As Mother’s Day approaches, we want to take a moment to showcase some of our favourite mums in popular culture.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

Ellen Ripley

Aliens beware – you don’t want to mess with this momma. Ellen Ripley is not only a fearless leader and a slayer of Xenomorphs, but she is also deeply maternal and fiercely protective of her surrogate daughter, Newt.

While later installments of the series are controversial among fans, it’s clear that Ripley’s motherly instincts pervade, even when birthing a human-xenomorph hybrid in Alien: Ressurection. We believe it – Xeno Jr truly does have a face only a mother could love.

No matter what version of the character is on that silver screen, one thing is for certain is that Ellen Ripley shows us that all mums are action heroes!

Joyce Byers

As far as mums go, Joyce Byers is about as normal and unassuming as one can get, but be warned! This sweet and gentle woman will do anything to keep her children safe. Anything.

When her son Will is trapped in a nightmarish dimension known as ‘The Upside Down’, Joyce never gives up on finding her son, even when authorities believe they have found his body. Her obsessive dedication and resourcefulness makes her one of the most proactive and crucial characters in the series. From using Christmas lights as a method of interdimensional communication, to forcing her son to sweat out a shadow monster, to straight up slaying monsters face to face, Joyce Byers truly is a force to be reckoned with.

Elastagirl

We all know a woman like this. Resilient, able to stretch herself thin to support her family, and can always bounce back from any setback. If there was ever a perfect analogy for the experience of motherhood, it’s Elastagirl from the Disney/Pixar film ‘The Incredibles’. Helen Parr lives in a quiet suburban neighbourhood with her husband Bob and her children Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. Unbeknownst to their community, the Parr’s are actually former superheroes who have been forced to retire after anti-super legislation was passed to ban their existence in the public eye.

Unlike her husband, who secretly fights crime to relive his former glory, Helen adjusts to her average yet hectic life remarkably well. Like her namesake, Elastagirl is resilient, extremely dutiful and committed to the wellbeing of her family. Despite her commitment to normalcy, Helen doesn’t shy away from danger when the time comes to defeat evil. Even after a 15 year hiatus, Helen is already prepared to pilot an aircraft, fight bad guys and sneak into militarised villain lairs all while becoming a literal human shield to protect her children amidst all the gunfire and destruction.

And just like how she threw herself into the domestic life, she too jumped right into the workforce to support her family while Bob takes the role of a stay at home father. When duty calls, be it in the home or against the forces of evil, Elastagirl is ready to bounce straight into action!

Wanda Maximoff

In the groundbreaking Disney+ series ‘Wandavision’, Maximoff resides in a literal sitcom neighbourhood, featuring a full cast of characters and even a disembodied laugh track. Leaving behind her former life as an Avenger, Wanda and her (somehow not dead) husband Vision attempt to live a simple life all while concealing their supernatural abilities from their oblivious neighbours.

Of course, no cheesy family sitcom would be complete without the addition of progeny for this odd couple. After an implausibly short pregnancy, Wanda’s twin boys Billy and Tommy seem to grow up just as quickly, a sentiment that rings true even for non-superpowered parents.

And just like most parents, Wanda isn’t immune from the unexpected challenges of motherhood, such as confronting the topic of mortality after the tragic death of the family dog, or having to balance parental duties while also struggling with depression.

Sure, she’s made mistakes, but what mother hasn’t? Despite her seemingly invincible power, Wanda has a vulnerability that resonates with anyone first starting their journey as a mother. And lest we forget, Wanda is fiercely protective of her children, as any mother would be. Combine that maternal nature with supernatural powers and you have a one woman army capable of destroying worlds should any harm come to her children.

Sure, her children were really just a magical construction invented to avoid processing the trauma of her past, but that doesn’t mean Wanda Maximoff isn’t a super mum, both figuratively and literally!

Yui Ikari

From the smash hit anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yui Ikari is as much a mystery as she is an ever present force in this post-apocalyptic sci fi classic.

A highly skilled bioengineer who helped to develop the Evangelion Units, Yui is the deceased mother of the show’s main protagonist, Shinji Ikari. After a freak accident, Yui passed away leaving behind her infant son and grieving husband, Gendo. In spite of her absence in Shinji’s life, Yui continues to be very close to her son, in memory as well as spiritually.

And by ‘spiritually’ we mean that her spirit resides in Eva Unit 001. In fact, the reason why Shinji is in perfect sync with Eva Unit 001 is because of how strong his bond with his mother is, making Yui humanity’s greatest weapon against extinction. Despite the attempts to supress and control her new form, Yui has regained control over Eva Unit 001 in times when Shinji’s life was in critical danger.

What resonates with us about Yui as a character is what it represents to those of us whose mothers have passed away. For some, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of that loss and the devastation left in their wake. Yui Ikari is a beautiful allegory of the way that our mothers continue to be present in our lives, even in death.

From our families to yours, we wish all of you a very happy Mother’s Day!