Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Rachael Stott, Felipe Sobreiro, Simon Bowland
Edited by Amedeo Turturro, Andy Khouri
Published by Vertigo Comics
Release Date: Janurary 24, 2018

Si Spurrier and artist Rachael Stott have probably crafted one of the weirdest first issues to a series that I have come across in recent memory. Motherlands #1 is the kind of intense, weird nonsense that shows why publishers like Vertigo need to exist. If I want to see foul-mouthed, drugged-up, interdimensional, and hairy (nude!) scumbags, Spurrier delivers the world and Stott brings it to life.

There is a lot of high-concept insanity involved in the plot of Motherlands #1, but the summary is: the future is a ****ing nightmare of mish-mashed tech, bio-weapons, and dimension-jumping. Anything that can exist (and is human-ish) does. The main character, “Tab,” fills a needed service as a cross-dimensional bounty hunter whose life seems overshadowed by an intense childhood that included a celebrity bounty hunter for a mother, an absent father, and brother issues. While Tab’s character is more reserved, it is the brief exchanges between her and her mother that make the comic unique. Weird sci-fi setting with hyperviolence? Snore. Weird sci-fi setting with hyperviolence and two partner characters with some colossal issues? That has real promise.

If the story has anything this reviewer might cite as a flaw, it might be that the setting is almost too intense in some ways. There is a lot crammed into the first issue and little room to take it all in. In all likelihood Spurrier will flesh out the extreme (almost infinite) setting and characters, but this is a busy book.

Having said that the plot is tab busy, Stott’s art makes good on all the new terms and lingo. From the intense action of characters leaping through portals to massive inside-out lady bounty hunters, Stott’s art blazes. The characters are unique in their style, from the armor Tab wears to the wolf-man-like appearance of one criminal. Everything in this comic is some manner of intense, be it the design, the violence or the colors. The world(s) of Motherlands #1 is a preview of a ride I hope keeps getting revealed, layer by twisted layer.

The Verdict: 8.0/10


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