A lot of stories in comics revolve around the parents. Whether part of a superhero origin story or not, oftentimes the parents impact the narrative in some fundamental, crucial way that inevitably shapes who the characters are, for good or for bad.
There’s a definite tendency to kill off moms, dads, and other parental figures as a catalyst for the central figures’ motivations; even the non-biological ones seem doomed to unspoken death sentence. Comic book fans would wind up in the hospital if they ever decided to craft a drinking game around the “passing parent” trope – especially now that the stories have started spilling over into movies… and their inevitable reboots.
Luckily, another trend provides some delicious balance to the use of deadly force.
Folks… there are a lot of hot dads in comics.
Happy Father’s Day to us!
1.) Jonathan “Pa” Kent
Salt-of-the-earth Pa Kent has always served as a shining beacon of fatherly hope, wanting to find the good in everyone and possessing a clear understanding of right and wrong… which he naturally he passes onto Clark in his youth. Along with Ma Kent, Jonathan is the strong moral compass in the boy’s life, shaping him into the kind of superhero who stands up for justice while shirking the glory. From the love and support of two kindly Kansans unafraid and not intimidated by a little boy with overwhelming powers grew an icon who doesn’t waste or abuse his gifts
Like a lot of parents in comics, Jonathan’s experienced a few deaths in different continuities. In most cases, though, Clark always ended up equipped with enough of a solid upbringing to stay grounded.
Also, if you don’t know why Jonathan Kent is on this hot list, you’ve clearly never seen Smallville.
2.) Bigby Wolf
For the people who might like their men a little bigger and hairier, of course. Bigby Wolf is the husband of Snow White and proud father of seven rowdy cub/human hybrids who inherited powers and abilities from his mystical heritage. A true papa wolf down to the bone, he’d do anything for his kids: protect them from anything, eat anyone who threatens them, and – when separated – do everything necessary to get them back. When it comes to family, there’s no one more loyal than this wolfman, even when he comes off as rough around the edges. Becoming a dad doesn’t just tame him, it changes him for the better. His issues with his own father never interfere with how he raises his rambunctious children; he’s both a great protector and a supportive husband to Snow.
The whole noir-tinged master detective career certainly helps, too.
3.) Luke Cage
Probably the best gosh dang superhero dad in all of comics! The godbodded father to Danielle Cage and husband to Jessica Jones, Luke Cage stands out as an incredibly positive father figure. He always puts his family first, and also sets a good example for his daughter by refusing to compromise his morals. During the Superhuman Registration Act, he suffered separation from Danielle and Jessica when he sent them into hiding to avoid registration while he stayed behind to fight alongside Captain America in protest. He also lead a team of New Avengers following Cap’s death. In many ways, having a family inspires Cage to be even more of a hero and an inspiration than he was before.
4.) Apollo & Midnighter
I’m combining these two into one because Apollo and Midnighter are my FAVOURITE dads… not to mention the hottest superhero couple ever. They fight on a team called the Authority, and Apollo carries Midnighter around in the air like a princess, which is the second best thing ever. The actual best thing is that, at the end of The Authority, they’re married and raising a baby. A huge splash page at the end shows the pair sharing their first kiss as a married couple, Midnighter’s normal pitch black duds replaced with wedding white, after saving infant (and future adopted daughter) Jenny Quantum. I love them as a couple, I love them as dads, and I will forever be sad that their weird little superhero family doesn’t exist anymore.
Marko from Saga is a man tired of fighting, a soldier making the conscious and moral choice to abandon the war he was a part of and swear off violence for good as he goes on the run with Alana, the wife he met from the other side. The couple fall into irresponsibility long enough for her to get accidentally pregnant while on the run; in some ways it’s pretty clear that they’re both maybe too damaged and immature to be parents, but they make the best of the situation. When it comes to protecting his family, Marko will do anything for his family, even if it means going back on his oath to swear off violence completely, and he loves his daughter Hazel more than life itself.
6.) Bruce Wayne
Not exactly a shining example of fatherhood, but Bruce Wayne is still the crucial other half of the Bat family co-parenting team (Alfred serving as mother hen, of course). After his orphaning, he endearingly sought to surround himself with other troubled kids and act as their surrogate father in return. Sure, one should question his life choices in bringing children into a dangerous vigilante lifestyle; that’s some severe judgment impairment. However, he does impart valuable survival skills and strong moral values that most of them listen take to heart, and as a result he’s raised a legacy of pretty amazing heroes.
When it came to his biological son Damian, Bruce has worked tirelessly to keep him safe and deprogram his intensive assassin training, while also trusting him completely as his new Robin. He also forced Dick to fake his own death and become a secret agent, but it was out of love. The tactics and approach to fatherhood he deploys might not be the most conventional, but you can’t say Bruce doesn’t care. He just doesn’t go about it in a very normal way.
Also, those abs.
Okay, so he’s an extremist. Repeatedly using his children to further his own insane, political agendas? Also not great. Not even good.
Then again, Magneto never had much contact with his kids until they were older, so it can also be argued that they might have turned out even worse if he had actually been responsible for their upbringing. So is it really his fault that his children turned out to be such troublemakers?
Probably. Yes. Undeniably.
When he finally circles around to doing some fathering of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Polaris, he doesn’t exactly excel at it. He’s kind of the worst.
He’s also the only dad that can make controversial conviction kind of hot. I dig the helmet look.
8.) Thomas Wayne
Thomas Wayne’s most notable role in young Bruce’s life involves him getting gunned down in an alleyway – and in multiple universes, throughout multiple media. His role in Flashpoint is definitely a major exception. In this timeline, Martha and Bruce died during the robbery instead, and Thomas became Batman out of anger and and a yearning for vengeance. When faced with the choice to give up his entire existence if it meant saving his son in another reality, he didn’t even hesitate when Barry asked. He just said, “do it.” Father of the Year right there, and the ultimate selfless gesture just makes him more drool-worthy. Plus, who can resist a Wayne in Kevlar, glowing red angry eyes, and a bat mask?
Hotness clearly runs in the family.
Not the greatest dad by any means, at least not to his own children, though he does alright with all the other mutant kids running around when he’s playing teacher. Why was he such a bad father to his own children? Well, mainly because he killed most of them.
They might be because he technically didn’t know he had at the time of said murders, but still. Major dad foul. He’s not exactly the warmest guy on the planet, or someone you could ever picture actually being a father to anyone, but he’s a fierce protector and goes to extreme lengths to keep Professor X’s students safe. Logan basically wound up the godfather that got stuck with the kids after Charles left (or died), completely unprepared but trying hard to do right by those in his care.
When he’s not accidentally killing his own children he’s… well, his own children are sometimes trying to not-so-accidentally kill him. The hot genes must run in the family, though, because the only Howlett hotter than Logan is his ragingly psychotic and bloodthirsty son Daken. They make violence look good.
10.) Jim Gordon
The Commissioner is looking a whole lot younger and a whole lot foxier these days. Granted, he was never a stellar husband, but when it came to being a father to Barbara, he almost always hit the mark. Their father-daughter relationship was always one of my favourite things in the DC universe, and he eventually came around to supporting her role as Batgirl. He’s also one of the most incorruptible characters in comics, an honest cop who just wants to keep the city of Gotham and the people he loves safe. He even worked as Batman for a while!
Not to mention that incredibly dapper mustache (usually) and luscious ginger hair, which he recently fashioned into a smoldering mohawk. And hey, if you love a man in uniform, you can’t do much better than Jim Gordon. Or Jim Gordon as Batman.