The Best and Worst Fathers In Comics

jorel_1150756674With it being Father’s Day, it gives us a time to reflect on our relationships with our fathers, our grandfathers and our own children. It also gives us the chance to look back at the varied father child relationships we have enjoyed in our favorite comics over the years. Here’s some of our favorites.

Best Job Saving His Son From Certain Doom – Jor-El (Superman)

The planet Krypton was about to be destroyed and one scientist saved his only infant son by sending him in a rocket to a safe place. That infant turned out to be Superman who was adopted and raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent. But if not for the quick thinking of Jor-El, the scientist who chose to save his son before his own life, the Man of Steel may never have been. Some might argue that since Jor-El knew his world was coming to an end, he probably should have built a ship big enough to save his entire family. But hindsight is usually 20/20 and it probably seemed like a good idea to focus on just saving his child at the time.

Did a Pretty Good Job Raising an Alien – Jonathan Kent (Superman)

Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha dealt with two of the scariest things a person could encounter at the same time. First, they had an alien spaceship fall out of the sky in to their own backyard. After discovering the alien inside wasn’t some grotesque creature that would eat them and destroy their world, they became the adopted parents of the child and raised him like their own. Not many adopted fathers have such a good relationship with their son, especially when that son comes from an entirely different planet. But Jonathan Kent must have done something right since his son turned out to be one of the greatest superheroes the world have ever known, saving it time and time again.

MagsleeWorst Influence on His Kids – Magneto (X-Men)

The first time anyone ever sees Magneto’s children they publicly appears as terrorists. Really not the best start for father of the year nominations. With Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch as members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Magneto was still unable to defeat the X-Men. Ultimately, his two children turned on him to become Avengers.

One would go on to go insane, kill members of her own team, then cause the mutant population of the world to drop to under 200 and cause massive riots and deaths across the world. The other would have an incestual obsession with his sister despite finding love from other women in his life. And of course you can’t forget his other daughter Polaris who he kept himself hidden from for most of her youth.

Worst Father Support Group – The Pride (Runaways)

Geoffrey Wilder, Dale Yorkes, Frank Dean, Victor Stein, Gene Hayes and Robert Minoru. A thief, a time traveler, an alien, a mad scientist, a mutant and a dark wizard. All the parents of the original Runaways. All a part of a criminal organization running Los Angeles. Each year, they’d meet while their kids would play together and play their part in helping destroy the world so that all but six people could survive and live in utopia.

And of course, they teach their children the meaning of teamwork and trust as Frank Dean, Gene Hayes and their wives conspire to kill the rest of the Pride to allow just themselves and their daughters to survive the end of the world. Total role model material.

Really Shouldn’t Have Been Allowed to Have Actual Kids – Hank Pym (Avengers)

Some people want to be fathers so bad, they just can’t wait to have kids of their own. Most adopt. Not Hank Pym. Instead, Hank built a robot that would grow to consider Hank its father. That robot would end up growing an Oedipus complex and want his father, along with any other associate of his father dead. That robot was named Ultron. Ring a bell? And then of course Ultron would go on to create Jocosta, a female robot based on the brainwaves of his “Father’s” wife, the Wasp, in effect making his lifemate a robotic version of his mother… creepy. Way to instill great family values Dr. Pym. It could be worse though. At least he never did anything extreme like hit his wife or accidently almost kill his whole team… wait a minute.

spider-man-uncle-benBest Non-Father – Uncle Ben (Spider-Man)

“With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.” No other phrase in comics is as recognizable. And it comes from Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben. Unfortunately Peter would only understand it after Ben’s death at the hands of the robber that Peter could have stopped.

Ben Parker and his wife May began looking after their nephew Peter following the deaths of his brother Richard Parker and his wife Mary Parker, Peter’s parents. Ben quickly took to the surrogate role raising Peter and trying to instill within him all the ideals that would later make Peter in to the Spider-Man we all know and love today.

Best Father to Have in a Crisis – Rick Grimes (Walking Dead)

The world is going to end sometime. It’s bound to happen. But of any of the dads on this list, the one we’d want taking care of us would have to be Rick Grimes, the main character in Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead. When most of the world has fallen to pieces, Rick Grimes searches out his wife and son to rescue them from the mobile corpses that have an unending hunger for their brains (and pretty much everything else edible on them).

Rick teaches his seven year old son Carl self-defense. Not karate. Not tai kwan do. He instead gives his son a gun. Now that’s parenting. He makes sure his son knows that you need to get a head shot to ensure the kill. Rick ends up leading a band of survivors, along with his wife and son, in an effort to survive the plague that has overcome the world.

And to top it off, Rick has been able to keep himself and his son alive with only one hand after his had recently been chopped off. Sure his wife and newborn baby were killed off in an attack from hostile neighbors, but he’s kept Carl alive and batting .500 with your kids is still pretty impressive at the end of the world.

wolverine-dakkenWorst Father / Son Relationship – Wolverine / Daken (X-Men)

When you hear “daddy issues” in comics, no one better represents this than Daken. The long lost son of Wolverine who inherited his father’s killer instinct, razor sharp claws and unfortunate taste in hairstyles has recently come in to the fold and he’s done so in a big way. Not only has he repeatedly come close to offing his near indestructible father who he blames for the death of his mother, he has gone as far as having his wrist claw laced with adamantium so he can finally get the job done.

And of course, instead of settling the grudge when he found out his father wasn’t responsible for his mother’s death, he turned his back on Wolverine and donned one of his father’s old costumes to become Norman Osborn’s Wolverine on the Dark Avengers team. Now, he can be a ruthless killer and have government backing at the same time. And of course, any chance he gets, he is ready to take it to the dad who has failed over and over again at saving him.

Biggest Influence on His Son Becoming a Superhero – Thomas Wayne (Batman)

Probably the most directly influential on his son becoming a superhero would be Bruce Wayne’s father Thomas. A well respected surgeon and heir to the Wayne family fortune, he and his wife were shot and killed by a mugger leaving the theater one night in front of their son.

This murder would lead Bruce to take up the training and invest much of his family’s fortune in to turning himself in to the Batman. As afraid as he was that night, Batman would vow to do everything in his power to stop crimes like that from occurring again to save others from the loss he suffered that night.

While there are tons more dads in comics, some great and some not so great, we couldn’t possibly go through them all here. If we did, what would we have to write about next father’s day? But until then, make sure to do something special for your father. Without them, you wouldn’t be here… unless you were some weird science experiment created by all female scientists.

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