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Mama Bear / Comic Books

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  • Threatening/killing their children/adopted children is one of the few things that can tempt a DCU hero, either male or female, that normally follows Thou Shalt Not Kill to, well, kill. When Black Canary's adopted daughter Sin apparently died during a kidnapping attempt by the League of Assassins, Dinah went berserk and nearly killed Merlyn, the mastermind of the scheme.
  • Princess Sally Acorn in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog punches Fiona Fox in the stomach when she tries to manipulate Tails' feelings again.
  • From Blue Beetle: Bianca Reyes, for her superpowered son, Jaime.
    • Brenda's mom is dead, but her aunt, Amparo, fits the bill even before she got Promoted to Parent. She's actually the mob boss La Dama, and had Brenda's abusive dad murdered for putting her in the hospital.
  • The female Dr. Light proved her Mama Bear status in print, in an alternate timeline in an issue of Booster Gold v2, by killing the evil Max Lord for killing her kids. And thus, Fanon becomes semi-Canon: Don't mess with Kimiyo Hoshi's children!! In the main timeline, when the superpowered zombie Dr Arthur Light threatened her children, Dr Light was able to create a bright and powerful enough light to completely atomize him.
  • One of the Italian Donald Duck stories has Donald and his nephews searching for escaped animals in a polar setting. Donald finds a kangaroo and learns it's a mother when her baby joey hits Donald with two snowballs. An angry Donald then slaps the baby, only to get pounded hard by the angry mother kangaroo.
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  • Joanna "Jo" Baker from Duster 2015 will PULL A GUN on any Nazi who holds her daughter at gunpoint.
  • ElfQuest:
    • Leetah is a healer who has lived most of her life in the peaceful desert oasis of Sorrow's End, until she and her family get caught up in the titular quest. When their party is attacked by trolls, she has no choice but to kill one of them who's threatening her daughter, even though it causes her a lot of soul-searching afterward.
    • Considerably less soul-searching occurs when Rayek makes the mistake of abducting her into the future, then dismisses her love of Cutter. "He. Was. My. -SOUL-!!!" Rayek very quickly finds out that Winnowill has nothing on an enraged Leetah.
  • Fables:
    • Snow White. When Geppetto asks why she stood against him when he did nothing personally to her, she responds "You threatened my cubs. Do you think I would hesitate to throw a thousand worlds into chaos to protect them?" Following that, Bigby even refers to her as "Mama Bear".
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    • And in "March of the Wooden Soldiers," when Geppetto's wooden army is attacking Fabletown, and Boo Bear is killed, a few panels farther on you see his mother, in the thick of the fighting, screaming "And This Is for... my Boo Bear, you monsters!"
    • Later on, in another arc, after Smug Snake Prince Brandish claims Snow's hand, and defeats Bigby Wolf, Snow, even fighting injured and with her non-dominant hand, outfights him and defeats him in a sword-to-sword duel. Why? Well, he'd made it clear he was going to kill her children!!!
  • Fantastic Four:
    • One issue had Reed and Susan's daughter Valeria caught in the middle of a rampage created by Thundra, the Absorbing Man, and a mind-controlled Ben Grimm and She-Hulk. She's about to be squished when Sue shows up, already in a bad mood. Cue the resulting curb-stomping of four of the most powerful superhumans on Earth. Made even better when Reed and Spider-Man show up...and Reed restrains Spider-Man from trying to help Sue, because he knows that she's not going to need any. Spider-Man, who has gone toe-to-toe himself with some of the most powerful people on Earth (and beyond) then vows never to get her mad at him.
    • Sue could practically be the goddess of this trope. In the Fantastic Four Vs. the X-Men miniseries, the team is nearly torn apart when an old diary of Reed's seems to imply that he caused the accident that transformed them into the FF on purpose. It's Sue that deduces the diary is a trap laid by Dr. Doom years before. She warns Doom that a lioness is "never as dangerous as when protecting cub, and den, and mate." She then asks Doom if he's ever considered just what would happen if she decided to project an invisible force-field inside his body...and then expand it.
