Actress Emilia Clarke, most famous for playing Daenerys Targaryen on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” has released a new comic book that centers on a single mother whose superpowers are derived from her menstrual cycle.
Speaking with Variety, Clarke lamented growing up and feeling like comic books and fantasy were exclusively for men.
“I read a lot of fantasy novels full of rich worlds as a child, like ‘Lord of the Rings.’ That was always the place my imagination would gravitate toward. Later on, when I went to Comic-Con for the first time at 22 with ‘Game of Thrones,’ I was amazed at what I saw — almost entirely men. Later, as tides turned in the industry and #MeToo emerged, I began to look at the community through those eyes and it was arresting,” she said.
“In doing my research, I found that 16% of comic book creators are female, according to a 2019 study, and only 30% of comic book characters are women. On the other hand, roughly half of comic book buyers are female. Something did not sit right with me in that exchange, and all these signs were telling me to go make my own,” she added.
With that in mind, Clarke recruited “an all-female creative team” to create what Variety described as “one of the most progressive female heroes in the genre.” Titled “M.O.M.: Mother of Madness,” the comic will be released in July and was co-written by Clarke and Marguerite Bennett (“Bombshells,” “Josie and the Pussycats”) with art from Leila Leiz (“Horde”).
Clarke described the main character, Maya, as a “single mum” that gets “s*** done.”
“She’s a single mum that’s got to get s*** done. This was born from the idea that single mothers are superheroes. You need superhuman strength to do that. When you get into your 30s and your friends start having kids, you’re like, ‘Oh my god. I was not aware of what it took. Holy s***,’” she said.
By making Maya’s powers come from her menstrual cycle, Clarke said it will help twist something that women often find uncomfortable into something superhuman.
“The bloating, the hair growth, the mood swings, the [acne], all of it. We hate that when it happens, speaking for myself and everyone I’ve ever met who has had a period. What if we turned that around and made the period something that we can feel as this unique, crazy, superhuman thing that happens in our body? When Maya is scared, she goes invisible, when she’s angry, she has superhuman strength. She can swing like Spider-Man from her armpit hair,” Clarke said.
“She’s so ashamed of her powers at the start. It’s mental. Even today, if your tampon falls out of your bag, it’s embarrassing. Why?” Clarke continued.