Father’s Day was this previous weekend, and my son determined one of the best present he may give me was a totally free afternoon, so I spent it getting caught up on Motion Comics. And you already know what? My son was proper—that afternoon off did wind up being a fairly nice present.
For the rationale, we’ll want to have a look at Motion Comics 2022 Annual #1, a collaborative effort from present Motion scribe Phillip Kennedy Johnson, co-writer Si Spurrier and artists Dale Eaglesham and Ian Churchill. In contrast to some annuals, this one ties in with Motion Comics’ present storyline, “The Warworld Saga,” however quite than pushing that story ahead, it appears again to the childhoods of the saga’s two adversaries, Superman and Mongul, and to 2 very completely different classes taught to them by their moms.
As Superman followers, you don’t want me to let you know that Barbara Kent was all the pieces a mom ought to be—heat, loving, supportive, sharp and giving. Ma Kent clearly loves her adopted son, however she additionally possesses a very inspiring perception into what his talents imply for him and the higher world. He could possibly be a supply of kindness, compassion and integrity that might actually change the world for the higher, or he may succumb to anger, concern and frustration—all very comprehensible and human emotions—and use his talents largely for self-interests.
It looks like a simple selection on the floor, however usually these self-interests can disguise themselves as widespread pursuits. In Johnson and Spurrier’s story, this takes the form of Caleb, a vicious, usually violent bully who performs on Clark’s childhood soccer workforce. Caleb is imply to everybody, not simply Clark. And he’s robust. Clark is the one individual in his circle who can stand as much as him, so why shouldn’t he? In any case, don’t heroes get up for the helpless and weak?
Nicely, sure, however typically the helpless and weak aren’t who they seem like. And occasionally, the helpless and weak aren’t helpless and weak in any respect. Which brings me to Mongul’s facet of the story.
First, let’s be clear, I’m not going to defend Mongul. He’s not a decent-at-heart individual caught in a cycle of abuse the identical means Caleb is, no less than not within the present day. However he’s a sufferer of his circumstances. Born as a Warzoon, Mongul’s lifestyle has been formed by the 2 issues Warzoons worth above all else—power and survival. And very like Kal-El, our current day Mongul possesses qualities that set him aside from everybody else. In his case, it’s that he’s the son of the Mongul of his time. Meaning expectations for him are sky-high, but it surely additionally means there’s a goal on his again. Plus, he appears to lack the aggression and ruthlessness of most of his fellow Warzoons, one thing that proves to be an issue when he’s exiled to his planet’s lethal wastelands alongside together with his mom.
That’s who I actually need to speak about—his mom. Actually, I need to speak about each of the moms within the Motion Comics 2022 Annual. Clark’s mom regularly pushes him to show the opposite cheek and to not depend on his power or talents to resolve his issues, understanding that it sends the improper message. In any case, Clark is an almost indestructible, bulletproof, super-powered alien who may fry nearly anybody on earth with a blink of his eye. Somebody like that might make all of his “issues” go away simply by displaying everybody what he’s able to, however that’s management via concern and as we’ve been seeing in “The Warworld Saga,” that’s not sustainable.
But, when concern and power are the one issues your world is aware of, when it’s the closest factor they must forex and rule of legislation, then that’s all you actually have obtainable to you. Particularly for somebody like Mongul, whom for all his power, doesn’t possess any talents past his fellow Warzoons. In his circumstances, displaying restraint and mercy is a weak spot that an enemy can and can exploit, and that’s the message his mom offers him all through the story. As she says in a single notably stunning scene, “The Warzoon doesn’t defend!”
And but, moms do. What’s fascinating is that for all their variations, basically, Clark’s mom and Mongul’s mom are fairly related. Each of them are anxious for his or her youngsters and need to give them the talents they want for fulfillment, and like all good mother and father, they’re keen to sacrifice rather a lot to ensure they’ve them.
In addition they each reveal exceptional braveness. I’ll admit that I’m unsure if Ma Kent’s most cancers is one thing that has existed previously or if it’s one thing new that Johnson and Spurrier have launched, however I used to be actually shocked when it was revealed. I wasn’t ready for it, and if that’s the case, I can solely think about the way it affected Clark (who didn’t learn about his mother’s most cancers) and Barbara Kent. The braveness it took to select herself up and cease Clark from giving Caleb the punch within the mouth that—let’s be actual—he actually deserved was astounding, as was the good-humored face she placed on whereas enduring her all-night chemotherapy classes. And but, as highly effective as these moments had been, one may argue that the sacrifice Mongul’s mom made to permit her son to show his power was an excellent greater act of braveness. She not solely willingly gave up her life, she did it to do the factor that Warzoons by no means do—to guard.
Look, the query of which mom I’d quite take my parenting classes from is a no brainer. Ma Kent is each bit the superhero that her son is, so far as I’m involved. However regardless of that, I discover myself with loads of respect for Mongul’s mom. She’s to not blame for who Mongul turns into. That’s the world and society they each had the misfortune to be born into. However when it got here all the way down to upholding these beliefs or making certain her son would have a profitable life, she selected her son. She selected to be a mom. Mongul could in the end grow to be a monster, however within the eyes of the Warzoon, he’s revered and honored. He has all the pieces his mom needed for him. As loopy as it could sound, that’s profitable parenting.
I’d by no means condone the cruelty, abuse and humiliation she inflicts on her son, however in a world the place violence is language, a mom’s sacrifice of her personal life would be the final present of affection. Is Mongul’s mom an excellent mum or dad? In all probability not. However she’s nonetheless one we may all take a lesson from.
Motion Comics 2022 Annual #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Si Spurrier, Dale Eaglesham, Ian Churchill and Lee Loughridge is now obtainable in print and as a digital comedian guide.
Tim Beedle covers films, TV and comics for DCComics.com, writes our month-to-month Superman column, “Tremendous Right here For…”, and is an everyday contributor to the Sofa Membership, our recurring tv column. Comply with him on Twitter at @Tim_Beedle.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of Tim Beedle and don’t essentially mirror these of DC Leisure or Warner Bros.