Last year, we covered, specifically, our favorite television mothers for Mother’s Day. This year, we’re delving into our favorite Comic Book Mothers! This list is a little tricky, and some of you may call foul, but we choose to view motherhood as more than just the person that gave birth. Also, the number of adoptive or deceased mothers in comic books is astounding; it’s almost like having one or the other (or both!) is a requirement to become a superhero (or villain!). With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite mothers from the realm of comic books:
Martha “Ma” Kent
Martha and Jonathan Kent were minding their own business when an alien pod crash landed in a field. Curiosity led to the discovery of an infant in the pod and Martha convinced Jonathan they should adopt the child and raise him as their own. Living in the middle of nowhere, no one ever questions the sudden appearance of an infant at the neighbor’s house; the Kryptonian Kal-El was given the name Clark Kent, tying him to the Kents with his new mother’s maiden name. No matter which story line you follow, whether Martha loses Jonathan or not, she raises Clark to be a kind, gentle, and selfless man. There is a reason Superman has stolen so many hearts and it is undeniably the charm of a small town boy that he brings to Metropolis, and that is a direct result of having Martha as his mother.
The Amazonians weren’t born the traditional way, and neither was Wonder Woman, also known as Princess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta. The queen is not a conventional mother, instead she crafted Diana and her sister Nubia from clay and the gods bestowed life into her creations. Hippolyta raises Diana to be strong and noble and dedicated to defeating the evil plaguing mankind while Nubia is taken away by the god Mars. Another daughter, Donna Troy (aka Wonder Girl, Darkstar, and Troia ) also came to be by mystical creation, though not directly by Hippolyta’s hand. A dedicated mother, Hippolyta spends her time training and preparing her daughters alongside the rest of the Amazonians. She goes out of her way to orchestrate elaborate plots when she believes her daughter, Wonder Woman, is in danger; though her intentions are good, her plans don’t always end with the desired results, some even creating a rift between her and Diana. Though Hippolyta’s parenting style isn’t ideal, she does succeed in being a devoted mother and for that, she makes our list of favorite comic book mothers.
Aunt May Reilly Parker
When his parents were killed, Peter Parker moved in with his aunt and uncle. Aunt May became his sole guardian when Uncle Ben was also killed. Through the various iterations of Spider-Man, Aunt May is depicted as an older woman, almost more of a grandmother than a parent, but she is a very capable mother figure to the orphaned boy. She remains in the dark as to Peter Parker’s night life as Spider-Man, focusing her attentions on keeping him on the straight and narrow with his school work and encouraging his social life. Her unwavering support of Peter makes us wish we could have Aunt May in our lives.
Jessica Jones and Luke Cage become more than a fling, eventually getting married and having a daughter, Danielle Cage. After initially rejecting to join the Superhuman Registration following Civil War, an attack motivates her to sign and reveal herself to save Danielle, separating from Luke in the process. This isn’t the first time she gives up everything to keep her daughter safe; after rejoining Luke and becoming one of the New Avengers, Jessica once again finds herself leaving the team and moving out of the Avenger’s mansion for the health and safety of her child. Jessica has never had an easy life but she is doing what she can to allow Danielle to grow up with a better life. She does succeed in raising a strong daughter, though; Danielle grows up to be the future Captain America.
Susan “Sue” Storm-Richards
The Fantastic Four‘s Invisible Girl was the first Marvel character to become a mother. Sue Storm-Richards has been juggling family life and superhero life since the 1960s and, while it hasn’t always been easy (she and Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic have separated and reunited more than once), she has always shown poise in motherhood. Through many ups and downs, including a pregnancy loss (and surprise re-pregnancy thanks to her son’s reality-altering powers), Sue has shown the other Marvel characters that it is possible to crime fight with a family.
Dr. Harleen “Harley Quinn” Quinzel
One of the most heartbreaking moments in comic history is Harley Quinn‘s admission to Black Canary that she and The Joker have a daughter, but he knows nothing of her existence. During a fight scene in DC‘s Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year Two (#13), Black Canary gets a bout of morning sickness and Harley immediately backs down, refusing to fight a pregnant woman. During their following conversation, Harley admits she knew the life she had with Mr. J was not the life for a child and gave Lucy up. Lucy is still with family, living with Harley’s sister, so she is still able to check in on her and visit from time to time. Harley recognized she could not provide for Lucy in the way she would like and made sure she would live a normal life, sacrificing a part of her own heart to hand her daughter over to someone that could give her what she deserved. She could easily have done otherwise, but she knew the life of crime was no life for a child. She voluntarily becomes Crazy Aunt Harley, making her twice as awesome: a loving mother and a doting aunt.
Happy Mother’s Day to our favorite comic book moms! Did we miss your favorite? Please let us know!
Cover Image: Supermom by Steve Nease