    • Add to this the fact that Reed is a Papa Wolf himself, and it's a given that threatening Franklin and Valeria is a death wish.
  • In Gold Digger:
    • Julia Diggers goes Mama Bear on the assassin Zero when he attacked her first student Gar, who's as close as a son to her, resulting in one of the epic battles of the entire series. One almost feels bad for Zero because he gets put in line of Digger's parent rage not once but several times, and he doesn't even have anything against them, it's just necessary for his bosses' and thus his ultimate goals.
    • Werewolf mom Jetta when her son Pojo is abducted. Then again, not only is she a rather traumatized individual of a species bred to be violent killers, she is also the only female capable of her species capable of having children, and Pojo is her newborn, first child. All things considered, her reaction was one of thoughtful consideration, really.
  • A very grim example: in Hack/Slash Cassie Hack's mother was so outraged when her daughter was bullied by popular girls at high school that she murdered them all as The Lunch Lady Killer. And she was so outraged that, after being caught and committing suicide she came back from the dead to carry on, forcing her daughter to rekill her.
  • Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) demonstrates this when her students are threatened. With added holding villains off rooftops for fun! Just to give some context, what makes the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown she gives to Yasemin after Yasemin threatens to kill Hel's students so disturbing (and so awesome) is the Dissonant Serenity of Hel's thought captions. She's screaming at Yasemin as she beats her with the aerial antenna she had torn off the rooftop of the building they were standing on, but her thoughts seem totally calm:
    Huntress: Sure, I COULD have used the crossbow to take her out with minimal fuss. But she threatened my KIDS. She has to be made to see the CONSEQUENCES of that.
  • Atom Eve from Invincible becomes this to her and the protagonist's baby Terra, yet ironically despite being a nuclear-powered Action Girl, Eve during pregnancy actually lets herself be vulnerable since using her powers will harm the baby in her womb. When her daughter is born, Eve plays this even straighter seen when Allen's bodyguards make to attack Terra, Eve puts up a barrier yelling for them to get the hell back. Later Eve not only uses her powers to give oxygen to Terra when she stops breathing but when a bunch of aliens attacks her, Mark and Terra while on a family picnic she clutches Terra close to her while shooting a Hand Blast and Papa Wolf Mark rips them apart with Super Strength. Truly a Battle Couple at it's finest.
  • Jessica Jones is this if her daughter, Dani, is threatened.
    • This trope first comes into play when the Green Goblin attacks her while she's pregnant. She freaks out, thinking he's killed her unborn baby, grabs his gilder from beneath him while he's in the air and then wallops him with it. Spider-Man's reaction is "Whoa."
    • It comes into play again in Young Avengers when Kang threatens her. She attacks him and steals his weapon, telling him to never threaten a pregnant woman. Later, when the changes to the timeline temporarily erases her pregnancy, she attacks him again, demanding to know what he did with her baby.
    • During the events of Secret Invasion, she gives Dani to Jarvis for safekeeping while she helps her husband fight the bad guys. When she discovers that Jarvis was actually a skrull who has kidnapped her daughter, she goes on a rampage trying to find her.
    • In Mighty Avengers, when Superior Spider-Man confronts Jessica and Luke while they're with Dani, they arrange for a babysitter to pick her up, then start whaling on him for putting her daughter in harm's way. Despite Peter explaining the whole deal with Doctor Octopus taking over his body, it took a while for Jessica and Luke to forgive him.
  • Kate Spencer AKA Manhunter will kill anyone who hurts her son.
  • In Monstress, despite repeatedly denying caring for her at all, Maika is not a nice person when Kippa is threatened.
  • Ms. Tree:
    • Michael Tree, the heroine, will go medieval on the ass of anyone who threatens her stepson Mike or, later, her daughter Melody.
    • And her Evil Counterpart, mob boss Dominique Mureta, is equally violent in the defense of her daughter.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW): They're sisters, really, but Rarity and Applejack are both understandably highly motivated to rescue the Crusaders from the Changelings.
