Emmy-nominated actress Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, will have her first comic book published in July — bringing a refreshing take to the world of graphic novels.
Her offering, titled M.O.M.: Mother of Madness, explores the world of Maya — a busy single mother whose life is upended by the discovery of superpowers. The catch? Those superpowers manifest from her period.
“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,” Clarke told Variety.
“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.”
Needless to say, we are loving this already.
Another aspect to love is that Clarke hired an all-female creative team to bring her comic book to life, after dreaming for years about writing one. For Clarke, her entry into the world of superheroes represents something that was sorely missing when she was growing up.
“I read a lot of fantasy novels full of rich worlds as a child, like Lord of the Rings,” she said.
“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 continued, “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.”
So, that is exactly what she has done while turning the oft-used trope of the sad, tired, harassed mother into one in which shows the matriarch as strong, capable and thriving. As Clarke said: “Single mothers are superheroes. You need superhuman strength to do that.”
Additionally, Clarke is contributing to a growing conversation that seeks to normalise periods. After all, over half of the world’s population experiences them.