Posted June 22, 2015 by GP Manalo in Columns


In seven decades worth of comic book storytelling fathers have always played a major role in the lives of the famous superheroes we know today. This father’s day as much as we want to recount the best fathers of different comic book companies through a top ten list we’d like to instead recount the best moments that would make great lessons about fatherhood. Although they may not be like our father physically (by this I mean having super powers or being in settings like a zombie apocalypse) their best moments in these comic books mirrors how are real fathers are like and how they could inspire future fathers as well.


Acceptance Means the World to Them


When Barbara came to the world, did you really think Jim Gordon would think otherwise about her fighting crime in Gotham with all the psychopathic maniacs running around? or even when Scott Lang’s daughter joining a team to fight the same threats the likes of the Avengers are fighting right now? I’m sure they didn’t. Accepting and letting them do what they really wanted to do is the best thing they could ever do for their children. It’s gonna be a tough call to support your kids do what they do, in fact much like Gordon and Lang it took them a lot of strength and patience even when it means getting to watch their kids go through the worst situations (Gordon knows a thing or two about that). At the end of the day, it is rewarding to see your kids follow their own path, be happy, and succeed as they do.


You Help Shape Your Children


What makes being a parent purposeful in comic books is that even though you are raising this gifted human being you still have the best ability of them all and it is teaching your children to fight for what is right. Superman is a man who towers with many morals; Spider-Man does his best to see the good in the bad; Daredevil fights for justice with non-violent intentions. Where do all of these come from? They could be coming from a small town farmer, an underground boxing legend, or even just the average joe. Regardless of any comic or continuity you read the three examples (Pa Kent, Battlin’ Jack Murdock, and Uncle Ben) are still the best fathers anyone could have, even when one of them aren’t biologically their fathers at all (which we’ll get into later). All of them were taught to do the right thing, to be a better man than they always were, to never let your emotions get the better of them, and to protect the people who can’t defend themselves physically and emotionally. Of course, they had one common denominator here and it is that they were only in the lives of the superheroes for a short amount of time (though pa Kent is not dead in some continuity). But even in that short amount of time together they were still able to shape a great amount of righteousness and their morals would exemplify them as individuals among the city they swore to protect and would always echo from within them when times are difficult them even in their absence.


Your Family Are Lives Worth Saving…


Superheroes are well-dedicated to protecting the world from the everyday threat (to some characters they’re more universe-wide when it comes to safeguarding). Truly, it was never easy to balance a life between work and family. It’s even more difficult when the father is trying his best to be the world’s greatest superhero and the world’s greatest dad at the same time. There would be times where our own fathers would occasionally be emotionally neglectful of their family or pretty much the world outside them or a list of other things where they would shut themselves out, people like Buddy Baker (Animal Man) or Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) have been those through difficult times in their fatherhood.

The two of them do the best they could, despite their adventures would have them deal with other-worldly murderous threats. But when it all comes down to it, they would strive to be there when the family needed them most whether it would mean putting them in the forefront of your heroic adventures or simply sitting down with them to have intelligent conversations and further developing your children’s thinking of the world. Not only do you end up involving yourself in the lives of your children but you are also being involved in the lives of theirs.


To Them You Are Their Hero


You don’t have the best reputation in the world? Don’t worry because your family will be there for you to make you think that life doesn’t seem so bad after all. There are a lot of dads in comics who would go above and beyond to save the ones they love, they would make deals with specters (or even the devil for that matter), steal, lie, warp time and space, or even kill a lot of people and even their own friends when they feel that they threaten their family. Over the years, superheroes makes a lot of enemies, the more dangerous they are the more these superheroes would want to protect their family from them. If originally their main purpose in life is to save the world, those having a family gave them a new purpose. Nathan Summers (Cable) Scott Lang (Ant-Man II) Wally West (The Flash III) and Rick Grimes were those people who had been through their fair share of trials and tribulations when it comes to protecting the ones they love most.

Rick Grimes is no superhero but he seems to be the best example when it comes to making a lot of sacrifices as he and his son are pitted in a world that is ravaged by Zombies along with their newfound family of survivor –and if you’ve been a long time reader you’d understand the sh*t he gone through as he makes a lot of tough calls. Even though many sees him as a ruthless killing machine, Carl sees him as simply a man doing his job for his newfound family and even himself. The same can be said for Nathan Summers (Cable) only he protects the mutant messiah, Hope in a not-to-distant future where humanity and mutant living are all but destroyed. Scott Lang stole Pym’s Ant-Man suit to save his ill daughter from a heart condition with the help of Doctor Sondheim. And even when he was a criminal he did the best he could to save his daughter who to him is a life worth saving. If anyone else had it worse in their comic books it’s also Wally West as well; when the reveal of his identity led to the death of his wife and his children, a warp in time gave him a chance to bring them back and make things seem right again. By that he made sure that he doesn’t miss a millisecond to spend all the time he has with his family and he does make out to be the best father for them throughout the years.

Father Figures can be the Best kind of Fathers too…


“I had a father, and his name was Ben Parker”, I know I’m cheating here for using a movie quote when our basis is from Comic Book roots but when Maguire’s Peter Parker said that line as his final blow to Green Goblin I found myself nodding in agreement as I reflect on other superheroes who had father figures to be a big part of their lives. Uncle Ben and Alfred Pennyworth, were the ones whose names you’d think of when we talk about the best kind of father figures in comic books. The thing about having a human father is that he acts as your beacon of rationality or better yet their source of sanity as most fathers would be for their children. Ben and Alfred would be the first to patch them their emotional and to Alfred, physical wounds. Like what I said previously, they have the power to lead their children to be the best examples to them and their children would become a reflection of them, advice on beating the next bad guy, and be the person of all. We’ve seen Bruce Wayne be a father figure to Dick, Cassie, Barbara, and Jason (Even his first biological son, Damian had a good run) and they would become the greatest superheroes of their time. It goes to show that blood doesn’t totally define your fatherhood towards the best thing that could ever happen to you.


At the end of the day we would like to greet every superhero-dad out there a Happy Father’s Day! And we hope you’d celebrate well with your father and if you’re distance from him do give him a call. If There are more comic book fathers out there that we may not have mentioned but if we missed some of the best moments do comment below!

GP Manalo

G.P. Manalo is a student by day, and a resident tortured writer by night. Writing to keep him sane from all the Business School papers and presentations piling up each week.