M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 is published by Image Comics, written by Emilia Clarke and Marguerite Bennet, with art by Leila Leiz, colors by Triona Ferrall, and letters by Haley Rose-Lyon. Having decided to don a costume and become a superhero, Maya sets out to make the world a better place for her son and everyone else who lives in it. But boy, does she have a lot of work ahead of her.
Art is at its best when it makes a statement that speaks to a person’s heart or comments on life and the things about life that are wonderful or need changing. And while having a message is a great thing for a piece of art, how one delivers that message can also be crucial. Working the point of one’s story into the narrative in an organic way is oftentimes a much more effective way of delivering a point than simply delivering a lecture through a sequence of long-winded exposition. Unfortunately, M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 dives headfirst in its opening sequence with just such a sequence of exposition.
While the aforementioned opening sequence reaffirms the book’s position of concepts like gender roles and the patriarchy succinctly and elegantly, it would’ve been nice if it could’ve worked some of its messages into a more show than tell approach. But at the very least, if a book is going to use a more heavy-handed approach to theme delivery, at least M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 manages to deliver a wonderful message in its doing so.
While all the information in this sequence is great to see in print, as a male reader, I particularly appreciated writers Clarke and Bennet’s taking a moment to highlight how the classic gender stereotypes and expectations harm males right alongside females. While this book’s narrative focuses on the plight of women, I appreciate when a book can spread its wings to speak up for everyone, even if they aren’t in their key demographic. We fly highest together.
Once the book returns to the present, we find Maya setting out to pursue superhero work. She quickly finds herself forming a sort of support group that provides her with a suit, meds to help balance herself, and even some therapy to keep her emotions level. It’s a stark contrast to the solo superhero who can’t trust anyone with their secret identity. And I gotta say, the big group approach is refreshing.
Along with Maya’s early superheroic exploits and a couple more flashbacks to further flesh out Maya’s personal history, M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 also introduces readers to a new antagonist for the book. I won’t give spoilers about who she is or her goals, but she is the perfect antagonist for our hero.
The art throughout this book delivers some absolutely gorgeous visuals. Artist Leiz repeatedly dazzles with some brilliantly laid out double-page spreads that capture their moment in a way that both grounds the moments in the human while breathing into them a gorgeous style.
The art is further energized thanks to the wonderful color usage of Ferrall. The colors do a great job of adding pop when the art within the panels brings a moment of energy and further reinforces the emotional moments.
Wrapping up our look at the book’s visual presentation is Rose-Lyon’s letters. The letterer does a great job of utilizing fonts to enhance the volume of the characters’ words throughout the book. Also of note is a sequence that involves characters being upside down. The letters are oriented with their speaker instead of the book at this moment. It’s a touch of lettering I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, but now that I have, I can’t image how I haven’t. It added so much to the moment.
So, when all taken together, M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 delivers a great second issue to its character-rich story, even if its opening comes across a little heavy-handed.
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2
M.O.M.: Mother of Madness #2 delivers a great second issue to its character-rich story, even if its opening comes across a little heavy-handed.