Superhero Mothers: The Top 5

Superhero Mothers: Changing Diapers & Fighting Crime

[an xenomorph approaches a child]
Ripley:Get away from her, you bitch!

Aliens (1986)

Everyone thinks the first law of nature is survival of the fittest. It’s actually “Don’t mess with the kids when Mom is around.” Mothers are usually portrayed as kind, caring, and gentle, but will turn into a weapon of mass destruction if their children are threatened. The same is true for superheroes.

Superhero mothers are fairly uncommon. Most writers are afraid to age their characters by giving them kids. Still, there are plenty of superhero mothers out there and woe to any villain that threatens their children. So who are the top 5 Superhero Mothers? Let’s find out.

Honorable Mention: Joan Bounacos, my mother, who is my superhero mother.

#5 Aunt May

Played by Marisa Tomei and Rosemary Harris
Children: Peter Parker (adopted)

The Chameleon: [disguised as Peter] “You… You were testing me the whole time?
May:Heavens, no. I was confirming. I knew you weren’t Peter on the elevator ride up. After all, what kind of mother would I be if I couldn’t tell my son from an imposter? Because that’s what I am to Peter.

Sensation Spider-Man Vol. 2 #31

Not all superhero mothers gave birth to their kids. Adoption is an option.

Young Maybelle Reiley married Ben Parker. When Ben’s brother Richard died in a plane crash, the Parkers adopted their nephew, Peter. The Parkers weren’t wealthy, but they provided for their nephew as best they could, becoming his parents in all but name.

Things changed when Ben was murdered. Aunt May struggled to make ends meet and suffered from several chronic illnesses. Peter began disappearing at random times, often returning with injuries. May eventually found Peter passed out in bed next to a tattered costume and realized he was Spider-Man.

Aunt May kept Peter’s secret, not even telling that him she knew until he confessed. She was always willing to give him advice about life or listen to his worries about being Spider-Man. May is fearless and cunning. She once tricked The Chameleon into thinking he’d eaten arsenic-lined cookies, causing him to pass out from fear. There are even a few alternate universes where she’s become a superhero, such as Spider-Ma’am or Golden Oldie.

Oddly enough, Marvel tried to change May into Peter’s biological mom once. The miniseries Trouble was a romantic dramedy featuring Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and Peter’s parents as sex-crazed teenagers. I’ll give you a moment to get that image out of your head. May cheated on Ben with Richard and gave birth to Peter. Readers were disgusted by the idea, and Marvel has since ignored the story as best they can.

#4 Jessica Jones

Played by: Krysten Ritter
Children: Danielle Cage

[Danielle goes up to Jessica and babbles]
Jessica:OK, you convinced me. I’ll marry your dad. But you owe me huge.

The Pulse Vol.1 #14

Out of all potential superhero mothers, Jessica Jones seems the least likely to become one. Yet, life finds a way.

Jessica Jones awakened from a coma with superpowers and became a hero called Jewel. Soon after, she was mind controlled and enslaved by The Purple Man. The experience broke Jessica, turning her cynical and causing her to quit being a hero.

Jessica became a private investigator specializing in superpowered cases. One of these cases led her to Luke Cage, with whom she fell in love. A one night stand led to the birth of Danielle Cage, named for Luke’s friend Iron Fist. Danielle inspired Jessica and Luke to marry. 

The newlyweds returned to superheroics, joining Daredevil and Iron Fist to form the Defenders. Luckily, Danielle is safe while her parents are away because her nanny is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe: Squirrel Girl.

#3 Scarlet Witch

Played By: Elizabeth Olson and Kelly Sheridan
Children: Tommy Maximoff, Billy Maximoff

[being attacked by soldiers]
Vision:Listen boys. Your mother and I never really prepared you for this…
Wanda:But you were born for it.”

WandaVision “The Series Finale” (Season 1, Episode 9)

A lot of mothers describe their kids as gifts from God. But every now and again, a superhero mom can steal her children from the devil.

Wanda Maximoff was a Mutant with an affinity for chaos magic and the power to warp reality. The Scarlet Witch married an android called Vision, but was sad that they would never be able to have kids. She subconsciously tapped into a source of magic and used it to impregnate herself with two children, twins Tommy and Billy.

The family was happy for a time, but that changed when the demon Mephisto attacked. Wanda had used his power to create her kids and he took it back, killing the children. The loss drove Wanda mad and set the stage for the event House of M. Fortunately, it takes more than being unmade to kill the Scarlet Witch’s kids.

Tommy and Billy were reincarnated and grew up to be the heroes Speed and Wiccan of the Young Avengers. They eventually learned that they were Wanda’s kids and reunited with their kind-of, wondsort-of mother. How does that work anyway? The twins grew up with their own mothers, but were both created by Wanda, so what does that make her to them? This kind of confusion is why you get a surrogate or adopt instead of creating kids through magic.

#2 Queen Hippolyta

Played by: Connie Nielsen and Cree Summer
Children: Diana of Themyscira

Queen Hippolyta:Be careful in the world of men. They do not deserve you. [as Wonder Woman leaves] You have always been my greatest love. Today, you are my greatest sorrow.

Wonder Woman (2017)

DC has a lot fewer superhero moms than Marvel, but there are still some roaming the corridor in the Hall of Justice.

Hippolyta is the queen of the Amazons and ruler of the hidden island Themyscira. The immortal queen longed for a daughter and was instructed by an oracle to create a clay statue of an infant. The Greek goddesses turned the statue into a real baby and gave it several blessings. Hippolyta named her daughter Diana.

Queen Hippolyta trained her daughter to be the greatest of all the Amazons. She eventually decided to end Themyscira’s isolation from the modern world and allowed Diana to be their ambassador. Along the way, Diana became Wonder Woman.

Queen Hippolyta has often left Themyscira to provide back up when her daughter is in danger. Considering she leads an army of superpowered warrior women, her aid is usually enough to end any threat. Hippolyta has taken over the Wonder Woman identity for her daughter several times, even joining the Justice Society of America as Wonder Woman while time traveling.

#1 Susan Storm

Played By: Jessica Alba and Kate Mara
Children: Franklin Richards, Valeria Richards

Susan Storm:What have you done with Franklin? Where is he?! [forms a force field around Super Skrull’s head] Where is he?! Tell me before you suffocate! Where is my son?!

– Fantastic Four: Foes #3

Our number one superhero mom is also the first superhero mother Marvel ever wrote: The Invisible Woman.

Susan Storm was a scientist working alongside her crush, Reed Richards. She was bombarded by cosmic rays during a spaceflight and gained the ability to create invisible force fields. She became part of the Fantastic Four with Reed, her brother Johnny, and their friend, Ben Grimm.

Sue and Reed married and had a son named Franklin and a daughter named Valeria. Sue’s kids have the potential to become some of the most dangerous beings in the universe. Franklin can warp reality, and preteen Valeria is already smarter than her father, arguably making her the smartest human on Earth.

Sue’s kids can take care of themselves, but you have to get past her first. Threatening Franklin and Valeria is the easiest way to piss off the most dangerous member of the Fantastic Four. She’ll gladly flatten foes with force fields or suffocate them with a smile on her face. She’s even threatened to form a force field inside of an enemy and slowly expand it if they attacked her family. Suffice to say, don’t screw with Sue’s kids.

Who is your favorite superhero mother? Is there one better than these? Tell us in the comments.

Image: Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. (c) Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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