Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Motherlands #5 Review

We're The Top Dogs, Dummy

Written by: Si Spurrier
Art by: Rachael Stott, Felipe Sobreiro, and Simon Bowland
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 23, 2018

Well, here we are, another month and another issue of this series. After four disappointing issues, I am nowhere near excited to jump into this one. While I still bank on the concept being really cool, we never get to see any of these new and different "strings" anymore, and instead, have resigned to more and more boring conflict between mother and daughter. Every time the two seem to be getting along a little bit more, it gets ripped out from under them and they start over in the next issue. I find this series a chore to get through, and I'm not really looking forward to digging into this issue, but let's give it a shot.

Explain It!

Once again, I will give Si Spurrier some credit for not wasting any time picking up where the last issue left off because once again, the first page of this one could've come directly after the final page of the last issue and it would've flowed just fine. Now that being said, the results of the cliffhanger aren't all that interesting. We found out in the last issue that Bubba doesn't remember who Tabitha is, and that continues here.

After Selena interrupts the conversation between Tabitha and her brother, it gets even talkier than it usually is. A very large portion of this issue is devoted to the characters finding out things that the readers found out in the last issue, and not even in a way that sets up any intrigue. There is no mystery of will they find out or won't they, the characters just blurt things out and continue on talking.

Once again, the interactions between Tabitha and Selena feel so forced that it's hard to read and even imagine the conversation actually happen. I think these two have gone from arguing to a touching moment of understanding and back to arguing again at least once in each of the five issues thus far. No matter how much they seem like they're going to start getting along and welcoming each other's company, before you know it they are back at each other's throats. That trend continues here in this issue with probably the most heartfelt potential makeup yet. However, I've been burned so many times in the past that these emotional moments between the two don't carry much weight anymore.

Throughout this issue, their relationship is up and down as always, but this one actually ends with them maybe, possibly, being on semi-good terms for once. I don't see it lasting long, but hey you never know. The final page ends on a cliffhanger which, had it come about three issues sooner, would have been really interesting and got me looking ahead for what's to come. But by this point it just seems like a way to force in yet another conflict between Selena and Tabitha come June.

The art has been taking a steady decline ever since the first issue, and that is no different in this one. I have adjusted to the style, but there are quite a few panels where it is tough to tell what is actually happening. That, along with the glaring inconsistencies in the sizes of the different characters, has gotten me really down on the one thing I used to enjoy about this book from month to month.

At this point in the series, none of the interesting ideas laid out early on have paid off in my mind. With only one issue left to wrap everything up, I have a sneaking suspicion that things are going to keep being forced in there to bring it to a rushed ending. I don't like the art, I don't like the characters, and I don't like the narrative being told. Oh well, only one issue to go I guess.

Bits and Pieces

I haven't been a fan of this series since the beginning, and this issue continues that trend. While I used to enjoy the art enough, it seems to have taken a turn for the worse lately. Along with that, I'm just bored with it. I can't get behind any of the characters or their motivations, and the story surrounding it all feels forced to create a never-ending family conflict. I'm hoping for a strong ending, but I'm not confident that's going to happen.


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