    • When the Mane 6 finally get to rescuing the CMC in Issue #4, Rainbow Dash is shown to be protecting Scootaloo as frequently as the above sister pairings. Consider that continuity-wise, this arc pre-dates "Sleepless in Ponyville" where the relationship was made more explicit.
  • Poison Ivy towards plant life, some of which have become weird humanoid babies which she will protect ferociously. Actually it doesn't even have to be plants as when a bunch of children are orphaned by the earthquake in Gotham she adopts them and looks after them in the park, when the police try and force them out she breaks out the killer plants. However when it becomes clear one of her kids needs medical attention she surrenders immediately, even Batman was merciful to Ivy at that point.
  • A literal Mama Bear is shown in a two comic arc by Kevin J. Anderson featuring a Predator taking on an angry mother grizzly. After the Predator blasts one of her cubs, he's ambushed by the furious mother and, despite his technological advances, eventually succumbs to her ferocity.
  • The Punisher story arc Streets of Laredo features a mama bear in the form of Rachel, the leader of a big-time gunrunning outfit in Texas. The only thing she cares about more than her operation is her son, Clark. Clark is openly gay, and when one of Rachel's men voices his contempt she challenges him to a fight and coldly beats him to death.
  • Despite being villains themselves, the Pride do everything in their power to keep their children safe in Runaways. In one story arc, the group gets stranded in the 1800s and Chase meets the past selves of the Yorkes when they were time traveling to that era. He angrily informs them that their daughter is dead in their future, his present (in their time, Gertrude still has about two years left). Stacy and her husband make immediate plans to save their daughter from this fate and bring a nuclear bomb to the city to get revenge for Gertrude dying in any of the possible futures.
  • The Sandman: When Lyta Hall's son Daniel is taken to be the next incarnation of Dream, she loses her mind and recruits the Furies to take revenge on the original Dream, leading to his death. To be fair to Lyta, she only goes this far when she thinks Dream burned her son to death. When she realizes that Daniel is still alive (only his mortality was burned away), she tries to get the Furies to stop their attack and help her get him back saying that they don't have to kill Dream. The Furies tell her that they don't help, they avenge, and continue on their campaign unabated.
  • She-Hulk much like her cousin is a Bruiser with a Soft Center who doesn’t take kindly to her loved ones getting hurt or just innocents in general being endangered. For one example in Sensational She-Hulk #5 Jen comes across a T-Rex about to chomp down on a little boy named Paul, so naturally she grabs it by the tail just before it bites the kid, swings it around and then throws the Tyrannosaurus away before checking to see if Paul is alright.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Even Aunt May Parker has demonstrated this line of abilities when somebody messes with her dear nephew and adopted son, Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man. When the Chameleon, a ruthless assassin and skilled infiltrator, tries to take Peter's place, she not only manages to subdue him in an undeniably classy fashion, she also scares the bejeezus outta him in the process.
    • And in another storyline, when the Vulture broke into their house and threatened them with a gun, after Peter managed to disarm him of it (trying hard not to show his full strength and give his identity away) she picked the weapon up and pointed it at the criminal, and ordered him to leave.
    • Her Ultimate Universe version (admittedly, rather feistier than the original), responded to J. Jonah Jameson merely firing Peter Parker by ...asking to speak to him on the phone. Afterwards, Jameson revoked the firing and balefully told Peter not to put him on the phone with his Aunt ever again...
    • More recently, Ultimate Eddie Brock/Ultimate Venom showed up at the Parkers' home, and attempted to talk his way inside (reminiscent of a scene that occurred in the mid-90s animated series where the beefier inspired-by-616 Brock does the same to a quite-different Aunt May.) The conversation does not go well for Ultimate Brock. She pulls a hand cannon on him and threatens to blow him away, knowing what he is.
    • She clearly was not his mother, but the synthetic android created by the Chameleon with the likeness of Mary Parker started having genuine maternal feelings for Peter even after her true programming kicked in. Because the Richard Parker duplicate stayed loyal to the Chameleon, even when used as a weapon, the Mary android turned against him and the villain saving Peter, although she was destroyed as well in the process.
