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REAL NAME: Unknown KNOWN ALIASES: Bane of Beowulf, Grendell’s Mother, Hell-bride,
Hell-dam, Mother of the Monster, Tarn-hag IDENTITY: Her true name is unknown to the general public OCCUPATION: Wrestler; former marauder CITIZENSHIP Unrevealed PLACE OF BIRTH: Unrevealed KNOWN RELATIVES: Grendell (son) GROUP AFFILIATION: Federation of Women’s Wrestling (FWW),
Dark Elves of Asgard, Cain’s Clan EDUCATION: Unrevealed FIRST APPEARANCE: Captain Marvel #20
HISTORY: This monster has never revealed her true name, lest
she fall into involuntary servitude to those who might summon her. During the
sixth century A.D. she and her son Grendell lived in the marshes and lakes of
Denmark. Grendell ravaged the land around Heorot Hall for years, devouring all
he met until the Scandinavian prince Beowulf came to King Hrothgar’s aid.
During one of his raids on Heorot, Grendell was seemingly mortally wounded when
Beowulf tore his arm off. In revenge, the mother attacked the hall and killed
one of Hrothgar’s retainers. Beowulf tracked her to her watery lair and,
attempting to slay her with a powerful sword (possibly Excalibur) that he found
in her hoard, imprisoned in her in a floating underground prison. Long afterward
a descendant of Beowulf’s people (the Greats) wrote the old legends into
an epic poem celebrating the hero’s achievement for the ages.
Centuries later, the Dark Elves of Asgard summoned the one-armed Grendell to
kill Thor while he forged a suit of magic armor- created to counteract Hela’
curse which made his bones brittle – as they feared that the iron in the
armor would allow him to slay them. Grendell had nearly slain Thor when Loki
teleported the broken hero away for his own dire amusements.
Recently, the wizard Merlin Demonspawn (formerly Maha Yogi) located the mother’s
prison and sought to free her so she could lead him to the lair of the dragon
that had slain Beowulf, hoping to find the legendary Holy Grail. Needing the
blood of one hundred virgins to free her, Merlin opened the Comic Book Castle
store and amassed a loyal clientele through huge discounts and P.R. stunts.
Finally, Merlin held a ‘spectacular giveaway’ promotion at his store
and enchanted the crowd of a few hundred into cutting their hands and bleeding
on the floor, thus freeing the mother; however, Merlin’s chief business
competitor Marlo Chandler-Jones convinced the monster that he had freed her
and offered her the lives of his customers only to gain access to the Grail.
Angered by being treated as a lackey, she refused to cooperate and left Merlin
to his fate at the hands of Captain Marvel (I) and Moondragon. While marveling
at the sights of modern Los Angeles, the monster met agent Mordecai P. Boggs
and signed a five-year contract with the FWW as wrestler Big Mother, vowing
to “eat her opponents alive.”
SUPERHUMAN POWERS: Big Mother can shape-change from a winged,
dragon-like form down to a more human sized form, and possibly other forms as
well. She also has some magical skills, putting enchantments on her son that
kept swords from cutting him, allowed him to touch iron with out being burnt,
and kept him alive after his battle with Beowulf.
ABILITIES: Big Mother has some skill in hand-to-hand combat,
though she usually relies more on her greater size and strength in fights.
Grendell vs Thor (Thor #377, 1987)
Grendell’s Mother freed by Demonspawn (Captain Marvel #20, 2001)
Became Big Mother (Captain Marvel #21, 2001)