Motherlands #1

Writer: Simon “Si” Spurrier
Artist: Rachael Stott
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Review by Cory Webber

Motherlands #1 is a weird, alt-future, sci-fi romp about Tabitha, aka Tab, a bounty hunter who can hop through dimensions in the multiverse, known as the Trawl. She also happens to be the daughter of the most famous bounty hunter ever. Back when bounty hunting was primetime programming, her mother was the queen of “huntertainment” – think a sexy female version of Dog the Bounty hunter, or rather a bounty hunter who used her sexuality to increase her popularity.

Si Spurrier (X-Force, Godshaper) throws down some heavy exposition on the first page of Motherlands #1, in which we find Tab learning about the Trawl from her holo-robotic teacher. Tab is then called out of the classroom to the prinicpal’s office where we meet her mother…her extremely foul-mouthed mother. Turns out Tab’s brother was picked up by her father and they jumped “strings” (parallel universes) using hard-to-track tech.

After the heavy exposition and main character intros, we pick up 30 years later where Tab is a bounty hunter, which, unlike the glamorous career of yesteryear, is merely a job that pays the bills. We follow Tab as she is tracking down some scumbag who makes it personal by bringing up her Mom. Suffice it to say: Tab is not a big fan of her mother. The ensuing chase takes us through several different strings. This is where the art really goes to work and shows off. There is a whole multiverse out there, and each string is a slight variation of our own. The flow from string to string, which sometimes is only panel to panel, is fluid and shows a great sense of how quickly they can port from one string to the next.

The colors in Motherlands #1 are used to great effect; however, the lettering is what stood out the most. During the aforementioned chase sequence, word balloons are cut off as the criminal that Tab is chasing is passing through portals. The main gist of what is being said is mostly visible, but the effect it has on the movement and speed of the chase is very successful. Together, the art in Motherlands #1 is very effective, and I particularly liked Tab’s facial expressions. Stott seemed to give her a different facial expression every time we saw her, which was a lot.

Spurrier, as always, creates rich, unique characters, and the family dynamic he creates should provide plenty of intriguing drama moving forward. We don’t explore too much of the multiverse in this first issue of Motherlands, but I’m sure that future issues will delve a little deeper, and that the art team will have a chance to get to some weird, wacky sci-fi stuff.

Verdict: Buy it.

But only if you don’t mind hyper violence and foul-mouthed mother/daughter combos. Motherlands #1 has created a unique multiverse with a high-concept story that is grounded by familial relationships, albeit dysfunctional ones. The final few pages really up the ante in that regard and, without spoiling anything, it’s the reason I’m looking forward to upcoming issues.

Cory Webber
Cory Webber is a devoted entrepreneur, husband and father. Having recently discovered the wonderful world of comics, he spends most of his free time devouring issue upon issue. The rest of his free time is devoted to sleeping.

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