Monday, May 9, 2016

Super Hero Moms


Hi there!


In the aftermath of Free Comic Book Day this past Saturday, I am deciding for the 2nd year in a row to make this Comic Book Theme Week here at I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

And seeing as we are also just past Mother’s Day (yesterday), why not combine the two for today’s topic, Super Hero Moms.


Super hero moms are not completely unheard of but they are pretty rare. When comic book editors and publishers are scared to have their super hero in a long term relationship with someone or, God forbid, actually married, you can imagine that taking the next step and having a super hero be a parent is going be even more rare.  And make that super hero a woman AND a mom? It’s almost like looking for a Donald Trump supporter in Tijuana.  


Notice I said “almost” because unlike Mexican Trump fans, there are Super Hero Moms out there.


The most prominent and enduring example is Susan Richards, AKA Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. She got married to Reed Richards in the 1960s and shortly thereafter became pregnant with their son, Franklin. Over at DC, Superman and Lois Lane were doing strange hijinks involving Lois trying to expose Superman’s secret identity and Superman just being a dick towards Lois, Sue and Reed were engaged in an adult, grown up relationship which involved, and we had Franklin as proof, sex. Later, Sue came off maternity leave and got back in the blue spandex jump suit for more adventures with the Fantastic Four

But even facing off against cosmic forces, Sue Storm never stopped being a mom. It was part of her character, not just a bit of character development that got dusted off whenever it was convenient. Sue Richards may have been the Invisible Woman but she was very visibly a mother. Later, Sue and Reed had a daughter but things got complicated, I mean comic book complicated although I think they’re all good now. Kind of sort of. Who knows? Sue Richards, AKA Invisible Woman, AKA Awesome Mom!




Over at DC, Imra Ardeen better known as Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super Heroes got married to Lightning Lad, they got biz-zay and produced kids although one got sucked into some kind of time space vortex thingy and became their arch enemy Validus but then comic book stuff happened and I think they’re OK now. At least, in one DC cosmic reset reboot continuity they are. Although that may be the version of the Legion somewhere in the multiverse where Lightning Lad is really a protoplasmic blob. But I digress. Saturn Girl is a mom AND she has telepathic powers so her kids better not mess with her.


Invisible Woman and Saturn Girl both have something in common. Well, they’re both blondes, yes, but they also got to be moms the old fashioned way: they got married to heterosexual men and produced offspring through consensual sexual copulation.


Then there’s Ms. Marvel. Carol Danvers, like Sue and Imra, is blonde. She was however not married to father of her child. And given the mind control and emotional manipulation going on, it was hardly consensual. Oh, let’s not forget this weird piece of business: the child Carol gives birth to (after a very, very, VERY quick pregnancy) grows up to be (you have a sinking feeling about where this is going, don’t you?) the bastard who impregnates her. Ick! I know! And you do NOT want to know what kind of dicks the male Avengers were being about the whole thing.


We need a happy Super Hero Mom story now, don’t we? Well, you’ll get one.


But not yet.


Instead let’s talk about Lyta Trevor who was  a member of the super hero team Infinity Inc as the super strong heroine named Fury. She was the daughter of Wonder Woman.

OK, the Wonder Woman on Earth 2 until after Crisis on Infinite Earths when Fury became the daughter of another super heroine named Fury from World War II who did not actually exist back during WWII, she was created to give Lyta a mom when the Wonder Woman of Earth 2 was written out of continuity which makes Lyta dizzy, no it’s the pregnancy (by the way, did I mention that Lyta is blonde?) by way of her boyfriend the Silver Scarab or Hector Hall if you prefer who later becomes EVIL because comics and in a fight kicks Lyta in the stomach but despite all the tropes of pregnant women in dramatic situations, she does not lose the baby but Hector dies. Well, not dead dead but comic book dead. He becomes Sandman which Neil Gaiman’s Sandman doesn’t like and zap, now Hector is dead dead dead. Later Lyta gives birth to baby Daniel but Neil Gaiman’s Sandman has plans for him and I don’t think I want to keep writing about this anymore.




One of the pitfalls of Super Hero Moms is how much they mess up the magic timing of a comic book world. In comic book world, time does not progress normally. Over the course of 10 years, Peter Parker may have aged 6 months. But women are pregnant up to 9 months. If a woman in comics is pregnant for 9 monthly issues, she’s rushing through things compared to everything else going on. If you keep her pregnant longer, well that just gets weird. There are ways to get around these problems.


Write the character out where she can spend her pregnancy in real time world while everyone else cavorts in comic book time.

Time travel works great too. Over in Invincible, a series published by Image Comics, Atom Eve is pregnant when Invincible goes on a time travel adventure. But he doesn’t carry the decimal point on his way back home and overshoots his time by five years. Atom Eve is no longer pregnant and their child is old enough to have dialogue and not just lie around and poop. Besides, I think comic book artists hate drawing babies.  


And there’s the good old time jump. A few years ago, DC Comics did a One Year Later event and while we weren’t looking, Selina Kyle (Catwoman) got pregnant and had a baby. Between the start of the new Secret Wars event at Marvel and the end of that event, Jessica Drew has added single mother to her Spider-Woman to-do list.  And hey, what do you know? Selina and Jessica have black hair.  We’re making progress.


Of course the most famous Super Hero Mom is more known for her film work. I am referring to Elasti-Girl of the Incredibles. She has three kids with super powers but she still looks good in her stretchy super suit. And speaking of stretchy, she makes stretching powers look awesome.




So let’s give a cheer to Super Hero Moms. And also a word of thanks and praise to real Moms in the real world who are super heroes everyday.

___________________________________________

Tomorrow...
Hey, did I go see Captain America: Civil War? You bet I did!

And will there going to be a blog post about it? You bet there will!

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

And say "Hi" to your mother. 

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