    • Mary Jane had one in Spider-Girl: She's attacked by the new Green Goblin (Harry's son, Normie), who intends to kidnap and use her as bait for her daughter, the title heroine. MJ just refuses to play along, and beats him with a lamp while lecturing him about how childish he was being (Paraphrased from memory: "I used to change your diaper, what makes you think I'm so going to be scared of you!?"); Normie is completely thrown off, and tries to apologize before Spider-Girl then swings in to the rescue. Which one she's rescuing is a bit unclear by this point.
  • Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) becomes this to her own infant son Gerry, even when heavily pregnant she went One-Woman Army on an army of Skrulls before getting a C-Section. When Gerry is born Jessica makes it clear anything or anyone who endangers her precious baby boy will be in for a worse beatdown than normal, as the poor, poor dumbass B-list villain Razorback discovered first hand.
    Jessica: There's a baby right here you #$@% moron. RAZAT! My baby. And if you think— KRAK — your stupid getaway— KRAK — is more important — WHACK — than the life of my childKRAK — then you're about to think again.
  • Supergirl:
    • Kara's mother Alura In-Ze is fiercely protective of her daughter and — in the New 52 universe — is a trained soldier. So beware. In the Red Daughter of Krypton storyline she stopped a Red Lantern who tried to invade Supergirl's mind and demanded that she leave her daughter alone.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Linda was willing to let the universe fall apart if her daughter wasn't spared from being retconned.
  • Superman:
    • Sure, her son's one of the most powerful non-god beings on the planet, but do NOT mess with Superman when Ma Kent is around. She probably won't be of much use, but damn if she won't try. Pa Kent'll provides backup as a Papa Wolf — and he's got military experience.
    • And these traits got passed down to their son and his wife, Lois Lane, when they had their son, Jonathan. When the Eradicator tried to murder Jon in Superman (Rebirth) because he wasn't a pure-blood Kryptonian and Superman was taken out of the picture temporarily, Lois discovers and dons Batman's old Hellbat Armor (an armor designed to take on Darkseid) and helps protect her son until Supes is back in action.
    Lois: (to Eradicator) There some facts about Earth you need to learn... Never mess with the baby bear when the mama bear is nearby!
  • Nomi Sunrider in Tales of the Jedi. This is how she gets started on the path to Jedi-dom; she picks up her murdered husband's lightsaber to defend their daughter from a bunch of space thugs.
  • In Teen Titans, Adeline Wilson takes this to a pretty scary level. After her husband, Slade lands their son Jericho in a hostage situation (that ends with their child being rendered permanently mute due to his throat being slit), Adeline shoots Slade in the head. Another, even more extreme example (Though it may not count since she had just gained super powers that made her so psycho) occurred when she tried to destroy every super powered person in the world to avenge Jericho's death.

  • In The Unfunnies, Birdseed Betty is forced to make ends meet by servicing her landlord Jungle Jim after her husband Moe the Crow goes to jail for owning child pornography. Jungle Jim eventually raises Birdseed Betty's ire by asking that they engage in group sex with her children, which drives her to beat him to death with a strap-on.
  • Wonder Woman: Diana has a strong Mama Bear streak fuelled by her love of children. Also unlike her Justice League colleagues who hold to Thou Shall Not Kill, since her Darker and Edgier revamp Diana believes anything that hurts the innocent should be dealt with using lethal force. So any foe suicidal enough to hurt children around Diana will usually be swiftly turned into mincemeat by a pissed off Demi-Godesss. One of the many reasons why Flashpoint-Wonder Woman was such a shocking change for Diana was because she mercilessly killed children something that is abhorrent to present universe Wonder Woman.
    • Diana likely inherits this from Hippolyta who is a former Lady of War current protective Action Mom for her.
