Review – M.O.M: Mother of Madness #1
Artist: Leila Leiz
Cover Art: Jo Ratcliffe
Publisher: Image Comics
Available: July 21, 2021
Have a look at the variant announced by Image last week here
Game of Thrones superstar EMILIA CLARKE debuts an EXTRA-LENGTH, THREE-ISSUE MINISERIES! The mayhem begins with Maya, an under-the-weather scientist by day, over-the-top superhero by night, and a badass single mom 24/7. Deadpool action and Fleabag comedy collide when Maya activates her freakish superpowers to take on a secret sect of human traffickers. Mature readers only! Comedy and chaos await in the first of three 40-page issues by the glamorous artist of Horde, LEILA LEIZ!
Writers: Emilia Clarke, Marguerite Bennett
I am a little torn with issue 1 of M.O.M. I can see what Clarke and Bennett are trying to do but I think even at 40 pages this needed perhaps an additional 40 pages to fully do it justice. There is something there with the forth wall breaking Maya telling her life story through flash backs and flash forwards, but there is so much crammed into this first issue that Maya herself struggles to shine through all the background noise.
Maya is a 21st-century woman, juggling parenting, dating, multiple jobs and just a little madness. Adopted by two caring scientists, she grows up in a good strong household where her father shares her life mantra that we are put on this world to help others. After their deaths, she takes an overdose of their experimental drugs and instead of dying she wakes up.. with powers. There’s maybe
Each of her emotions makes her develop another power or ability such as invisibility, strength, healing or flexible limbs. Maye becomes introverted by this and hides her abilities further making her a target for office bullies and letches.
The real action happens in the last few pages where Maya takes on a human trafficker, but I won’t spoil the surprise.
Maya is an everywoman, and Clarke and Bennett seem to be painting almost every man in a slightly negative light. I’m not going to get into this as I am neither a female that has experienced this nor do I believe I’m a misogynist that doesn’t think that this doesn’t go on.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in April, Clarke said:
We’re always calling mothers superheroes, and I’m like, what if they were? What if they legitimately were superheroes? Maya has had a very hard life, and she finds herself in a place where everything that makes her unique, she hates and is ashamed about. It’s only in the discovery of her powers that she finds her true acceptance of who she is.Emilia Clark, EW
Artist: Leila Leiz
Leiz does an amazing job in this issue, cramming every panel and page with thousands of background details and random objects. She makes Maya the star of every panel drawing you eye in with quirky movements or humour. The strong feminist message is extremely well highlighted in a gallery where each of the subjects of the painting talk about men’s sexual objectification or unreal body shapes.
I’m not giving up on M.O.M yet but there need to be less Gwenpool style lampooning for the readers and more character and plot development. There only is three issues and based on issue 1 it needs much thicker books to get to where it needs to go.
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