Mother Righteous is Marvel's next big character, but she isn't a hero or a villain

Legion of X #2 variant cover
Legion of X #2 variant cover (Image credit: Will Sliney (Marvel Comics))

A major new figure is being introduced this May by Marvel: Mother Righteous. Is she a hero? A villain? It's not that simple.

Mother Righteous is the "wheeler-dealer" of the astral plane - you know, the alternate dimension that telepaths such as Professor X and the Shadow King are known to fight in.

Legion of X #2 main cover (Image credit: Dike Ruan (Marvel Comics))

"Mother Righteous is a powerful and mysterious new player in the great drama unfolding in and around the x-sphere," creator Si Spurrier tells Newsarama. "Not pure villain, not pure hero, she strolls calmly out of the astral plane one day with an unnerving smile. She comes offering gifts. Oh, little things. Magic, wishes, spirits. Gods. Power. The repercussions of her generosity - and the things she expects in return, from those who accept it - will be felt across the futures of mutantkind and the wider Marvel Universe for a long time to come."

Spurrier says that for those wondering about Mother Righteous, the question isn't 'Who is Mother Righteous?' but, rather 'Why is Mother Righteous?' - as in, what are her ultimate goals.

Mother Righteous will debut in April's Legion of X #1, brought to light by Professor X's son Legion - whose mind acts as the psychic headquarters for this band of mutant protectors led by Nightcrawler. Mother Righteous will be offering Legion what Marvel calls "an unholy deal" that is an attempt to get out of Professor X's shadow.

This new Marvel character Mother Righteous is created by Legion of X series writer Si Spurrier and designed by artist/writer Jamie McKelvie - who previously designed the iconic looks for Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel (among others).

Mother Righteous character design (Image credit: Jamie McKelvie (Marvel Comics))

"Sometimes character designs come easy, and Mother Righteous was one of them. Si's character work for her is so strong that once I read the script for her first appearance, I knew exactly the look I needed to go for," McKelvie explains to Newsarama. "There was a bit of tinkering around the edges to perfect it, but she spoke to me strongly enough from the text she could only really look one way. I can't wait to see her on the comic page!"

Legion of X will be written by Spurrier, and drawn by series artist Jan Bazaldua. Former Shang-Chi artist Dike Ruan has drawn Mother Righteous for the main cover to Legion of X #2, and Will Sliney will also draw her for a variant to that same issue.

Mother Righteous will debut in April 20's Legion of X #1, with Legion of X #2 to follow in May. 

Look for Marvel's full slate of May 2022 comics to be announced later in February.

Keep track of this and all the new X-Men comics, graphic novels, and collections coming in the near future.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)