Comic Review: M.O.M. #1 is One Hot Mess

 

The mayhem begins with Maya, an under-the-weather scientist by day, over-the-top superhero by night, and 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.

 

My Impression of M.O.M. 

With messaging as in your face as the Las Vegas strip, M.O.M. #1 Mother of Madness (Image Comics) slaps the reader across the face with female empowerment, self-acceptance, and of course misogyny. Emilia Clarke, Isobel Richardson, and Marguerite Bennett clearly have no idea how to write something with subtlety. Every man is sexist and vulgar with the exception of the one non-white man. All of the women are self-aware, strong figures batting witty observations around like NYU grad students in a trendy café. As a result, the entire exercise is cringe and inhuman. Frankly, these characters aren’t people as much as Twitter profiles made into a comic form. Everyone is literally a caricature.

 

 

 

In the quest for representation, there are calls for more feminist heroines in the comic medium. It isn’t enough to just have a female superhero. They want a character to really embody the ideals of a feminist, and that makes sense since every hero is the embodiment of an idea or concept on some level. M.O.M. is no exception to this, but instead of giving some real thought to how M.O.M. and her powers could showcase the female struggle of self-acceptance in a culture that’s pushing impossible images of womanhood, these writers lazily gave us more superpowered stereotypes.

 

 

I suppose it’s not all bad. The art is good and those surreal news alerts in the background and business ventures paint a silly reality. And in a world where Elon Musk bought the ozone layer around the planet, I suppose I can manage to buy that a woman with menstrual powers exists. But by straddling the surreal and the wacky with real world aspects of the female condition, both societally and physically, the whole experiment just becomes confusing. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, because it’s not. But it’s very clear from the tone, messaging, and overall writing that three writers had a hand in this and it’s a hot mess with too many separate ideas being tossed around with absolutely no cohesion.

 

 

Final Verdict

Leila Leiz is the saving grace of this title with her art. it’s emotive, dynamic and her use of Ben-day dots creates a style. Everything else though is just a complete mess. I don’t doubt that Emilia wants to pursue feminist material in the comic book medium. But This isn’t a good start in terms of writing. Leila Leiz elevates the issue with her art though and she deserves serious respect for that. Bottom line, this is a hard no recommendation from me.

Micha Sivad

Micha Sivad is a self-proclaimed DC fanboy and geek, but with a soft spot for the whole of comics. He grew up on the east coast in D.C. and has been visiting the same LCS since getting into the medium at the age of 14. When not hatching his own fan theories on the Venture Bros and reading the latest releases, he's writing new joke material as a stand-up comic. Follow him on Twitter @michasivad.

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