|First appearance||The Forever People #1 (March 1971)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
|In story information|
|Element of stories featuring||New Gods|
Mother Boxes are fictional devices in Jack Kirby's Fourth World setting in the DC Universe.
The Mother Boxes appeared in the feature films Justice League and Zack Snyder's Justice League of the DC Extended Universe.
Created by Apokoliptian scientist Himon using the mysterious Element X, they are generally thought to be sentient, miniaturized, portable supercomputers, although their true nature and origins are unknown. They possess wondrous powers and abilities not understood even by their users, the gods of New Genesis. These range from teleportation (they can summon Boom Tubes) to energy manipulation, and Mother Boxes have even been seen healing the injured, including Darkseid himself, after he was beaten by Doomsday. Metron stated that each Mother Box shares "a mystical rapport with nature". They provide their owner with unconditional love and self-destruct when their owner dies.
Mother Boxes have sacrificed themselves for causes they have believed in and are greatly respected by the people of New Genesis. In physical appearance they are most often in the shape of a small box, but they can also be much larger (as is the one carried by the Forever People), and do not always need to be in the shape of a box at all (Mr. Miracle had Mother Box circuitry woven into the hood of his costume). They usually communicate with a repetitive "ping!" which can be understood by their users.
In a 2008 article, John Hodgman observed: "Mister Miracle, a warrior of Apokolips who flees to Earth to become a 'super escape artist', keeps a 'Mother Box' up his sleeve — a small, living computer that can enable its user to do almost anything, so long as it is sufficiently loved. In Kirby's world, all machines are totems: weapons and strange vehicles fuse technology and magic, and the Mother Box in particular uncannily anticipates the gadget fetishism that infects our lives today. The Bluetooth headset may well be a Kirby creation". Similarly, Mike Cecchini on Den of Geek described the Mother Box as "an alien smartphone that can do anything from heal the injured to teleport you across time and space", and Christian Holub in Entertainment Weekly called it "basically a smartphone, as designed by gods". Motherboxes have also been interpreted as a symbol of the "ideal mother" and an example of the role of motherhood in Jack Kirby's Fourth World stories.
The Father Box is an Apokoliptian version of a Mother Box, which first appeared in the Orion series by Simonson in 2000. Darkseid's former aide Mortalla presents Orion with an Apokoliptian Father Box.
Main article: DC Extended Universe