M.O.M.: MOTHER OF MADNESS #1
Writers: Emilia Clarke, Isobel Richardson, and Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Leila Leiz
Colors: Triona Farrell
Letters: Haley Rose-Lyon
Cover: Jo Ratcliffe
Publisher: Image Comics
In M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #1 (of 3), Maya is a single mother with superpowers – but those powers come with a catch: they’re inextricably tied to her emotions. Can these abilities (and by extension, the emotions attached to them) prove to be a blessing rather than a curse?
In part, this issue is an origin story – but don’t groan too loudly, M.O.M. will hear you. The comic knows that you’ve sat through a million origin stories before, and it has no problem calling you out for it.
In fact, M.O.M. is overall a very meta text, with Maya directly addressing the reader from the very first panels. What’s also clear from the very first panels is that this comic is coming from a place that has seen enough shit, thank you very much (and speaking of shit, it’s worth mentioning that Maya has no problem cursing throughout the comic, a clearly intentional and often hilarious concession).
The result is a tone that doesn’t have time for subtlety, in part because M.O.M. is well aware that subtlety has already been done to death, and, well, look around: it hasn’t really proven effective, has it?
But while M.O.M. may be none too subtle, it’s also consistently funny and entertaining from the first page to the last.
What of the celebrity tie-in angle of M.O.M.: Mother of Madness? It’s more than just Clarke’s likeness being adopted for the protagonist here. M.O.M. knows that you’re already aware of Clarke thanks to her starring role in Game of Thrones, in which we were all made to watch the Khaleesi get done dirty once she was deemed “too crazy” by her male counterparts.
M.O.M. addresses many of the issues raised by the climax of Game of Thrones: what if a woman had supernatural levels of power, and what if that power was inextricable from her emotions? However, unlike Game of Thrones, which answered these questions by murdering its best character, M.O.M. offers Maya an avenue to lay claim to her power, regardless of the fact that it may be inextricable from her emotions.
M.O.M. isn’t shy about the fact that its connected to Clarke’s history on Game of Thrones – it’s right there on the cover of the comic: Mother of Madness is a play on one of the Khaleesi’s many titles.
But that’s a wise metafictional decision, given that any reader will immediately, inevitably connect Clarke’s name with Game of Thrones. By laying claim to the inevitable comparison, M.O.M. is able to use the association to its (and by extension the reader’s) advantage.
Mother of Madness
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness is a very strong opening issue: the protagonist will charm you before the conclusion of the first scene, and you’ll be sold on the premise by the conclusion of the comic.
Now, there’s loads of potential for the second issue, which has the opportunity to build something really special on this very strong foundation.
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #1 is available now at your local comic shop.