By Cat Wyatt
Motherlands #3 starts off with Tab and her (obnoxious) mother get a badly needed R&R and healing day (remember, Tab did actually get hurt in the last issue). The place they’re at is a sort of blend between a medical facility and a spa, which is actually an interesting concept. Apparently they’ll make your body and aura feel better by the time you’re done. Or at least that’s the theory.
So after a day at the spa, which included a couple of tentacle jokes (I’m sure you can guess what that means), and some awkward mother/daughter talk (read: the mother talking about things that are way to tmi to be saying to your daughter), they still haven’t quite gotten to a point where they can communicate well, but I think they’re at a better point. Nothing Sylph says or does will change what she did to Tab in the past (and man, some of those flashbacks are just gut wrenching), but I’d like to think she’s still capable of caring for Tab. Not that I blame Tabitha for being hesitant to give her the chance; I can’t pretend I know for certain that I’d act any differently.
It doesn’t help matters that Sylph doesn’t really seem to know her daughter at all. When Tab was a child it was pretty clear that Sylph mostly used their relationship to get good clips for her show (like the one where she talked a sobbing Tab into confessing what was wrong, only to literally toss her away the second they stopped their secret filming). You’d think once the show was over and her ‘adoring’ audience stopped caring that Sylph would have invested in the one person she has left in her life…but apparently not. She doesn’t even know whether her daughter likes men or not (a fact that struck her hard after a quip from Tab).
If we’re being honest, their inability to see eye to eye is the real reason Tab wants her mother to stay behind. She claims it’s because she doesn’t want her mom hurt (which I believe may have a bit of truth in it), but more likely she probably knows her mom won’t get her take out Bubba like she’s going to have to do. I think deep down Tab knows that for whatever reason Sylph was always more invested in her relationship with Benny than she ever was with her (I have some theories on this, but no proof).
In pure comic book timing this is around the point where the ladies get attacked, proving that Sylph can actually handle her own. And fully removing any argument that Tab had to say otherwise. The fact that Sylph totally saved Tab’s butt (literally) probably didn’t hurt either. Though it was funny.
I’ll admit I’m surprised by how quickly things progress from here. Supposedly Sylph and Tab have accurately tracked Benny down, and are now sitting outside the building he’s hiding out in. Now, this seems too easy if you ask me, so I personally am of the opinion that this is a trap or decoy setup by Bubba, but again I have no proof.
Though of course I’m forgetting to mention one of the complications that occurs before they can get to him. Remember that large boss lady, the one with the giant bun on her head and massive pink muscle-y body? If you recall, she managed to get a tracker on Tab (well, one of her guys got a tracker on Tab, and then she killed that guy…but same thing, right?), because of course she knew they’d find Bubba first. Her goal is clear; swoop in, steal the bounty and the loot (and kill Benny).
Needless to say that isn’t going to happen. Sylph wants Bubba alive, and Tab wants (needs) the money. So it’s mother/daughter versus the neuroboosted placentamorph (Tab’s description and words, not mine – I would have called her a goo monster). I’ll admit that I was looking forward to this fight. I didn’t think it would be an easy one by any means, but it was bound to be a fun one to watch.
Tab and Sylph actually did better in the fight than I expected. Fun fact: a neuroboosted placentamorph (try saying that ten times fast) kind of looks like a Dalek outside of his casing. In other words, humanoid and gross (also, she’s got a full head of hair? Go figure).
It’s after this fight that we’re forced to see another flashback to Tab’s past. I say forced because sometimes they’re just so painful to see. That girl did not have a happy childhood. Can we just all agree to that now? I can see now why Tab seemed to think that Sylph cared more about Bubba than about her. Sylph revealed in one of her drunken ramblings (one that she wasn’t aware Tab could hear) that Bubba being around could have saved her show; and that Tab would never have had any chance of making it on TV, because she’s a ‘fat child.’ Harsh.
Now, I personally have a theory here, so bear with me. Sylph is a self-centered bitch, we can all agree on that, right? She sees her children as needs gratifying objects; basically only wanting them around when they can do something for her (like helping her ratings). When her show tanked, she was unable to deal with it or face the potential fact that it was all about her. So she shifted the blame. Now it’s Tab’s fault, because she’s fat, and Bubba’s fault, because he’s gone. If Bubba had been around it would have been his fault for another reason.
I guess I’ll have to wait until the next issue to found out what is going on with Bubba. Did he set a decoy or trap? Or is something else going on? This has been an interesting series so far. At first I thought this series was ‘meh’, but then when I was writing my review for the last issue I realized I had become emotionally invested in the story and characters, which speaks volumes to the talent of the authors (especially because I wasn’t trying to become attached). This issue didn’t hit me quite as hard emotionally, but I think that has more to do with the fact that I was ready for it this time. I still feel awful for Tab, and am somewhat defensive of her (especially when it comes to her mother).
The artwork still has some room for improvement, though it isn’t bad. I love the color palette and Bubba character design. The fight with little miss placenta was pretty well done too. I wish there was a bit more detail shown on Tab – especially with her expressions and close-ups.