There’s no denying that single parents have it rough. Taking care of a child after losing a spouse can be a stressful time for all involved–especially if your child happens to be a superhero. This is the plight that concerns Athena, formerly known as the superheroine Eighth Wonder. Athena’s days of rescuing the city from supervillains may be over, but Nozomu Tamaki (Dance in the Vampire Bund) puts her up against a real challenge in his manga, Don’t Meddle With My Daughter. As anyone who has seen The Incredibles can attest, raising a superhero is not a particularly easy task.
In the prime of her life, the Eighth Wonder protected citizens from Blowjob (lol), a Legion of Doom-like organization comprised of various supervillains led by a mysterious horned woman who surrounds herself with amorous sycophants and harbors a grudge against the Eighth Wonder. As a member of the Next Ultimate Defense Experts (or, rofl, N.U.D.E.), Athena is tasked with confronting and defeating Blowjob’s cabal of evildoers in large scale battles that, through no fault of her own, put her in more…compromising situations (read: torn clothing and at the mercy of robot tentacles–because of course). In the present day, Athena hung up her uniform to settle down with another masked hero to raise their daughter, Clara. The life of a single mother and housewife seems all well and good for Athena until Clara picks up the mantle of Eighth Wonder–completely unaware that her own mother was once the beloved heroine.
I have to say, I really enjoyed Don’t Meddle With My Daughter and not just because of its fanservice. I enjoyed the character of Athena and her interactions with Clara. Though she disapproves of her daughter’s decision to fight crime, she instead assists Clara from the shadows, helping her taking down Blowjob’s minions before they get out of control. Not only does Athena try to protect Clara from physical harm, she works overtime to save Clara from the same public embarrassment she endured back in the day from villains who were more than a little “hands on.” In this age of Instagram and Snapchat, Athena works overtime to prevent reporters and photographers from snapping pictures of her daughter in her battled damaged costume or being caught in the tentacled clutches of a giant plant monster. The downside to all this work, however, are these exact situations happening to her and because of her striking figure, Tamaki can’t resist drawing more than a fair share of exposed skin.
Don’t Meddle WIth My Daughter earns its Mature rating. Athena, and to some extent Clara, are subjected to situations that often result in their clothing being torn, slashed, or burned away. Athena–and her large chest–gets the brunt of the saucy pen because she throws herself hard into the engagements to end them quickly resulting in her costume falling into disrepair. Even outside of battle, Tamaki doesn’t hesitate to prioritize her figure. In the manga’s most egregious scene, Athena is stalked by a shadowy foe charged with spying on her activities. After watching her work as an online consultant for the parents of superheroes, this bad guy watches her take a shower and leers as Athena has a private moment involving a photo of her missing husband and an exceptionally industrial-looking marital aid.
In the first volume’s afterword, Tamaki shares his love for American comic books. Don’t Meddle With My Daughter draws immediate comparisons to the Superman comics, as action scenes prominently feature Clara and Athena’s ability to fly and land incredibly powerful punches. There are quite a few scenes in the manga where Athena is a total badass as she punches bad guys into next week. There are also a few scenes that are drawn from the perspective of people looking up at the sky to see Athena hovering above and she just looks so cool. Clara too, for that matter! Tamaki really knows how to put them in heroic poses. The design of the Eighth Wonder costume also has ties to DC comics, as it looks like a cross between Wonder Woman and Power Girl (boob window included). I really like Tamaki’s character designs and artwork for the heroes but it’s the villains that let him get really creative. There’s a woman who resembles Poison Ivy and another like an adult Raven (from Teen Titans) but the coolest villain in the book, as far as his abilities are concerned, is Sneak–the aforementioned pervert who spies on Athena at home. I like the idea of a character having the ability to hide in people’s shadows. If later volumes introduce unique characters like this, I’m happy to stay on board.
Don’t Meddle With My Daughter may be loaded with goofy and dumb fanservice but I really enjoyed the manga for the relationship between Athena and Clara, the colorful villains, and the well-drawn fight scenes. I wouldn’t say it’s a good companion piece for superhero manga like One Punch Man or My Hero Academia, given its subject matter is designed for older readers, but it has a level of charm I could really get into.
Title: Don’t Meddle With My Daughter Volume One
Author: Nozomu Tamaki
Artist: Nozomu Tamaki
Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
Release Date: 8/15/2017
Format: Physical (Reveiwed), Digital
Page Count: 180
Purchased or Received For Review? Received For Review
Where To Buy? RightStuf, Amazon, Barnes & Noble