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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Power Grid

Momtagonists: 7 Moms Who Get to Be The Hero

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

You may not have heard of Jessica Jones now, but you might soon. The Marvel character, who briefly went by the superhero identities of Jewel and Nightress, shared a high school with Peter Parker (in fact, she had a crush on him, something he won’t let Nick Cage forget). While still a teenager, her family was caught in a terrible car accident, killing her parents and brother and leaving Jessica comatose… but doused in a mysterious experimental compound that the army truck their car collided with had been transporting. Months later she awoke, and was eventually adopted by the Jones family. Jessica eventually realized she had superpowers: that she was super strong, reasonably resistant to damage, and could fly.

Her career as a young superhero was cut drastically short, however, by torture at the hands of a mind-controlling supervillain, who eventually, after months of imprisonment, sent her on a suicide mission against the Avengers, who put her into a coma again before Ms. Marvel recognized that Jessica wasn’t fighting of her own free will. Even after the Avengers made sure she was healthy, awake, and mentally protected from further mind control attacks, Jessica was understandably less enamoured of the superhero community. After all, none of them had even noticed she was missing.

She decided to hang up the costume, and instead become a private detective. That’s where Alias, the Marvel comic, not the Jennifer Garner show, comes in. Brian Michael Bendis’ (he of Powers and Miles Morales in Ultimate Spider-Man) award winning series took Jessica Jones and made her a private detective specializing in cases with a superheroic slant, and it was followed by Pulse, where Jessica, needing a steadier source of income, took a job covering superheroes for the Daily Bugle. Yes, that Daily Bugle. Yeah, the arrangement didn’t last very long.

But the reason Jessica needed a slightly steadier income? Because she and long-term boyfriend Luke Cage (known sometimes as Power Man) were having a baby. Little Danielle was named after Luke’s super-bro Iron Fist, and after her birth Jessica figured she’d finally worked through the psychological scars from Purple Man’s torture that had always messed with her other relationships. She and Luke got married in New Avengers Annual #1, and though she’s “settled down,” it hasn’t prevented Jessica from hiring a babysitter and going out to punch bad guys in the face when she needs to.

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  • Anonymous

    Can we all agree that of these mothers, Gwen’s kid is the most paralyzingly adorable?
    If Arwen Cooper and Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All married, I think their progeny could, dare I say it, rule the world.

  • Anna Sophia May

    As TV tropes points out, Evelyn in The Mummy Returns: Don’t kidnap her son, or she’ll even come back from the dead to kick your butt. Of course, this is only the second movie, really.
    Also, Becca Winstone in the new ABC show Missing. She’s pretty awesome.

  • Frodo Baggins

    What about Ellen Ripley? Or are we only counting Theatrical Versions?

  • Sarah

    So cute in the ear muffs too! Doctor Who universe seems to have the cutest babies. 

  • Kate Reynolds

    What about Molly Weasley–she’s a stereotypical mother of a big brood, but heaven help you if you threaten her children. 

  • Alex Townsend

    Xena would also be a good addition to the list.

  • Skemono


    It was important to us to make this list focus on mothers who are also
    leading protagonists, not just supporting characters to others with
    bigger roles.

  • Marius Gedminas

    No mention of Cordelia Vorkosigan?  

  • Carolynn C

    Yo, Jessica Jones’ husband is Luke Cage, not Nick Cage!

  • Eric Lindberg

    Good list. But all those references to the Silver Age in Kate Spencer’s entry should actually be Golden Age. Her superhero family roots go back to the 1940s (or did before the reboot anyway).

  • Anonymous

    Jessica Jones’ husband’s name is Luke Cage not Nick Cage

  • Null

    Dana Scully? Mother One from Bionic 6?

  • Emily Hill

    was wondering if Sarah be on the list I do admit I like they explain that the events still happen I mean how does John still exist if his dad comes back from the future to protect his mom but the events were prevented ARG MY HEAD HURTS

  • Maxwell LaChance

    Lack of Ellen Ripley makes me sad panda.

  • Kryptoknight

    What about Sue Storm?  Her picture featured on the first page/slide of the article, yet she herself did not make the list? 

  • Anonymous

    I LOVE THEM ALL but Kate Spencer has a special place in my heart ever since she asked out Dick Grayson & Jim Gordon on the same day.  Now THAT is the kind of mom I try to be.

  • Anonymous

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  • Shawna Lynn

    Sarah Connor was the first name I thought of when I saw the title for this blog post. It killed me that she was 7 out of 7. I mean, I know why The Mary Sue arranged it that way — to save the best for last — but I kept thinking, “They forgot Sarah Connor! How can they forget Sarah Connor!” Then I got angry. “How DARE they forget Sarah Connor!” I think I actually cheered when her name finally appeared. 

  • Skemono


    Runners up include Nanny Ogg, Magrat Garlick, and Sue Storm (because we just don’t know enough about Marvel, guys).

  • Kryptoknight

     D’oh.  Somehow I completely missed that when reading the article >.<

  • Sara Green Williams

     Agreed, all the way around – the grabbing of the earmuffs (and the baby giggling as she fires) was so awesome. And the fact that she would – without one iota of hesitation – sacrifice Jack for her family. She’s smart, she’s tough, but she’s not mechanical. Love her.

  • Anonymous

    Nanny is certainly one of the most powerful mothers, as she holds claim to all of Lancre.  And woe betide the assailant who tries to harm Princess Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling.

  • Russell Jones

    Agreed about Gwen’s kid, EXCEPT for that really unfortunate image grabbed for this article and used elsewhere.  The first time I saw it the kid’s face looked really, REALLY creepy, like it was doll double they were using for that shot, and I haven’t been able to shake it since.

  • Tamora Pierce

     I was wondering about Ripley, too.  She isn’t Newt’s mother, but she might as well be.

  • Tamora Pierce

     Oh, yeah.  Evie is amazing.

  • Tamora Pierce

    And she even gets a Jack Nicholson turn!  “Hi, Doc.  How’s the knee.”

  • Frodo Baggins

    In the Director’s Cut, it’s revealed that she had a daughter back on Earth, who died while Ripley was floating in stasis for 50 years after escaping the Nostromo.

  • Amber Dawn

    Heck yes. I’ll assume she’s out only for not being a movie or comic book… though the Vorkosigan saga would make great films if done right..

  • Mariela Rivera

    Um, Where is Ellen Ripley?

  • Jake Fruia

    Ah, no Piper Halliwell? She had motherhood and the power to freeze and splode things with a wave of her hand. The latter of which got ALOT of use.

  • John Molea

    List should include Ripley and Newt, yeah not her biological mother but still…