BOOK REVIEW: M.O.M.: Mother of Madness, Vol. 1 by Emilia Clarke & Marguerite Bennett

M.O.M: Mother of Madness #1M.O.M: Mother of Madness #1 by Emilia Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Out: December 14, 2021

This graphic novel uses a story about a single mother who develops superpowers tuned to her emotional states as a means of exploring a wide range of social justice issues. On the positive side, the story has moments of humor and moments of poignancy, and it takes efforts to avoid being purely divisive in the way socio-politically themed works often are. On the other hand, the book becomes bogged down in preachiness at times, and would likely have been much more effective if it’d used story to convey ideas, trusting the audience to grasp the takeaway without hammering them with ham-fisted dialogue. To be fair, the book, using fourth wall breaks, sometimes acknowledges its own exposition dumps and other clumsy and clunky elements.

The artwork was clear, if sometimes a bit bizarre and quirky. (e.g. See cover)

Unfortunately, as I read the book what the story most reminded me of was the Halle Berry “Catwoman” movie, which no one [even, I suspect, Halle Berry] wants to be reminded of. One reason for this comparison was that both stories decry objectification and shaming while featuring only beautiful people, and they definitely [unconsciously, I suspect] perpetrated the “ugly equals evil” notion ubiquitous in storytelling.

It’s not a bad story and has its admirable qualities, but I think it could have been better if it were a bit more focused and less heavy-handed with the commentary. At times it seemed as if the author thought, “Oh, and I want to say something about this social travesty,” and then she inserted dialogue that seemed to have little to do with what was going on with the story at the moment. Or, perhaps, there was a list of disparate social issues that needed to be touched upon in the single volume.


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