1. Y: The Last Man (No. 1, Sep 2002, Vertigo) – Brian K. Vaughn, Pia Guerra & Jose Marzan
What better gift on Mother’s Day than the wholesale annihilation of patriarchy. Widely available in trade paperback, Y: The Last Man is Brian K. Vaughn’s Twilight Zone-inspired series on what the world would plausibly look like if a plague instantaneously wiped out virtually every mammal with a Y chromosome. Roving gangs of militant feminists, dystopian science fiction landscapes, middle-eastern political intrigue – this series has a little bit of everything. Particularly palpable is the relationship between Yorick Brown, the last human male on Earth who also happens to be an unemployed English major, and his mother Jen Brown, a United States representative defending the White House from shotgun carrying Republican widows. An excerpt from Yorick’s long-awaited reunion with his mother:
JEN: Are you . . . ?
YORICK: The only one? I don’t know. I think so. [ . . . ] I have no idea. All of the other men in my building died. All of my male friends died. Every guy I know died. I don’t get it . . . But I think it might have something to do with this ring. I bought it in a magic store and used it to propose to Beth right before —
JEN: A magic ring? Yorick, don’t be ridiculous, that has nothing to do with . . . Did you say you proposed? Well . . . What did she say?
YORICK: “Yes.” At least I think she did. We sorta got disconnected before I could hear her answer. That’s why I’m going to Australia . . . to find out for sure.
JEN: The hell you are! Yorick Brown, you may very well be the last man on Earth! You have a responsibility to the world now!
YORICK: What, to repopulate the planet for you? Listen, I want to help, mom. I really do. That’s why I came to you first. But I don’t want to sit here and be a . . . a “stud” for however many anonymous women you expect me to inseminate. Not when the girl I love is out there.
2. Image Firsts: Saga (No. 1, Apr 2014, Image) – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
Master of the improbable, Eisner Award winning writer Brian K. Vaughn does it again. Only this time we find ourselves on a mythic planet called Cleave populated by hybrid goat men and lineages of fairies. One in particular has just had a daughter. She has her dad’s horns and her mother’s wings. What will be of little Hazel in this brave new world dominated by a class of aristocrats with television-screens-for-heads? Stay tuned . . .
3. All-New X-Men (No. 1, Jan 2013, Marvel) – Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Marte Gracia & Wade von Grawbadger
If Charles Xavier is the father of the X-Men, then Jean Grey is certainly its nurturing mother. Born with telepathic and telekinetic powers, particularly intriguing in this iteration of the X-Men is the plausibility and earnestness with which writer Brian Bendis portrays Jean Gray’s everyday ability to read people’s minds and the inevitable conflicts that would brew with such an ability. In a particularly comic scene in issue 22, Jean Grey can’t help but blow up at the indignant Cyclops: “You’re sitting there thinking all these thoughts and if it’s okay to talk to me: Just say what you want to say! . . . Stop thinking judgemental #$%83 about me!”
4. She-Hulk (No. 4, July 2014, Marvel) – Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Muntsa Vicente
One of the few superhero comics my mother won’t immediately turn her nose up at. Thank you Charles Soule for slowly, yet steadily, turning my mom into a Marvel nerd.
5. Wonder Woman (No. 30, Jun 2014, DC) – Brian Azzarello & Goran Sudzuka
Haven’t quite converted my mom to Wonder Woman. But I’m working on. The campy outfit. The fact that she’s made out of clay. The Lasso of Truth. I get it. But on the upside, Azzarello is increasingly playing up the motherly aspect of Wonder Woman. As a leader to a Feminist army and the prime protector of a newborn, I’m confident that I can get my mom to at the very least try on the Wonder Woman tiara by the time Zack Snyder’s film comes out.