It’s Mother’s Day, and time to celebrate moms, niceness, and cookies, all across North America. It also happens to be my birthday, so I get to indulge myself this morning, and blog up this list of….
The Top Seven BAD MOTHERS in Comics
You don’t get to pick your mom, that’s old wisdom, but your mom does get to pick your father, and Debbie may have set a world’s record for marrying the worst husband and father in the known universe. Her youthful crush, Nolan Grayson (super-hero Omni-Man to his legion of fans) turned out to be an alien from the Viltrumite race, who mated with his human pet, specifically to create a son with whom Dad can destroy humanity. When son Mark starts to exhibit dad’s alien powers, the biggest Oedipal fight scene in comics history ensues, thousands die and Dad is exiled to space forever. And what does Debbie Grayson do, now that her world has crumbled around her and son needs a mother’s love more than ever? She settles down into the gutter and drinks herself blind. Oh sure, if EVER there was a reason to knock back a few wrist benders, the old “my alien husband tried to kill our son” excuse is a good one, but I’m not sure Debbie needed to open the second truckload of Jack Daniels so quickly.
Kryptonian wife of Jor-el, and mother of Superman.
Lara was an astronaut on her home planet, and she’d been in space a few times (only ladies rode Krypton rockets, as their alien, but primitive catheter technology wasn’t able to cope with the impressive Kryptonian schlongs), so when her world started crashing down around her, she had the training to stay calm and not make terrible decisions…And when her husband tells her there’s a chance for Lara and her baby to survive the end of the world in a space ship he built for the two of them, SHE REFUSES TO GET INTO THE GODDAMNED ROCKET AND GO WITH THE BOY!!
Sure, there’s that moment of romantic self-destruction a good wife offers her husband on Doomsday so he’s feeling pretty manly as he dies, but anyone with an ounce of mother in them goes with the kid or they suck. It’s why Clark prefers Martha Kent, you know, and only ever pines for his Kryptonian father. Jor-el stepped up and saved his son’s life. Lara was a whiny, suicidal dick, and we all know it.
I cannot possibly know the first thing about her parenting skills, and I’m certain Aline Kominsky-Crumb is a kind, decent human being, perhaps a far better parent than I ever am. But…she has written and illustrated a few blunt confessional stories (Dirty Laundry Comics), along with her husband, underground legend Robert Crumb, that feature her obsession with oral copulation, wild sex fantasies, private bathroom time and anything else intensely personal that pops into Aline’s head…ALL WHILE SHE HAS A LIVING, BREATHING TEENAGE DAUGHTER NAMED SOPHIE WHO GOES TO SCHOOL WITH OTHER HUMAN BEINGS! If you think it’s mortifying to see your mom walking about in a bathrobe in your front yard, imagine mom performing fellatio on infamous dirt-bag Robert Crumb while the planet pays to watch it, and get back to me.
Mother of twin bastards, Gabriel and Sarah, who look like Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy because of magic/science, and who were raised by the Green Goblin, the man who killed their mom.
Of course it didn’t happen. It couldn’t have happened, not in a rational world with professional writers and editors who understand their craft…and surely it all went away with the BRAND NEW DAY retcon that fixed all those continuity problems. But the SINS PAST storyline was written by J. Michael Straczynski, published in Amazing Spider-Man #509-514, and it can’t be ignored in a column such as this. Gwen Stacy, virginal Queen of Super-hero Girlfriends decided to give her “special flower” to her beloved boyfriend’s roommate’s father, Norman Osborne, because Normie seemed to be in a bad mood one afternoon when Gwen found him in Harry’s living room. Norman Osborne didn’t rape her, didn’t drug her, didn’t do anything to Gwen but brood in her presence, and she gaped open her thighs and cheated on Peter for the most important sexual moment of her life. And then, rather than tell Peter of her astoundingly unlikely transgression, she decides to go to France, have the kids in secret, and THEN tell Peter about it, so they can raise the perpetual reminders of her criminal infidelity together as a happy family.
But Osborne, in his guise as the Green Goblin, kills her instead, and raises the kids in some kind of hyper-aging chamber so they can kill Peter Parker when they get old enough in eight years.
It may be the worst written comic book story of all time. Certainly the worst comic Marvel ever produced, and something Straczynski did just to see if the fans would break his nose when they met him. So far, his nose remains intact, so fandom isn’t trying hard enough.
Mother of Jason Todd, the used-to-be dead Robin.
Okay, Shelia abandons her child Jason at a young age and leaves her husband to figure it out on his own. Strike One.
She becomes an illegal abortion provider in Gotham, and simultaneously kills a teenage mother and unborn child through impressive medical incompetence. Strike Two.
The Joker finds out about her mistake, and tracks her down to an aid station in Ethiopia, where she is embezzling funds and selling medicine on the black market. Joker blackmails Sheila into replacing the life saving drugs she’s stolen with highly poisonous Joker toxin, and also, into handing over her son for a crowbar beating by the evil clown so she can avoid arrest. Strike Three, and four and five through nine. Joker used the crowbar quite a bit.
With this monster as his mummy, I no longer blame Jason for being such a irritating little bitch.
Daughter of the Demon. Lover of the Bat. Mother of the Creepiest Robin Yet.
Maybe it’s her upbringing – she was sired by a terrorist father nearly a thousand years old, and that kind of generation gap is tough to overcome. Also, her parents met in the audience at Woodstock, so there’s all that hippie baggage, too. But when Talia gave birth to her son Damian, she went from being Batman’s sometimes girlfriend/enemy/paramour/Emma Peel Stand-in/leather fantasy chick, to spectacularly crappy mother. She didn’t balance parenthood and career well, and spent Damian’s toddler years organizing the League of Assassins while the kid was raised by murderer-nannies and wet-nurse hit-men who preferred open hand kill techniques to Teletubbies. And once the lad survived to twelve years old, Talia abandons Damian to his estranged father, a lunatic who lives in a cave and who takes rugrat-Robin into gunfights because baby sitters tend to die around Talia’s boy. If Ms. Head thinks the Justice League is a pain in the ass, wait until she gets into it with Social Services and the family law courts system.
Mystique of the Evil Mutants/X-Men
In the movies, she’s a blue lizard hottie with a nudist streak, just like so many of my college girlfriends, but in the comics, she’s easily the worst mom of all time, human or mutant.
Her first son, Graydon Creed, she gave up for adoption and “kept an eye” on him until she realized the child wasn’t a mutant like herself, and therefore, too icky to love. Things go wrong, Creed becomes an anti-mutant crusader as a adult, and messes with the granddaughter of mom’s lesbian plaything, so mother eventually travels back in time and shoots her son in the head.
But everyone makes mistakes with a first child.
For her next bout of motherhood, she willingly cheats on her then-husband with someone who claims to be Satan. Her second child, Kurt Wagner, is born with blue fur and a tail, and naturally the townspeople begin chasing mom and child with pitchforks and torches, purchased at bulk discount prices. But even though she’s got a magic power to turn into anyone she wants, and she’s been learning stealthcraft and all sorts of useful skills to avoid detection for decades, what do she do with her cute, fuzzy blue newborn? She tosses him in a river like a bag of kittens and hopes he drowns.
Nice one Mystique. I hope someone kicks you in your shape-shifting balls.
That’s it for Mother’s Day, and my Birthday. I’m off to celebrate in my own way, and it just might include handing my kids off to the Joker for the afternoon. They’ll be okay, we have a nanny-cam.
Ty the Guy
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