Being a superhero dad is a tough job. You’re getting pursued by criminal masterminds, and then you have to juggle the familial responsibilities of your young ones. So here is a collection of some of the worst and best superhero dads in the Marvel and DC universes.
Reed Richards – Best
A genius polymath who excels in engineering, math, and physics, Reed is one of the founding members of the Fantastic Four. Eventually marrying and having a child with Susan Storm, Richards is a core part of the Fantastic Four.
Eventually retiring from the group to focus more on his family, Reed has had a rocky relationship with his wife, who eventually left him and the Fantastic Four due to Reed’s single-mindedness in regard to science.
Reed’s son, Franklin, also gained powers due to his mother and father’s exposure to cosmic radiation. These powers were too powerful for the young Franklin, who often found himself unleashing his reality-bending powers, thought to be dangerous by Reed.
Eventually, Reed was forced to shut down Franklin’s mind due to the breadth of his powers, but Franklin himself used almost all of his powers when restoring the Multiverse, and finally was completely sapped of his powers after the battle with Cormorant.
Luke Cage – Best
Luke is an easy entry on this list, as his dangerous career has seen him take a backseat to it all since the birth of his daughter.
While being part of the Thunderbolts and various iterations of the Avengers, his eventual imprisonment on the Utopia island leads him to give up his superhero duties to concentrate on looking after his family.
He still suits up in times of dire need, but generally is content to leave the dangerous days of fighting supervillains behind.
Ant-Man – Best
Scott Lang’s troubled history as a thief is often traced back to one reason: to provide for his daughter Cassandra Lang.
Being berated for his lack of payment of child support, Lang again turns to crime which actually results in him getting his hands on the Ant-Man suit, part of Hank Pym’s plan all along.
In the meantime, in desperation to stay away from crime and to get money for his daughter, he takes a job at Baskin-Robbins, despite having a Masters in Electrical Engineering.
Tony Stark – Best
Having had an abusive and neglectful father himself, Tony is determined to not be the same man his father was.
Having mentors and himself becoming a mentor of sorts to Peter Parker, these relationships underscore how important family is, with Peter’s demise at the hands of Thanos’ infinity gauntlet dissolving him before Tony’s eyes.
Tony uses this sense of loss to double down on the care of his own daughter, ensuring her safety and security at all costs.
T’Chaka – Best
The monarch of Wakanda and a former Black Panther, T’Chaka raised his son T’Challa to not only succeed as a monarch in his place but also be the type of leader that Wakanda needs.
Eventually being killed in an attack by Helmut Zemo, this wasn’t enough to stop T’Chaka as he continued to support T’Challa via the Ancestral Plane. Their strong bond is heartbreakingly shown as T’Chaka’s corpse is cradled by T’Challa.
T’Challa’s respect for his father both as a person and a leader is shown throughout the portrayal of Wakanda’s late monarch, and his expert diplomacy and acute political senses have seen him widely respected throughout the world.
Odin – Worst
Despite being the former king of Asgard and all-powerful, Odin’s choices regarding Thor and his adopted son Loki leave a lot to be desired.
His favoring of Thor has led to intense sibling rivalry between Thor and Loki. Attempts to cool this rivalry haven’t always been handled that well, and Odin does seem to take issue with Thor’s interest in Midgard (Earth), punishing him several times for this.
Loki has also been at the heart of many conflicts and battles, but after asking for forgiveness from Odin he normally gets accepted back.
The Red Skull – Worst
Easily one of the worst dads out there, The Red Skull didn’t even want his child because it turned out to be a girl. He even cursed her mother for this act, despite the mother dying in childbirth.
To make matters worse, he spat on the dead corpse while grabbing his daughter. While originally considering infanticide, he instead settled on the course of raising his daughter to be as evil as he is, even using artificial means to accelerate her growth.
Deathstroke the Terminator – Worst
Deathstroke didn’t stop at just ruining one child but caused major damage to both of his sons and his daughter.
The eldest son, Grant, was bullied and mentally broken by his father’s training, eventually escaping the situation only to fall into the hands of H.I.V.E. This led to him becoming genetically enhanced, only for these enhancements to cause him to die.
His other son, Joseph, was captured by a terrorist and had his throat cut, rendering him mute due to Deathstroke not being quick enough to save him.
He also had a daughter from a hookup with a prostitute, Rose, and Deathstroke ended up killing the mother as well. Not content with himself, Deathstroke then put a hit out on Rose, ostensibly to get closer to her.
Green Goblin – Worst
Like father, like son, the Green Goblin was initially Norman Osborn, who became Spider-Man’s archenemy. The abuse by Norman eventually also led his son, Harry, into also taking on the persona as well.
Driven to take on the Green Goblin persona due to exposure to a chemical that made him insane, Norman lost his mind and became one of the most unhinged enemies of Spider-Man.
He lived a double life, and his increasingly erratic ways alienated his son. This had been a long time coming, as the tragic death of Norman’s wife caused him to belittle Harry and act very cold towards him throughout his life.
Wolverine – Worst
Wolverine had many children over the years, from relationships with several different women. Losing track of these children, he continued to live his wild life which often involved killing people who got in his way.
This trail of destruction eventuated in the creation of the Red Right Hand, a criminal organization determined to get revenge against Wolverine, composed entirely of members who have a vendetta against him.
Eventually, a member of the Red Right Hand, Daken, dreamt up the ultimate revenge of having Wolverine kill his own children by recruiting and training them to be members of the Red Right Hand, this sub-group being known as the Mongrels.
As the Mongrels attacked Wolverine and he slew each of them, the final act of the Red Right Hand was to reveal the true identity of the Mongrels, causing Wolverine to forever grieve his misdeeds.