    • In Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: Generations Hippolyta takes a glance in her mirror to see what her daughter is up to after debating with herself over whether or not it would be acceptable to spy on her for a moment. When she sees that Diana is currently wounded and fighting it out with Cheetah while surrounded by flame she jumps into one of the Amazons' cloaked jets and flies over to protect her daughter and put an end to the fight.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Circe's dangerously obsessive over her daughter Lyta, especially after Wonder Woman emphasized Lyta was the one person on Earth who unconditionally loved her despite her nasty personality. As such, she becomes thoroughly vicious to anyone who threatens her relationship with Lyta or Lyta herself, to the point she manipulated many of Wonder Woman's enemies including Veronica Cale.
    • Wonder Woman (2011): (where the Amazons are far less heroic and much more violent than usual) shows it doesn't even have to be children for Diana, as she at one point set up a male colony in Themyscira and when she discovered that conservative Amazons had massacred them. Diana went apeshit at the loss of her "brothers".
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): The stolen daughter motivation that is always switched over to a different Wondy villain with each revamp (and originally belonged to Paula von Gunther) goes to Veronica Cale this time around, and she is by far the most driven, clever and ruthless in her attempts to get her daughter back, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when it turns out retrieving her daughter would kill her.
  • X-Men
    • Jean Grey zigzags the trope:
      • Subverted in the comic books with her own daughter. Jean is the mother of Rachel Summers. Very rarely does Jean ever lift a finger to protect Rachel. This is probably because Rachel is a psi of talent close to or exceeding her mother's own. Baby can take care of herself and Mama knows it too well. Plus, Mama's dead a lot.
      • But then played straight when Jubilee starts having nightmares about Sabertooth, who is being held on the grounds at the time. Jean confronts the captive Sabertooth, walks in to his cell, and proceeds to break every bone in his body without lifting a finger. Don't threaten Jean's family. Just don't.
      Jean: You are a firecracker, I am an atom bomb.
      • Played straight in regard to her students. When the U-Men turn up, looking to harvest the organs of the students, Jean proceeds to humiliate and terrify them without moving, or, indeed, even raising her voice.
      • Played straight in regards to her time travelling son Cable, having raised him as a baby with Scott in the future, protected him as he grew up and taught him how to use the vast telekinetic powers he inherited from her to hold the techno organic virus at bay.
      • One of the best examples in Jean's aptitude for this trope comes from when she first met Kitty Pryde, when the latter was nearly gonna get run over by some of Emma Frost's goons. Jean didn't hesitate for a second and when Cyclops called her out on it, Jean stated she read the goons's mind and killing intent and doesn't regret it all. But even when she's violently protective Jean still go back to her loving side easily as she quickly comforted Kitty.
    • Ororo Munroe aka Storm plays this straighter than most other female X-Men, and it's especially evident in her early days concerning Kitty Pryde as anyone who dares hurt her precious "Kitten" is in for the wrath of the elements (e.g Caliban and Magneto). Storm's maternal instincts extend to Rogue, Jubilee and the sole mutant in Wankada besides herself Nezhno.
    • Happens with Storm in the '90s X-Men animated series, when her god-child (the son of Storm's best friend in Africa, whom she has known from birth) who's also a mutant (more exactly, a Fragile Speedster a la Quicksilver) is kidnapped and possessed by her arch-nemesis, the Shadow King. Used a bit in X-Men: Evolution, too, where she was Evan/Spyke's Auntie Bear of sorts an the Team Mom of the group.
    • Rogue much like Jean and Storm is very protective of Jubilee (especially in the 90s cartoon), in Earth-41001 Rogue even invaded Mr Sinister’s lair to save her own children she had with Gambit.
    • Jubilee herself shows it here when her adoptive son Shogo is threatened; while she can control her vampiric bloodlust most of the time, this proves nearly an exception, and Wolverine, of all people, has to reason with her.
    • Though not ordinarily thought of as having a particularly motherly attitude, Emma Frost of all people. To say that she does not take kindly to people threatening or harming her students is an understatement. Given that her entire first class of pupils was murdered, that's not a shock, and it's been strongly insinuated several times that there are no lengths she won't go to in keeping her current "kids" safe.
