Big Bad (Comic) Daddies1 of 12With a Deathstroke film reportedly in the works, and the impending debut of Runaways on Hulu - not to mention the possibility that Mr. Oz really is Jor-El - the bad parents of comic books are everywhere in media.
Today we're focusing on the bad dads of comic books - whether they're the kind of fathers who sold their kids to the devil (or the devil himself), or the kind of dad whose idea of "Take Your Kids to Work Day" is drafting them into villainy, you can't say they're going to win any parenting awards any time soon.
Spider-Man2 of 12
Okay. So he's doing great in Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, but what about the mainstream Marvel Universe?
Okay ... we suppose that he was duped into thinking that his daughter died. But Spidey knows that baby-snatching and horrible trickery go hand-in-hand with super-heroics. Did he ever dig deeper, call in Reed Richards (not really a great dad either by any stretch...) or Dr. Strange to check things out? No.
Then again, the implication is that "One More Day," when he traded his marriage to Mary Jane and the life of his child to Mephisto to save Aunt May, actually did make him and MJ forget this bit of their past completely. So we guess Peter's not exactly a bad father. He just loves his rickety old aunt more than his marriage and the memory - or even possible ongoing existence - of his own daughter.
Trigon3 of 12
Extra-dimensional demon lords rarely make ideal fathers. Just ask Raven.
Trigon appeared via a ritual and seduced Raven's mother. Only later did his violent (and let's face it, ugly) true face show.
Fond of siccing his giant doggie on his subjects or coldly killing a child just to teach his own daughter a lesson, Trigon's a textbook example of how not to be a parent.
He didn't any father-of-the-year awards in the "New 52," either, still up to his old tricks. Raven may have somewhat escaped his grasp for now, but he could rear his head in "Rebirth" at any moment.
Norman Osborn4 of 12
The inherent disgust factor of the Gwen Stacy revelation aside (If you missed it, Norman seduced Gwen in Europe, impregnated her, and she had his twins. We're sorry to be the ones to tell you), Norman Osborn in any incarnation has never been Dad of the Year. He regularly belittled his son Harry and inflicted severe emotional damage on him; this character trait is so pervasive that it appears in every media incarnation of the character.
Norman's treatment was also a factor that pushed Harry toward drug abuse.
After his alleged death in Amazing Spider-Man #122, Osborn slunk away to Europe to manipulate events from afar. Of course, that more or less abandoned Harry to eventual death.
Good work, Dad!
The Pride5 of 12
Technically including moms and dads, when the kids in the Runaways used to get together for a play date, their parents would go off to the basement for a charity fundraiser.
Or at least the kids thought.
They eventually discovered the 'rents were actually downstairs committing murder, sacrificing the blood of young women to giant god-like beings.
Even though the members of the Pride were apparently killed later, one of the dads, Geoffrey Wilder, came back and killed a member of the Runaways in a last-ditch evil effort at immortality.
No wonder they ran away.
Darkseid6 of 12
Darkseid could almost be forgiven for sending his son Orion to New Genesis in exchange for Scott Free; after all, it was a trade that bought a temporary truce and led to the birth of two heroes.
Still, much of Darkseid's energy has been directed toward defeating the prophecy that declared that Orion would overthrow him.
If his dogged antagonism of Orion weren't enough, Darkseid's downright hateful to his other son, Kalibak. He's been known to smack Kalibak about or even blast him with his Omega beams.
Doesn't quite strike us as an easy guy to ask for the car - but he may be getting a taste of his own medicine having been reborn as an infant in "Darkseid War."
Roy Harper7 of 12
The sidekick of Green Arrow, Roy Harper was destined to be downright crappy with relationships. The former drug addict really raised the bar, though, when he had a baby girl with the poison-master villain Cheshire.
Jade Nguyen then thought, "Hey, I'm a supervillain, my daughter would be better off with her hero father and all his hero friends around," and gave Roy custody of Lian.
First, Vandal Savage learned that Roy (and thus Lian) are descendants of his (something we bet won't ever carry over into "Rebirth"), and tried to use their organs to continue his immortal existence. That one, Roy stopped.
But when Prometheus came a-calling to the Justice League, tore off Roy's arm, and destroyed several cities, Lian was crushed in the collapse of their house.
Lian's entire existence was erased in the "New 52." She later appeared in Convergence, though her status in "Rebirth" is unknown.
Magneto8 of 12
Magneto has somehow transcended the level of a simple deadbeat dad to being a deadbeat dad to kids he didn’t even actually father (along with at least one that he did).
Though the nature of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s parentage has gone back and forth a few times (with the last shift establishing that, no, they aren’t his kids), Magneto believed for years that they were his children and still let Pietro manipulate Wanda into wiping out a good chunk of the mutant population – not to mention completely decimating the Avengers.
And of course there’s Polaris. She’s (relatively) well-adjusted compared to Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, but she’s got the opposite problem – Magneto completely denied being her father for years!
Omni-Man9 of 12
It doesn't get much worse than discovering that everything you thought you knew about your dad was an act he was putting on while secretly scheming to enslave the Earth. And a superhero like Omni-Man doesn't go much more evil than when he leaves the world's greatest superheroes that trusted him in a bloody heap in their headquarters.
But Invincible's dad Omni-Man took it a step further by beating his son to within an inch of his life, then abandoning him and his mother.
While he's made later attempts at redemption, from the looks of this month's Invincible #141 it doesn't appear Omni-Man ever will.
Bruce Wayne10 of 12
Like it or not, Bruce Wayne, Batman, is not someone who should be looked up to as a father.
His first surrogate son, Dick Grayson, seemed to be the only one to make it out unscathed, living a relatively good life as Nightwing. That is, until he was exposed by the Crime Syndicate, and beaten, tortured, and eventually even killed for a bit, before being revived and forced by Batman to let everyone he knows and loves believe he’s still dead (he got better for "Rebirth" - but still).
Surrogate son #2, Jason Todd, was beaten to death by The Joker. Surrogate daughter #1, Barbara Gordon, was shot through the spine by... The Joker.
Bruce's next surrogate daughter, Stephanie Brown (who has a bad dad of her own already), was very nearly killed by Black Mask all in an attempt to impress Batman. Tim Drake was full on adopted by Bruce (yay!)... after both his parents were killed, partially because of his association with Batman (boo!)
And then there's Damian Al'Ghul-Wayne. The son of Bruce and Talia, not only did Bruce not bother to see if his copulation during training years produce progeny, he then by default allowed his son to be raised by assassins. And in the "New 52," joining his father’s side as Robin, while the noble thing to do, also proved to be pretty rotten - yup, he died, too (stabbed through the chest by a crazed over-grown artificially accelerated clone of himself, naturally). Damian got better too, but how many Robins have to die before he stops taking the chance?
We love Batman as much as the next fan, but if Bruce Wayne offers to take you on as ward – or sidekick – trust us: SAY NO!
Deathstroke11 of 12
Quick count: screwed up and got Joe's throat slit. Saw Grant assume his HIVE contract on the Titans and die. Stabbed and killed Joe as an attempt to do something right. Savagely manipulated Rose up to the point where she gouged out her own eye. And that's just in the old universe.
Yeah, Deathstroke's a winner all right. And that's all without counting rampant other despicable acts, like nuking a country and having sex with underage Terra. For his callous use of his children and the significant wreckage that each of their lives became, Deathstroke wins hands-down as the Worst Dad.
Is he still a bad dad in "Rebirth?" Kinda, though he's also turned over a new leaf as more of an anti-hero - for now.
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