Comic books are filled with dads of all shapes and sizes. While they might not be known for teaching their children how to throw a baseball or helping them with their homework, some of comics' greatest characters are proud and doting fathers. In honor of Father's Day, ComicBook.com honors the best dads who have inspired, motivated, and led through example.
Superman’s extraordinary powers might come from the unique mix of Kryptonian genetics and exposure to Earth’s yellow sun, but it was Jonathan Kent and his wife Martha who made him into the world’s greatest superhero. Jonathan and Martha raised a young Clark Kent with a strong sense of morals and convinced their adopted son to use his developing powers to better mankind. He also came up with the mild-mannered persona that Clark used to keep friends from discovering his heroic alter-ego. Superman considered Jonathan’s death to be a defining tragedy in his life (even more so than Krypton’s destruction) and he used his father’s passing as a constant reminder he couldn’t save everyone.
Rick Grimes might be authoritarian and borderline psychotic, but no one can question his devotion to his son. Most of Grimes’ extreme actions in The Walking Dead are attributed to his desire to protect his son Carl from the zombies and other psychopaths who populate the world. At one point in the comics, Rick unhesitantly kills a group of survivors trying to rape Carl and even rips one of their throats out with his teeth in desperation. Despite Rick’s violent worldview, he encourages his son not to adopt his brutal outlook on life. But, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and Carl has slowly turned into an even more extreme version of his father.
The Big Bad Wolf of fairy tales, Bigby Wolf is a main character of Fables and the loving father to a pack of wolfish children. Due to a law forbidding Bigby to live in the Farm, Bigby couldn’t see his children for several years. He reunited with his children after conducting a secret and dangerous mission into the heart of enemy territory and immediately bonded with them and taught them the ways of the wolf. Bigby even reconciled with his father the North Wind so they could have a relationship with their grandfather.
Although he’s technically Spider-Man's uncle, Ben Parker was just as influential to Spider-Man's growth as any father. Not only did Ben take Peter into his home after his brother's death, but he took an active role in Peter’s life through science. Ben’s death not only inspired Spider-Man to become a hero, his final words to Peter “With great power comes great responsibility” would become an oft-repeated mantra that has made its way into greater pop culture.
One of the strongest superheroes in the Marvel Universe, Luke is also a model father to his daughter Danielle. Luke became a working parent as he juggled his responsibility leading several iterations of the Avengers with raising his daughter and protecting her from the perils of superhero life. Luke and his wife Jessica eventually moved into Avengers Mansion and hired Squirrel Girl to be their daughter’s nanny. While Luke quit the Avengers several times to spend more time with his family, he always returned at his wife’s urging.
Who do you think are the best dads in comics? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!