In honor of Stan Lee’s birthday , I figured I would explore the subject or fatherhood in the comic book universe. For better or worse, fathers have shaped the lives of some of our favorite superheroes (and villains). The following is a list of the best dads, in my opinion.Before I get into it, I'd like to mention that while researching for this article, I had a difficult time finding good dads. Even the characters that I mention below had some sort of terrible tragedy that befell them that directly or indirectly affected the people who loved them. I guess it would be a boring comic if mom and dad were nurturing, caring and lived to be 85.
4. Ben Parker (Spiderman/Marvel)
While not his biological father, Uncle Ben has been a huge influence on Peter Parker’s life. When Peter’s parents died in a plane crash, Ben and his wife Mae stepped up to the plate without another thought and raised Peter as their own son. His untimely murder at the hands of a bank robber had a long lasting effect on Peter’s psyche, ultimately guiding him in his decision to become Spiderman. He realizes that he needs to use his newfound powers to help others over personal gain. Because after all, “with great power comes great responsibility”. As a matter of fact, if you look at earlier issues, you see a Peter Parker that is constantly bullied due to his nerdy disposition. He is actually quoted as saying something along the lines of, "Someday, I'll make them pay". If Peter wasnt given that moral compass by his uncle Ben, who know? Maybe he'd be one of the greatest villians of all time as opposed to heroes.
3. Jim Gordon (Batman/DC)
Okay, this one is a little tricky. As an actual father one could argue that he wasn’t really that great. His son, James Jr. became a psychotic serial killer that he eventually had to bring in. He is completely aware that is adoptive daughter Barbara (actually his niece) is running around in a skin tight outfit, fighting all sorts of sordid characters in Gotham city, yet he chooses to be in denial about it.
To me, what deems him worthy of being on this list is his relationship with Batman. Over the years, their relationship has evolved from one of skepticism, to one of great trust and dependence. There are numerous occasions where Batman has looked to him for advice and Gordon has even saved his life at time or two.
2. Charles Xavier (X-Men/Marvel)
It has been said that the inspiration for Prof Charles Xavier came from Martin Luther King Jr and his struggles during the civil rights era. In that spirit, Prof X has always been portrayed as the fearless leader of a peaceful solution between humans and mutant kind (with the exception of that Onslaught period (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Onslaught_(comics) )). Once he founded the school, Xavier’s School for Gifted Children, it has been a haven for persecuted mutants all over the world. Xavier has been a strong father figure for countless people.
1. Jor-El and Jonathan Kent (Superman/DC)
These guys are my number ones. To me, they both are the epitome of fatherly love and sacrifice.
Jor-El, a brilliant Kryptonian scientist who after realizing that his volatile planet was going to explode, sacrificed his own life to ensure his son Kal- El would survive. Once Kal- El’s ship landed on Earth, he was found and quickly adopted by the Kent family. Through the lifelong teachings of Jon, Kal-El (Clark) developed those small town values and love of Earth and the people in it. This laid the groundwork to what eventually would become the driving force behind Superman's desire to help others.
So what do you guys think? If there is anyone else that I am missing on this list, please feel free to comment below and why. Happy reading and happy 90th, you iconic bastard!
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