DC's acclaimed Young Animal line launches its first wholly original new concept this week with Mother Panic #1, from writer Jody Houser and artist Tommy Lee Edwards.
During the run-up to Young Animal's creation, Houser told ComicBook.com at New York Comic Con this year, Mother Panic was a concept that was brought to her from Edwards and Young Animal head Gerard Way; the two had come up with the idea as a potential creator-owned book, but tweaked it somewhat to fit the voice of the imprint.
And, while no intentional references were made to the kind of nomenclature that Jack Kirby used to use in his New Gods title, Houser admits "Mother Panic" does sound a little bit like a Jack Kirby creation.
"[Jack Kirby] was such an influence, especially in all of the old Vertigo stuff that was pushing the boundaries and world-building, I think maybe that is echoing through some of the Young Animal books as well," Houser said.
Meanwhile, the writer has the enviabe -- but daunting -- task of being the first Young Animal creator to head to Gotham City, arguably DC's richest environment.
"I think in some ways it actually makes [my job] easier becuase I already have a playground that I'm familiar with and that the readers are familiar with," Houser told us. "I think that grounds the book a bit more, becuase she is a new character. Otherwise if she was in a totally new city without all those characters around to give it flavor, you'd really be starting from scratch and you'd have to create a whole setting. I think Gotham is such a rich city, and putting a new character in there and seeing how she reacts to things that we've seen other characters react to...you have a tone to start off with."
The distinct flavor of Young Animal will be retained, she said, but that doesn't mean fans won't have a little bit of familiarity with the feel and characters of the book. Batwoman will feature heavily in the first arc.
"[Way] basically brought the idea he had for the character into DC, tied her into Gotham...and then I basically agreed to pitch the character based on the concept," Houser said. "I did pitch pages for the character to see if I could get a good grasp on her voice, what she would sound like, if she would fit into the city and the social scene there -- and I guess they liked them, because I'm writing the book now."0comments
She added, "Anything that you can do to take a cool character concept and make it something that connects with people and that people really love -- it's hard to ask for anything more as a writer and a storyteller."
Mother Panic #1 hits the stands on Wednesday, but you can pre-order a digital copy on ComiXology now.