Emilia Clarke moves from Mother of Dragons to Mother of Madness with a comic book series featuring a single mother superhero who gets her powers from her menstrual cycle. The Game Of Thrones the actress discussed her latest project, MOM: Mother of Madness, and the comic book renaissance that empowers women and brings more diversity to fans during a virtual presentation at New York Comic Con (NYCC).
Clarke has worked with comic book writer Marguerite Bennett and artists Leila Leiz, Jo Ratcliffe, Jen Bartel and Tula Lotay on the three graphic novel series published by Image Comics. The first two issues launched over the summer with the final issue hitting stores on October 27. Clarke describes the series as “dead Pool meets Chip bag“, channeling raw honesty and humor into a female protagonist you can relate to. Maya is a scientist by day, an exaggerated superhero by night, and a badass single mom 24/7 , activating his superpowers to take on human traffickers and toxic masculinity.
Clarke explained that her brother had always loved comics growing up, but she could never find one that appealed to him as a young girl. She became more interested in comics when women started appearing on the big screen in lead superhero roles, such as Captain Marvel and the recent Wonder woman movie theater. “I was in the car with my friends… and we were like, wouldn’t it be funny if there was a superhero you know, wearing an outfit that she could pee in, and it was relatable. – really relatable, ”Clarke said during the NYCC presentation. “Because there are so many women in my life that I perceive to have superpowers. The way they are able to do whatever they do is beyond human. So all these ideas started to mix.
Clarke said she took inspiration from ’90s music videos from Missy Elliott and Russian punk rock activist group Pussy Riot for Maya’s superhero outfit. She also wanted to include the mythological symbols of feminism and the symbols of chemical compounds since the character is a scientist.
The story takes place in the not too distant future to make it more realistic. “The joy of comics and the joy of fantasy is that it’s the high life. This is life at its extreme. And to get our character to be at her most extreme level, I wanted an environment filled with a kind of tension that feels very close to us right now, ”Clarke said. “I couldn’t have a comic without suggestions of my political leanings in there… If certain situations were to run their course without any sort of prevention, this is where it would be.”
While the comic is about a feminist superhero, the stories also touch on the struggles men face. One of the male characters is asked to have plastic surgery to remove his tear ducts because “men don’t cry.” “Toxic masculinity is a very real thing and I wanted that to be there as well because the capitalist structure that designs what people perceive as beauty can be really damaging to both men and women,” Clarke said.
She also wanted to lift the taboo of the menstrual cycle, “so that as people get older there is just more of an open conversation, there is more understanding, and there is less fanfare. It’s just something they completely understand.
Basically, the story of MOM: Mother of Madness it is being open-minded and being kind to each other. “That goes for everything you look like, regardless of your gender – cis or not – it’s having empathy for humanity as a whole and for one another,” Clarke said. “I know it looks so cheesy and so over the rainbow, but this is what it all comes down to: if you care, if you’re nice to strangers, if you’re nice with your enemies, if you’re kind to the people who piss you off as much as you to the people you love, it’s just going to create more empathy in the world and that kind of energy is what we need.
You can pre-order MOM: Mother of Madness to Amazon or look for it at your local comic book store on October 27th.