Poll Position: Fatherhood

Not all fathers are super, but not all supers are good fathers. I'm not sure what brought it up this week, but I got to thinking about what makes a good father, and what makes a good super-hero, and whether there was much overlap between the two. The fact is, we don't have a lot of examples of comic book characters who are also parents, the notable exception being Reed and Sue Richards and their son Franklin. So here's our question of the week:


I included some villains in there too because hey, some people want to inherit the Evil Empire, you know? And I added a caveat that you won't inherit their powers because otherwise the question becomes basically "Whose powers do you want", which I've done before. I wanted to instead get you thinking about the qualities of fathers and supers and where the intermix.

From a purely mercenary perspective, of course, there are some people who would answer based on financial considerations -- why get Peter Parker's kitty full of nothin' when you could be the King of Latvia, after all? But then, you have to consider what Victor Von Doom would be like as a day-to-day dad.

I look forward to hearing what you all think about the choices, and why you choose what you do.

23 Responses to Poll Position: Fatherhood

  1. Andemas says:

    I have noticed a severe lack of DC characters on the polls and was wondering: “What gives?”

  2. Jeff Hebert says:

    I dunno, 3/10 on this list, 4/10 on another, 3/6 on yet another isn’t what I would call “severe”. Marvel definitely has more in general on these answers, I would agree, but I don’t think it’s out of line. Naturally, your mileage may vary.

    Bottom line, I think Marvel has more interesting characters than DC. They definitely have more interesting villains. DC’s pantheon is much more “primary colors”, very pure super-hero stuff, bright and shining and Metropolis. Marvel is in general grittier, more realistic (if you can even say that about characters in spandex), and features more nuanced, fully-realized characters-as-human-beings (or mutant beings).

    Not everyone will agree with those characterizations, of course, but when I’m putting these polls together, more Marvel characters than DC end up making me think. Which is really what I’m going for, I want you to put yourself in a situation and think how you would react. Sometimes the purer fantasy of a DC world is more appropriate, but for me, more aspects of the Marvel universe fit the bill for the kinds of questions I’m asking.

  3. Xstacy says:

    I went with Batman, because even though it would probably involve wearing spandex and long hours of training, Batman spends quality time with his young’uns.

  4. DJ says:

    Iron Man. Hes rich and a good guy. Win/Win

  5. AnOddName says:

    Agreed, Iron man is rich and awesome. He could build you all kinds of neat stuff

  6. HeroComplex says:

    Wolverine – Martial arts and atletics lessons, cool crowd, and you get to say: “yeah! I’m Wolverine’s son, Bub”

  7. collex says:

    I really don’t know. At first I tought Iron Man but then I realized he was alcoholic. Not really a dream childhood. Wolverine would have been extremely harsh. Captain America. Well, if he had me before being frozen, that would mean I would be older than him in the 60s right? Weird

    Peter Parker would probably be the nicest guy. He know what it means And I’m a little bit like him myself. So yes, I’m Spider-man son. And that means my mother’s fricking hot. Oedipus’ complex all the way, man!

    But generally, having a super-hero dad would be a lot stress. What happens when he don’t come back from his night patrol? No to mention that we all (especially man) try to live up to our father expectation. What happen when you’re father is, unlike you, blessed with godlike power? Somehow, I think Jesus felt that way…

  8. collex says:

    second paragraph, 2nd sentence, I wanted to say: It knows what it means to have a harsh live and he would be good at teaching responsabilty.

  9. DJ says:

    I agree Spiderman would probably be the best but still I like Iron Man. He is an alcoholic but he is trying to change. That and I would have the best computer on the block.

  10. Whit says:

    I went with Batman because, though he’s not been a natural father, he has raised up some young men who came out fairly well.

  11. Jeff Hebert says:

    Good points on Batman, I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it. He has indeed done a fine job with the boys in his care.

  12. DJ says:

    I wouldnt want Batman though. While yes he has raised good kids they always are in danger and some have died.

  13. frankie says:

    I’d pick Superman. Sure, he’s probably the busiest one there is, but he is also one of the most loving and caring. And he recently adopted a Kryptonian boy, I could have my little brother beat people up for me.

  14. Hephaestian says:

    Thor. Because Thor’s kids survive Ragnarok.

    I thought about Spidey, but I’d always have the haunting fear he’d make a deal with the devil that would take me right out of his life in exchange for a few more years with his 120 year old aunt.

  15. Darkplanet01 says:

    Uh… since Batman doesn’t have any powers anyway, and is quite a nice guy, I’d go with him. Assuming I didn’t inherit any of his cool gadgets or anything either, I’d still probably go with him.

  16. collex says:

    You’re right about Spider-man, Hephaestian, there is always a possibility. Jeff, the next poll could be about super-hero mother? I think it would be cool and not redundent because you usually don’t look for the same qualities ina a mother than in a father.

    In addition, I tought about that a I think that Cyclop, while not in the poll, would be a great dad. After all, he has experience with teaching youg people.

  17. Jeff Hebert says:

    I bet Cyclops would be a pretty good choice. My worry with him is that Scott’s a little too much of a hard-ass sometimes, I bet he’d be kind of overbearing, putting a ton of pressure on you. He’d have been a good poll addition, though.

    Funny point on the deal with the devil, Hephaestian!

  18. haz says:

    I went with Lex Luthor, and I see he’s not getting any love here, so maybe I missed something in the comics (It could happen. I’m a Marvelite and DC’s retcon screws with my ADD brain).

    Most of the good guys here would aggravate me a little with the whole taking the weight of the world on their shoulders thing, and I’d probably aggravate them by not adhering to their various codes of honor. Wolverine would be all right, but I hate to think of a parent outliving me.

    Luthor would make a great dad, at least for me, because I’m quite the underachiever at times and he’d push any offspring to be the absolute best he can be–like the army, but with a very intense focus, better accommodations, and a distinct lack of being shot at. I’m also going by the assumption that, ruthless as he is, he’d wipe out a small nation to protect his kid. Makes you feel loved, you know?

  19. Jeff Hebert says:

    Good points, Haz! I get the impression that the modern comics Luthor isn’t so much evil as amoral, but I could be off on that. It’s hard to keep up with all the retconning. Certainly a defensible choice, I’d say.

  20. collex says:

    My fear with Wolverine has a father is that Wolverine, in the comics at least, is too impulsive and could get violent pretty quickly if you anger him. Wuch will happen, one day or another. And why I don,t mind a little spanking once or twice in your life, when you Dad got Adamantium Claws, it’s another story!

  21. DJ says:

    Wow…If I could change my answer I would. I like Lex now…

  22. PhoenixTalion says:

    Iron Man. He’s SO the type who would get wrapped around his daughter’s finger. >.>

  23. Ally says:

    Magneto would be a terible father if you didnt have any powers I mean hes a human hating wacko hed probably do crazy expriments on you do make you have superpowers or through you into a river lol.