By Cat Wyatt
Motherlands #2 wastes no time reminding us just how scummy dear old mother (aka Scarlet Sylph) really is. By all appearances, she’s happily soaking in all the attention of being the mother of a known criminal – and by also being one of the bounty hunters going after him. It’s no wonder Tab didn’t want to have to ask her mother for help.
While the retired Sylph does a fantastic job of getting on Tab’s (and my) nerves, I’ll admit she can, in fact, be useful. Well, more accurately her eye does a great job of tracking signatures. She almost immediately picks up the trail her son has left behind, and even with the annoying cameras following their every move she manages to continue to pick up leads (granted, the cameras keep wanting them to give away this intel, which obviously other bounty hunters would use to get to the guy), but that’s another story. I don’t think Sylph would reveal the information…catching her son would get more media attention than sharing a couple of leads, surely? (Man it’s sad that I’m thinking about her motives like that, isn’t it?)
The problem with being a less than stellar mother is missing the details in her children’s lives. Like the fact that Bubba was in contact with Tab for years after leaving - in case you were wondering, Bubba ran off with his father. Apparently, the father didn’t take Tab along (despite Bubba’s pleading) because he isn’t actually her father and didn’t want to give Sylph more reason to try and hunt them down… which after meeting her I totally get that. However, I imagine that just added to the reasons why Tab has some serious mother issues (again, who can blame her?) and why she likely grew up to resent the woman.
I also think Bubba abandoning Tab to a life alone with Sylph like that (even though it wasn’t fully his choice) left Tab with some serious abandonment and anger issues. There’s a good chance she’ll never forgive Bubba for it, which may or may not be the reason she’s okay with hunting him down now. That or she’s just really dedicated to her job (and the money).
Though apparently, both women have a different idea of how to handle things once they actually find Bubba. Sylph seems to think they can do it without killing anyone (including competing for bounty hunters that wouldn’t think twice about killing them first), while Tab obviously is willing to do whatever it takes to do the job (and live). This may even include killing Bubba (I’m not sure if his papers say preferred dead or alive, but if he’s as dangerous as it sounds it may have to be dead). Something which Sylph doesn’t seem willing to consider (even though she claims she’d do it to save Tab’s life…but I don’t think she has anyone convinced of that lie).
This whole conflict of opinions reveals the real motivation behind Sylph’s hunting Bubba. She doesn’t want to kill him, or even bring him in. She honestly thinks if she’s the first bounty hunter to find him she can somehow save him. And I'm worried she’d be okay with sacrificing her daughter to get the chance to try. Mother of the year she is not. I guess only time will tell how far she’s willing to go to get her son back.
This series is still in the building up phase, though I suspect the issue will start hitting the action and plot. We now know the motivation of both of the main characters, as well as the reasons for why they’re not a great team. This pairing is bound to lead to disaster and disappointment. I’m having trouble resisting the urge to root for Tab. Mostly because I can’t stand Sylph. She doesn’t seem to care about anybody but herself, which is why I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that she wants to rescue Bubba. Is it a pride thing? Since Bubba choose his father, she wants to try and make him choose her again, to prove a point? Or is it love? If it’s love, then why doesn’t she care more about Tab? So many questions, and yet I still find myself disliking the woman. Still, the series did a great job of getting me emotionally invested, so job well done.
The art style is a little retro and throwback, but it works. I can tell just by the look of it that Tab’s armor is older and out of date…and now has a giant hole in the front of it. I love the way tracking is shown in the series, such as how Sylph’s eye works. That was pretty interesting, and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that.