      • And she shot her own sister in Generation X after said sister's actions resulted in the death of Everett, one of her students.
      • The reason she gave X-23 such a hard time when she first arrived at the Institute was because she thought X-23 was a danger to the other students. Since X-23 is a Tyke Bomb with a body count to her name and goes berserk when exposed to a certain chemical trigger that the Weapon Plus program still has (which is so indoctrinated into her brain that Emma can't undo the conditioning), Emma isn't exactly wrong. She definitely Kicked The Puppy when she tormented X-23 with visions of the mother figure X-23 killed under the influence of the trigger scent to show X-23 that she didn't belong at the Institute...but later she does come around though, as she eventually sees that X-23 is just another student who needs her protection. In fact, she finds Kimura (X-23's abusive former 'handler') and erases her only happy memories before sending Kimura to kill everyone at the Facility, starting with the poor SOB who kidnapped her pupil Mercury. Don't frak with Frost. It's come to the point where almost any time Emma makes an appearance in a book focusing on X-23, it's so that the latter can serve as Emma's Morality Pet.
      • Her first class of pupils (but one) were murdered (the Hellions), and then Everett and Angelo from her second class (Generation X), then the entire third class (in Genosha)...and then she lost a big chunk of her fourth class (45 students at Xavier's school where she was the headmistress), mostly because of the School Bus of death.
      • She once delivered the psychic equivalent of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Ms. Marvel after the Avenger tried to use the deaths of Emma's students as leverage to get the X-Men to join Iron Man's team during Civil War.
      • This characterization is kept in the X-Men anime, where she is very protective of Hisako/Armor.
    • X-23 herself has a Big Sister Instinct version of this with her little sister/clone Gabby. Harm Gabby or even threaten to do her harm, and she will immediately forget her current stance against killing and will end you. Laura very nearly tore Old Man Logan to shreds when she though he had killed Gabby. When Gabby is later endangered by the Brood in issue 22, Laura ignores Rocket's warnings to run away, and instead tries to cut her way through the entire horde to save her.
    • Mystique is even less motherly then Emma but, once in a blue moon i.e Depending on the Writer she does show genuine care for her adoptive daughter Rogue and her biological son Nightcrawler. Averted hard with her other son Graydon though.
      • In X-Men Unlimited #4 she sacrifices herself while dangling off a waterfall by letting go off the rope to save Kurt, whose shocked that she actually cares for him (given she did toss him away as a baby note )
      • During AXIS where all the heroes go temporarily bad and all the villains go good, Mystique spends all of Amazing X-Men 14# preventing her now villainous son Nightcrawler from causing harm, including grabbing onto him while he Teleport Spams and actually stops him by saying she truly loves him and won’t let go of him this time.
      • Played with in New X-Men #46 when Rogue is falls into a coma infected with Strain 88 Virus which dials her Power Parasite ability to Touch of Death levels, Mystique swears that she’ll cure her daughter... by using the then infant Hope Summers to cure her making Papa Wolf Gambit flip out and try and stop her. Mystique’s plan works and both Rogue and Hope are unharmed, but Rogue after waking delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Mystique when she learns the latter used a baby as a Guinea pig.
  • Scarlet Witch remade the world to save her sons. She also kicks ass in The Children's Crusade with said kids.
    • In The Children's Crusade, Wanda was all set to sit back and let the X-Men do whatever they wanted to her. Then Emma Frost tried to mind control Wanda's kids into going with the X-Men.
      Wanda: Auntie Emma, you might want to check with their mother first... because I hear she can be a real bitch. (blasts Emma Frost in the face)
      • She then proceeds to kick the asses of all of the Avengers and X-Men, knocking all of them unconscious in the space of ten seconds or less, because you do not put her sons in danger. Later, when joining her power to Billy's to open a portal, she tells him that there is always a price to pay for magic and that she will be the one to pay it — she was willing to let the magic burn her up in exchange for the lives she ruined and Billy getting out unscathed.


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