Maria Kyle

mariakylefilmGotham‘s winter finale was quite a cliffhanger, and it also introduced a new character that will surelly shuffle the deck in a major way. In Beware the Green Eyed Monster, in fact, Bruce Wayne finally confronts the Court of Owls head on, but he’s followed by a mysterious figure to one of their headquarters. When Talon is about to kill Alfred, Bruce and Selina the stalker finally reveals herself…and she’s none other than Selina’s mother, portrayed by Ivana Milicevic. All we know of her comes from her daughter’s boastings of her being a super-spy, with a cover job as a dancer and a stage magician…we’ll see how much of that was true. In Batman Returns we only heard her voice, and she was an apprehensive mother always looking up for Selina, another source of stress for the poor woman. As for the character you see in the comics, you won’t find the movie’s anxious mother nor the show’s spy: she only appeared twice, and both times in flashbacks, with none of the previously said backgrounds. Let’s see together.

Maria was born in Cuba from an unknown family (even her maiden name is still unknown). Everything she knew in her life was poverty, first under the military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, then under the communist one of Fidel Castro, who surely brought hope to Cubans, but did little to increase the country’s wealth nevertheless. As many of her compatriots, Maria looked at the near United States of America as to some sort of promised land, where everybody were free and could be rich if they only worked hard enough for it, and as soon as she got a chance she joined the many emigrants and abandoned her homeland, seeking fortune in America. Of all cities, Maria moved to Gotham City, not exactly the best place to live in, even if it gave more opportunities than most other possible mariakylecomics1destinations, due to the amount of illegal workers there. While struggling to find a place to belong to, Maria met another immigrant, a man from Ireland named Bryan Kyle, who she started to share her everyday fears, dreams and ambitions with. The two grew closer, they fell in love and they eventually got married, managing to find a small apartment to live in in Gotham’s suburbs. This was surely the beginning of a new leaf for Maria…but not exactly the one she had hoped for.

Maria and Bryan lived happy together for a while, then the woman got pregnant, and she gave birth to a daughter, Selina. A couple of years after she had another daughter, Magdalene. Two more mouths to feed required more work, but Bryan was different from the man he used to be: constantly unhappy and depressed, he started drinking a lot, and Maria always fought with him, while Selina did her best to protect her little sister from the quarrels. Still a beautiful woman, Maria found jobs from time to time, but Bryan seemed incapable of keeping one, and soon he even stopped looking for employment, spending all day on his armchair drinking. Eventually, he even started beating his wife, and life for her became even worse and sadder than before. With poverty still an integral part of her life, a husband who didn’t love her and was becoming very dangerous, she tried to protect her daughters the best she could, but Selina had become growingly independent, and Magdalene saw her older sister like a mother more than she did with Maria. Inevitably, Maria started feeling depressed as well, but she mariakylecomics2always hid it: she kept preparing meals for her family, fighting with Bryan, taking his beatings, looking for the jobs her husband refused to look for, trying to provide to her daughters…until she had enough, and couldn’t bear it anymore. One day, she simply decided to end it, and she committed suicide, abandoning Selene and Magdalene to their drunk and abusive father. Finally, she had found the freedom she’d been looking for for so long, in the only way that was still possible to her.

Maria Kyle is a woman who’s been driven by hope for something better all her life: a better country, a better home, a better family, a better life. A tragic series of bad choices led her to have even less than what she started with, and she’s now a depressed woman, constantly sad, seldomly furious (mostly with herself and/or her husband), far from the one she always wanted and dreamt to be.

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