Bad Mother #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on September 10, 2020

Writer: Christa Faust
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.
Colours: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Dezi Sienty

The first issue introduced us to April and her daughter Taylor, their fraught relationship, then stole Taylor away. This second issue deals with events following that, and Aprils investigation into her daughters disappearance. This investigation is one of the strengths of the series, there is a logic and cleverness to the trail which April is following which all too often seems skimmed over. And the trail of clues is brilliantly presented to the reader, in a way which wouldn’t work in another medium. It makes for some excellent storytelling, and while it might still be early days in the investigation it’s clear that Taylor has gotten herself mixed up in some bad business.

The issue also doesn’t waste any time letting the reader get to know some of the bad guys here, and show us the scale of the trouble that Taylor has found herself in. What really sells this story to the reader however is April. The first issue did a great job of introducing the reader to her, but it’s this issue where the emotions are written all over her face which really help the reader to emphasise with her. She is a typical, everyday, mum, and every reader knows someone like her. She doesn't have Liam Neeson's particular set of skills, or super powers. She's that woman you pass in the street every day.

Christa Faust does a great job of writing the story, and she appreciates just how much of a visual medium a comic is. There are pages without any text at all, where she relies on the art to tell the story. It’s a sign of a skilled writer to recognise when no words is the best option, and sometimes the artist has to do the heavy lifting with the story that’s being told. It also shows that Faust and Deodato make a great partnership.

Mike Deodato’s art is outstanding. He brings this suburban tale to life, but it’s the emotions all over our characters faces which are incredible. As previously mentioned there are pages of this comic with absolutely no text on them where the art tells the entire story, and Deodato’s storytelling skills are on full display here. It takes a skilled artist to be able to tell the story without using any words, and Deodato is more than up to the job. There are also the scenes involving Taylors mobile phone, similar ideas have been used on TV before but it works so much better in a comic and is an excellent example of the mediums storytelling strengths.

Lee Loughridge’s colours continue to impress, each project he works on has wildly different colouring styles and he really plays to the strengths of the story being told. His use of heavy shadows gives the suburban scene a darker edge, both literally and metaphorically, and help to contribute to the tone.

The spiritual successor to Taken and Breaking Bad, the storytelling plays to the strengths of the medium to tell a compulsive and exciting crime thriller. The lengths a mother will go to save their child has been explored plenty before, but having a typical suburban mum as the protagonist is a stroke of genius. Stunning art and colours are just the icing on the cake.

Our Score:


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