Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Motherlands #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

Have No Fear, Penis-Man Is Here

Written by: Simon Spurrier
Art by: Stephen Byrne, Felipe Sobreiro, and Simon Bowland
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 28, 2018


This series got off to a solid start, but nowhere near great. It has all the potential in the world to be a really great story moving forward, but it's a little rough around the edges. If Simon Spurrier can tighten up the narrative a little bit while going easier on the "mature" aspects of the storytelling, then this has all the makings of a really fun read. So, let's take a gander and see if he was able to do that with this one.

Explain It!

After the reveal at the end of the first issue that Tabitha and Selena are going to be hunting down Bubba, Selena reaches out to a news agency to record her reenacting the shock of finding that out. Tabitha is pretty pissed that their are still cameras following them but Selena says that they need the exposure. It turns out that Bubba is steals scientific data and technology while tallying a five-figure death count. No, that's not a typo. This dude has killed at least 10,000 people. Sheesh.

The people back at Channel-Ø continue asking them questions as they go through their process and Selena continues to play up the huntertainment act, much to Tabitha's chagrin. In the middle of Selena's little chat with the producers, Tabitha pulls out her gun and disintegrates someone coming at them. At first, Selena tells her that she can't just kill people, but it turns out that it wasn't a person and instead a teledrone that was headed right for Selena. Apparently, the teledrone was sent by a group of mobsters known as Braintrust. Braintrust hates Bubba's gang, so Tabitha demands to know what Selena did to piss them off instead of them helping them go after Bubba.

Now we hop into a flashback of a young Tabitha. Selena is screaming at her cameraman about not being on screen with a human from another string that is basically a giant penis with dozens of normal-sized penises coming off of him in all directions. Very strange. Tabitha is tired of listening to her mom yell and scream, so when someone beckons her into the hallway, she goes. A man delivers Tabitha a hologram message, and she perks right up when it turns out that it's from Bubba.

Back in the present, Tabitha is still adjusting to working with her mom. Tabitha doesn't want to go into a bar so close to the crime scene, but Selena goes bursting right in and is greeted by a bunch of trawl-hunters that have no idea who she is, including the disgusting mass of pinkness that is Oona. Oona throws some insults their way, but Selena brushes it off and instead simply offers Oona a random spoon before going back out the door. Selena used the spoon as a distraction while she got a trace on Bubba's aura using her red eye, which she calls "Old Reliable."

The mother and daughter pair hop to String 99332212, following Bubba's trail, and enter a room that he was in within the past week. Selena is continuing to play everything up for the camera, until Tabitha finally cuts in and tells her to blow it out her ass. She then reveals to Channel-Ø that her mom didn't even blink when she found out they were going after Bubba. Tabitha then unleashes on her mom, saying how it's obvious that the admiration of people watching her show means more to Selena than her kids do. But that's okay, because Old Reliable means more to Tabitha right now that her mom does in general. It's pretty brutal stuff, but it gives a lot of depth to Tabitha's character.

Now we get to see what exactly Bubba's message to Tabitha was all about. And actually, we get to see a whole bunch of hologram messages he sent to her. Bubba was out hopping around from string to string, being an outlaw with his dad, while Tabitha had to sit there with their mom. Eventually, Bubba sent a final message saying that his dad wasn't actually her dad, and that he wasn't going to come back for her after all. This visibly crushes Tabitha, and she shatters the hologram device with her hands.

After blowing up on her mom, Tabitha looks around and finds the plans for Bubba's next move: an attack on a vault. The camera asks her to show the plan and when Tabitha refuses, a little goblin guy jumps out of the camera and attacks them. Selena falls over and Tabitha is shot in the chest when she goes to protect her mom. They knock the little guy out of the way but Selena stops Tabitha from killing him. It's at this moment that Tabitha realizes why Selena agreed to come along. She doesn't want to kill Bubba, she wants to reach him before anyone else and try to save him.

After a little chat, Selena remarks that she barely even recognizes Tabitha anymore, and we learn that the bullet Tabitha was shot with recolored her whole aura. The little guy, whose name is Jango, is talking to a figure asking if he did okay and if they can be partners after he did his job. The figure agrees, then asks Jango to come closer. We see that it was Oona, and she stabs Jango clean through with the spoon given to her by Selena.

So Simon Spurrier definitely calmed down on trying to push the over-the-top language and nudity this issue and instead worked on developing the characters a little bit. That being said, I still don't really like any of those characters being developed. I want to like this book, I really do, but it's just not clicking for me at the moment. The story doesn't interest me very much, I don't like the characters, and I can't get behind the art style, although guest artist Stephen Byrne delivered more than the first issue. I can only hope that things get better from here because up to this point, I'm not invested at all.

Bits and Pieces:

After a disappointing first issue, I still had high hopes for the series moving forward. But after giving it another shot, I'm still not buying into the story, the characters, or the art. I still think there is a lot of potential for a great series here but up to this point it has been a let down. While I'm not quite ready to write the book off entirely, it needs to improve in a lot of areas for me to consider it a win for Vertigo.


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