There's a new, nightmare version of Gotham City in Mother Panic: Gotham A.D., the just-relaunched series from DC's Young Animal line. In this timeline, which takes place 10 years in the future, Batman has disappeared, costumed heroes are banned, and there's some pretty scary people running the show, including twisted versions of familiar Gotham villains.
The series, whose title character is a young hero named Violet Paige, is the latest of the Young Animal line to relaunch with a "Season Two" after the events of the recent crossover event, Milk Wars.
According to series writer Jody Houser, the new setting and timeline for the relaunch of Mother Panic provides the perfect opportunity for new readers to jump on board.
As issue #2 of the series comes out this week, Newsarama talked to Houser about the timeline jump, what it's like working with new series artist Ibrahim Moustafa, and what readers can expect next from Mother Panic.
Newsarama: Jody, where did the idea for this change in Mother Panic's situation come from? What was the reasoning behind it? Why do you this it makes sense for the story to switch to this setting?
Jody Houser: The idea to have Mother Panic thrust into another world was part of a series of line-wide changes after the Milk Wars event. That it would be at least somewhat more in the future came from Gerard Way and editor Molly Mahan. Beyond that, it was up to me to work out the logistics of this new Gotham and where the timeline diverged. As someone who has always loved time travel and alternate dimension stories, it's been a blast to work on.
Nrama: What's the biggest change to Gotham City in this reality?
Houser: The most obvious changes seem to be that the Violet Paige of this world died in the Gather House fire, Batman disappeared over a decade ago, and the Collective has managed to take over the city and reshape it in their image.
Nrama: Where's Violet's head now? How would you describe her priorities now that she's been thrust into this place?
Houser: Her first priority is what it's always been: Find and protect her mother.
Nrama: We've already been introduced to some alternate versions of Gotham villains. Are there any that you can talk about who are featured in #2 or upcoming issues?
Houser: We've seen a plant-looking woman on the cover for #2 and a cat-looking woman on #3, so that's a pretty big clue!
Nrama: Yeah, I'm guessing readers will be able to figure out those clues. Any other concepts coming up that you were able to invent for this version of Gotham that you want to tease to readers?
Houser: I would say that in addition to the main series, I've had a blast writing the back-up stories that lay out the history of some of the characters native to this reality. It's been a great way to flesh out more aspects of this new world.
Nrama: What's it been like working with Ibrahim Moustafa and how does his art inform the story?
Houser: Ibrahim's art feels like a natural fit with what's come before, but he also has his own distinct style, and is building this new version of Gotham from the ground up. I'm having a blast working with him and seeing him push himself further with each issue. I especially love how he draws Mother Panic's costume and imbues her with so much emotion, even with the helmet hiding her face.
Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell readers about Mother Panic: Gotham A.D.?
Houser: If you've never read Mother Panic, this is a great place to jump on board! And if you've been following Violet's adventures from the start, everything that's come before is still key to her story.