Moms might just be the real super heroes in this world, usually taking the lead in guiding the next generation down the right path, while often juggling a career and various other commitments.  It must be an even harder balancing act, when raising a child with super powers, or perhaps worse, acting as a super hero oneself, without neglecting your child.  In honor of Mother’s Day, here is my tribute to the great moms in comics:

10. Catwoman

This may seem like a strange choice, but the fact of the matter is that Selina Kyle has shown sensitivity and nurturing to a variety of characters over the years.  She probably would make a good mother, except she irreversibly chose a dark path and her life can never be normal again.  She became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter.  But she realized that her lifestyle, full of vengeful gangsters and super villains, was not one in which to attempt to raise a child.  Catwoman makes this list because she made the most selfless decision a mother could; she gave her child up for anonymous adoption.

9. Jean Grey

Not a biological mother exactly, Jean Grey was faced with embracing her husband Cyclops’ child Nathan, conceived with Jean’s identical clone, Madelyn Pryor.  After Jean returned from having been replaced by The Phoenix, she and Scott battled Madelyn who’d become the wicked Goblyn Queen and seemed to defeat her.  Jean helped Scott raise Nathan as if he were her own.  But Nathan became infected with a techo-organic virus and the couple were forced to allow him to be sent to the future to be raised.  Later, however, Jean and Scott were allowed to travel to this future in disguise and secretly raise Nathan to adulthood.

8. Bianca Reyes

Her son, Jaime Reyes, vanished for a year but Bianca Reyes refused to believe that he’d run away.  When he finally returned, stating that he’d only been gone for a day, his parents were so incredulous that he was forced to reveal his powers as the Blue Beetle.  Though worried about him, both Bianca and her husband Paco supported his heroic endeavors, as long as his homework was done and he was home before curfew.

7. Linda Park West

The wife of The Flash (Wally West), was a successful reporter.  After the pair were married, she gave birth to twins Jai (named after Jay Garrick) and Iris, nicknamed Iri (named after Wally’s aunt).  Upon turning three, the twins began to age rapidly and developed super powers generated by the Speed Force.  Fearing their children would age and die before them, Linda and Wally allowed the kids to become super heroes so they could “live life to the fullest.”  Meanwhile, Linda gave up her career in order to find a cure for her children’s condition.

6. Jessica Jones

Formerly the third tier hero, Jewel, Jessica Jones became a private investigator specializing in super human cases.  During one case, she met Luke Cage in a bar and they had sex.  This casual encounter eventually led to a true, loving relationship, during which time Jessica became pregnant.  She gave birth to their daughter Danielle, named after Daniel “Danny” Rand, Cage’s best friend and partner Iron Fist.  The next few events strained Jessica’s relationship with Luke, culminating with Danielle getting kidnapped by The Skrulls.  The Avengers rallied and recovered the baby, but during these events, Luke Cage made a deal with the devil, Norman Osborn.  Norman Osborn then threatened to kill Danielle, forcing a terrified Jessica to take Danielle and leave Luke, going into hiding.  She sacrificed her marriage for her child, which could not have been an easy choice, but the choice I think any mother would make.

5. Deborah Grayson

Debbie Grayson was devastated when her husband, the mighty super hero Omni-Man, when he revealed that she was actually sent to prepare Earth to be invaded by his alien race the Viltrumites.  While beating their son Mark a.k.a. Invincible mercilessly while being televised, he stated that sleeping with Debbie was like sleeping with an animal.  After the Viltrimite invasion was thwarted, Debbie slipped into alcoholism but recovered with Mark’s help.  She supported Mark’s super hero career and his relationship with Atom Eve.  She even took in Omni-Man’s son Oliver, from his true alien mate.  Would most of us be that strong?

4. Invisible Woman

Though she is a wife and adventurer, Susan Richards’ primary role is that of mother.  Even before the birth of her first child, Sue seemed to act as a maternal figure for her petulant teammates her brother Johnny (the Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (The Thing).  But since the birth of her children Franklin and Valeria, they have become her primary focus.  Since both kids have exhibited super powers, they have been allowed to suit up and join their parents on adventures.

3. Snow White

Snow White already had a lot on her plate as the deputy mayor of Fabletown, the secret community in New York City that houses the fairy tale characters of your childhood, but much, much darker.  The Fable community constantly finds itself besieged by threats from disgruntled expats and powerful forces from The Homeland.  In the midst of this madness, Snow White falls in love with Bigby Wolf and gives birth to his litter, six rambunctious cubs that can uncontrollably shift from human to wolf form.  This forces Snow to take them to live on The Farm, the upstate community that houses the non-human Fables.  When Farm citizens started dying mysteriously, Snow is horrified to discover that she had a seventh child– a zephyr, a deformed being of Bigby’s race that were usually killed at birth.  Snow urges her child to run away and find his father, who might be able to help him.  Even though she is still embroiled in the political affairs of Fabletown, her first priority is to her cubs.

2. Aunt May Parker

Loving and doting from her first appearance, Aunt May’s presence often served as a foil for her nephew Peter’s activities as Spider-Man, forcing him to  constantly sneak in and out.  And although his foes didn’t know his true identity, somehow May was constantly being embroiled in their hi-jinx, forcing Peter to save her.  But in more recent times, beginning with Ultimate Spider-Man but later in the mainstream Marvel Universe, May became a much tougher customer and upon learning Peter’s secret, became a staunch ally, helping cover for him when necessary.  And yes, she’s technically his aunt, but she’s raised him nearly his whole life.  DNA doesn’t a mother make.

1. Martha Kent

I doubt an average farmer’s wife who is unable to bear children herself, ever thought she’d unwittingly take on the greatest responsibility ever by raising the most powerful being in the world.  She was probably just thinking with her heart when she and her husband Jonathan found a crashed spaceship with a baby inside.  The pair adopted the boy and named him Clark, Martha’s maiden name.  They instilled in him the values of honesty, fairness, empathy and the importance of standing up for what’s right.  It paid off, as Clark became Superman, the world’s mightiest… and most compassionate champion.  And Martha’s mothering nature is so all encompassing that she’s has since taken in Matrix (an artificial life form that acted as Supergirl for a number of years), Kara (Clark’s cousin from Krypton), Kon-El/Conner Kent (Superboy, Superman’s clone) and Mon-El (a Daxamite that Superman mistook for Kryptonian).  She embraced each as her own child and tried to instill in them the same positive values she so successfully imparted in Clark.

Happy Mothers Day to all these magnificent matriarchs and to all the great moms in the real world!  What did you think of this list?  Did I leave out your favorite super mom?  Leave a comment below!