Wonder Woman 1984 is released, either on HBO Max or in the cinema, at least in countries where it’s still allowed; only one last character from the comic appears in the film (as always, if I’ve missed someone, let me know in the usual place). During the final confrontation between Wonder Woman and Maxwell’s Lord of Dreams we have a glimpse of the latter’s past, including his parents: If Maxwell’s father is mentioned, but never appears in the comics, his mother is a completely different matter. In the film Mrs. Lorenzano (real name of the gentleman) is beaten by her husband, which never happened in the comic book in the various incarnations. Let’s look at it together.
On New Earth, it was the sweet, gentle nurse Naomi who became the mother of psychopath Maxwell Lord. Altruistic and caring, she served during World War II, helped wounded soldiers and gave them emotional support: During her work she met Maxwell Lord III, the man she fell in love with. At that time two time travelers were also present in his infirmary: Booster Gold and his adopted daughter Roni. While Booster unintentionally provoked the first meeting between Naomi and Maxwell, Rani’s intervention was deliberate because she wanted to warn the woman of the kind of monster that could become her son. Rani’s revelations were initially dismissed as the fantasies of a strange child, but Naomi remembered these words all her life. She married Maxwell III and was proud that he had become an honest and successful businessman. When she got pregnant, everything Rani had told her came back and her soft character hardened, even more so after her husband’s death. In raising Maxwell IV, Naomi constantly encouraged him to get better, she wanted him to be just like her father, but in doing so she trivialized everything he had done, as if he had never been good enough for her expectations. Everything he did made him shudder, afraid of the power he could achieve if he was encouraged. In the end it was this fear of the monster that could become their son that drove him to become one of them. His attempts to keep Maxwell in line became the psychological torture that made him the psychopath Rani he knew and hated.
Naomi Lord lived, died and disappeared (at least for a while) along with her entire universe, wiped out by the actions of the Flash, which unconsciously created a new timeline, Prime Earth. Another woman took her place, but the results were the same. In this new world Maxine is married to Albert Lord, a good man and CEO of a successful pharmaceutical company. She had a son with her, Maxwell. When the boy was a little less than a teenager, , however, tragedy struck: One of the company’s slimming resources proved to be carcinogenic for many patients and the company went bankrupt. Wandering with guilt and shame, Albert committed suicide and left Maxine and Maxwell alone. This event had radically changed Maxine’s attitude towards her late husband and especially towards her son: Attracted as a young girl by Albert’s compassion, intelligence, and strength, she is now disgusted by the weakness she experiences and more than determined to see her son change shape. By learning from her husband’s mistakes, she ensured that Maxwell had none of his weaknesses and taught him to be cruel, calculating and emotionally detached. Under Maxine’s guidance, Maxwell lost all compassion, all love for others (including his mother), everything that was not his ambition, his desire for power, his determination. At the end of the educational experience, Maxine Lord was about to become one of the most powerful and feared men on the planet, but the reward would be far greater than any woman could ever hope for.
Naomi and Maxine Lord are two very different women, but they have a lot in common: They are cold, bitter, almost cruel, and for some reason systematically deprive their son of any human warmth or maternal affection. Ruthless and determined to control Maxwell, Naomi and Maxine turned out to be the main cause of the birth of one of the world’s greatest monsters.
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