Yesterday was Mother’s Day (in parts of the world at least) so lets take a moment and appreciate all the wonderful mothers from comic books. Because, lets face it, some of our favorite supers wouldn’t be the same without the influence of their mothers. I meant to post this yesterday, but got sidetracked watching movies and playing Battleship with my little one.
Just as a note, I do talk comic book plotlines, but most of them are 10+ years old so no spoiler warnings unless we’re talking recent events.
Above Image: Action Comics #850
Her first name has changed over the years – Mary, Molly, Martha and even Sarah at one point-but to fans Ma Kent is as good of a name as any for this super mom. After formally adopting the orphan from another world they raise him as their own, her and her husband their farm to move to Smallvile to open a general store.
We didn’t get to see a lot of either of the Kents prior to the Superboy comics being launched (which feature a young Kal-El, not any of the others who bore the title), but when they did we got to see how wonderful they really were. Ma was always encouraging of a hero at a young age, even sewing his first costume from the blankets that accompanied him on his inter-planetary voyage. Ma and Pa are the ones who imparted the morals by which we now identify with the Man of Steel.
Additionally Ma never hesitates to be a mother to any that need her help; whether it’s the clone of their son, Kon-El to whom they give the name Connor, or the artificial lifeform known as Matrix Supergirl who Superman brought back from another dimension. Ma Kent was the personification of nurturing mother.
Above Image: FLASHPOINT: Wonder Woman and the Furies
The wonderful Amazon Queen of Themyscira (or Paradise Island) was a compassionate but firm ruler, a decisive and strong leader, and a calm diplomat that could be a warrior at need, but above all she was caring mother to Diana Prince, whom we know better as Wonder Woman. Hippolyta was over protective of Diana in many aspects, but what would you expect from a woman who waited millennia for a daughter to raise and care for? She loved Diana more than life itself, and risked her life for her daughter on more than one occasion (and died for her – because it’s comics).
[New 52 Spoilers] In the rebooted continuity, Diana is the child of Hippolyta and Zeus, and when Hera learns her true parentage and appears to punish Hippolyta for being too weak to resist Zeus’s advances she willing gives her life as long as Hera lets Diana live. Hera recognizes Hippolyta’s love for her daughter and relents-only slightly as she turns Hippolyta to stone instead of killing her.
Above Image: Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2, #38
Sure she wasn’t Peter Parker’s biological mother, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a spot on this list for being an amazing mother figure. She still raised him like her own, and still cared for him long after he left her house. She has been a stable in the Spider-Man mythos since its inception more than anyone other than Spider-Man himself. While Uncle Ben spoke of responsibility, Aunt May has lived it. She’s sold her jewelry avoid eviction, taken in dangerous boarders to keep the lights on, and had numerous heart attacks as a result of her hard life. In spite of all this, she has never given up. Time and again Aunt May has been there to show her nephew that, no matter how tough things may seem, you never, ever stop fighting. So as much as people think Uncle Ben instilled this in our beloved Web Slinger, I believe it was Aunt May that always drove the point home.
When she learned of her nephew’s double life as a superhero, she supported him and even told him that the guilt he felt over his Uncle Ben that caused him to turn towards vigilantism is something she shares. After talking with May, Peter vows to never hide secrets or lie to her again, realizing what an amazing mother he has in his life and how much better he is now than before she knew the truth.
[One More Day Spoilers] When May’s life is endangered and he’s offered the change to bring her back (in admittedly one of-if not the-worst storylines) in exchange for his marriage to his wife and long term love interest, Mary Jane, he does so, because you don’t give up on your mother.
Above Image: Wolverine Vol 3, #20-25 “Enemy of State”
After marrying her husband, Richard Reed, Sue became pregnant with her first child with much difficulty that caused her to relinquish her spot on the Fantastic Four. When Sue gave birth (with help from Element X brought by Reed from the Negative zone because this is a comic book story after all) to a healthy baby boy she named him after her father, Franklin.
Franklin, being the son of the Invisible Woman and Mister Fantastic, manifested strong and unusual powers almost immediately. Sue continued her hiatus from the team in order to take care of him. Later, Annihilus kidnapped Franklin to harness his powers, and consequently they increased exponentially, and Reed felt he had no choice but to inhibit Franklin’s mental activity Sue, however, was having none of it and she left Mr. Fantastic and took Franklin with her. They reconcile later on (with a little help from the Inhuman Triton) and Sue eventually rejoins the team full time.
Sue is a fantastic mother because she loves her son as he is, and not as she (or anyone else) thinks he should be. When he had special needs because of his parentage she put those above her own needs and wants, the way any dedicated mother would want to. When she entered motherhood it really expanded on her character, not because it defined her, but because it allowed her to really come into her own as a person. Gone were the days when Richard or Johnny would tell her to stay behind for her safety. I’m pretty sure Sue saved the day more than Reed, especially when someone was threatening her children.