Monday, December 19, 2011

Because You Demanded It! My Mother, the Mantrap!

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on which pink cover they liked best! Today I have for you the winner -- "My Mother, the Mantrap" from Falling in Love #131 (April 1972). I believe the pencils on this one are by Mike Sekowsky, though the cover art comes from the hands of Win Mortimer and Vince Colletta. Enjoy!

The awesomely titled, "My Mother, the Mantrap" introduces us to Sheila, her beautiful 36 year old mother, and her mother's suitor -- Dr. Elliot Marsh. Sheila is devastated after overhearing her mother refuse Elliot's marriage proposal. Why you ask? Sheila can't stand to have her mother continue to attempt to live her life rather than her own!

Sheila lashes out at her mom while she helps her daughter prepare for a party. Sheila sees her enthusiastic and fun mother as a man stealer, which puts her young adult self constantly on edge.

At the party, the boy Sheila likes runs off to dance with mother dearest. To add insult to injury, he thinks Sheila's mom is her sister. Ouch!

That night while in bed, Sheila cries herself to sleep. Her mother overhears her, but she cannot console Sheila who is hell-bent on keeping all prospective beaus away from her.

A short time later, Sheila is set up on a blind date with a guy named Neil Sawyer. They spend all their free time together and fall in love. Ultimately, Neil proposes.

Sheila manages to keep her mother out of the picture until Neil inquires as to why she hasn't let him meet her. Sheila finally tells her mom who is delighted and anxious to meet Neil... perhaps to steal him?

Having had enough of her mother, Sheila flips out and yells, "hands off, mother!" Sheila then announces her plans to move out. Her mother begs her not to, and retorts with the fact she never realized Sheila resented her so. Neil is supportive with Sheila's decision to get her own apartment. But when Sheila finally moves out, Neil can tell that all she can think about is her mom.

After moving, the betrothed go and visit Dr. Elliot Marsh for their premarital blood test and to inquire if he will act as a witness to their marriage. Elliot agrees and says he is anxious to see Sheila's mother. Sheila reveals that her mother will not be there -- they didn't invite her! Elliot and Sheila then get into it. Sheila tells him how her mother was constantly trying to ruin her life, while Elliot contends that her mom was just trying to ensure Sheila's happiness by making sure she was never alone like she had been while growing up.

Feeling terrible about how she treated her well-meaning mother, Sheila goes with Neil to apologize. Her mother's love is unfailing, and all is forgiven. I guess she wasn't trying to steal Sheila's boyfriends after all!

Quite the plot, eh?! What did you think? Was her mother as sinister as Sheila made her out to be? I happen to like this one because it focuses on the mother/daughter relationship and demonstrates how family is often inextricably linked to romantic attachments -- whether one likes it or not!


  1. I thought the story seemed a bit of a cop-out. I don't think it would have necessarily gained anything by going the exact opposite direction-- confirming the "mantrap" hypothesis-- but I would've liked to see the mom realize that she was subconsciously flirting somewhat. That would've been a tolerable "middle ground."

  2. I agree with Gene on the plot development. It wasn't a satisfying resolution to the character arc of the Mom.

    Also, a teeny request for the page scans- is it possible to set the Contrast or Black level a bit higher, so the pages come out more vividly colored? It would help make the text easier to read, too.

    Many, many thanks for this bit of history blog! It's a whole new world for me. I love Sequential Crush!

  3. Yeah, I kind of figured the story itself would be more "innocent" than the covers seems to imply. However, I think Gene makes a really good point about plot development - I actually was expecting a scene in which the mother admits being a bit flattered by all the attention from younger men due to her youthful looks. I also didn't like the part where the doctor and her fiance kind of tag-team berate her (esp. that "if she's half the woman her mother is" comment - that's almost grounds for breaking off the engagement...)
    Otherwise, though, you're right about the focus on the mother/daughter relationship. That is a nice change of pace.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts! I know there is another issue (at least one, if not more) that explores the concept of the mother as a rival. I will have to dig those up sometime and see how they compare to this one!

  5. Giving credit where it's due: Giordano inks, not Colletta. IMO, of course. Except I'm almost certain. ( -- The Grand Comicbook Database -- has the credits as Heck?/Giordano? No way in heck is it heck. Definitely Sekowsky.) And yes, I should write Henry Andrews with the change.

  6. Not sure about story inks, Seditionist -- I didn't even try to guess. Just the cover is Colletta from what I can tell.

  7. Definitely Sekowsky pencils & Giordano inks-looks just like their WW work.