicted.
Speaking of which... the art... love it! It's soft and moody... perfectly in tune with the tone of the story. I appreciated the way in which Violet's scarred body was depicted... just lines and crisscrosses rather than anything gruesome.
And the cursing... there wasn't nearly as much of it as we've become accustomed to! That's not to say this issue was squeaky clean... not by a long shot, but I don't think I cringed a single time!
What I Didn't?
The plan to lure out the Coroner-Killer is a bit on the convenient side. Can't really hold that against the story, as it is... ya know, a story, but I figured it was worth mentioning.
Not that I didn't dig this bit... I just didn't find it to be clear. We get more of the Gather House backstory... I can't say for sure that I get what they were going for though. We see Violet punching a wall until her hands become bloody... we later see her in bed, where she wakes up, looks at her hands and cries "No, no, no..." Are we to believe she has no recollection or control of what she is doing? Perhaps it's obvious and I'm just being dense... but I'd have preferred that bit to be a little more clear.
Bits and Pieces:
Our Violet is maturing right before our very eyes. No longer is this a character who causes my stomach to churn. A healthy dose of altruism and a better understanding of her backstory were just what the doctor ordered to make this a book I'm actually looking forward to from month to month.