Take 10

Take 10: Favorite Fathers

Check out the Secret Cabal’s picks for the dopest dads in the Marvel Universe

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. It's hard to put together a list of the "best" fathers in the Marvel Universe, since so many of the most interesting ones happen to be the ones who have screwed up the most. Nonetheless, patriarchy for better or worse has shaped many of our greatest heroes and most despicable villains. This week, the Secret Cabal reveals their favorite Marvel fathers—and father figures—and detail the paths they led their children down. For each entry you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!
 

10. CORSAIR Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: X-MEN #104 (1977) Children: Cyclops (Alex Summers), Havok (Alex Summers), Vulcan (Gabriel Summers) Why He Makes the List: "Imagine not knowing who your father is and then learning he's a crazy Han Solo-style space pirate with big earrings and a stylin' headband who makes time with a cat-lady—sound like a dream, right? Not so much for Cyclops and Havok, who just wanted a normal dad. Give Corsair credit for trying, as he attempted to make up for lost time with his boys and took them on some great adventures, but ultimately his parental neglect came back to bite him when his third son, Vulcan, burnt him to a crisp." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: CLASSIC X-MEN #15—Learn more about Christopher Summers' journey to becoming Corsair!

9. THE HULK Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: INCREDIBLE HULK #1 (1962) Children: Skaar, Lyra Why He Makes the List: "The angry apple doesn't fall far from the gamma-irradiated tree in the case of the Hulk and his kids, Skaar and Lyra. Interestingly enough, the Green Goliath hasn't actually met either of his offspring yet, but they've both shown a penchant for the family business—that business being smashing. We can't wait to see Hulk try to put Skaar over his knee or give Lyra a time-out; somebody should probably evacuate the city first." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: SKAAR: SON OF HULK #1—The savage son of Hulk battles across the battered world of Sakaar!

8. PROFESSOR X Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: X-MEN #1 (1963) Children: Legion (David Haller) Why He Makes the List: "Charles Xavier has managed to serve as a surrogate father to dozens of X-Men and New Mutants over the years, but his negligence in his own child's life nearly led to the end of reality as we know it. To be fair to Chuck, he didn't actually know about David, his son with Gabrielle Haller, for years, but once he found out, he never could get a good handle on being a true parent. Professor X's tortured and tragic relationship with his boy truly tugs at the heartstrings, and with Legion's recent return, we await the next chapter with anxiety and excitement." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: NEW MUTANTS #26 (1985)—Charles Xavier encounters his fractured son, Legion!

7. MAGNETO Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: X-MEN #1 (1963) Children: Anya, Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff), Polaris (Lorna Dane) Why He Makes the List: "It probably shouldn't be a surprise that one of the most dangerous super villains in Marvel history is also a pretty terrible dad. You want to be a villain, Magneto? Go for it. But to drag your kids into it, to enlist your children into your Brotherhood of Evil Mutants? You monster! Oh, and by the way Mags, you have another daughter with the same exact powers, from one of your many flings. We're sure she didn't want birthday cards or hugs from her dad all those years. Yup, Magneto's a jerk dad. But, hey, who doesn't love a little drama?" – Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: HOUSE OF M #7—The Master of Magnetism's family divided!

6. CYCLOPS Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: X-MEN #1 (1963) Children: Cable (Nathan Summers), Marvel Girl II (Rachel Grey; daughter from an alternate future) Why He Makes the List: "To save his child's life, Cyclops had to send the baby in to the future. That's sacrifice! Fortunately, Nathan Christopher Summers, aka Cable, came back from the future, returning as a much older man than Cyclops. And despite some problems encountered after first reuniting, Cyke and Cable have bonded over the years. Most recently, Cyke's respect and desire to protect his son during and after 'Messiah CompleX' have shown that the leader of the X-Men is an A+ dad." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: UNCANNY X-MEN #201—Cyclops duels Storm for leadership of the X-Men even as Madelyne Pryor gives birth to their son!

5. PETER PARKER (MC2) Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: WHAT IF? #105 (1998) Children: Spider-Girl (May Parker), Benjamin Parker Why He Makes the List: "Who wouldn't want to have Spider-Man himself as their old man? Well, May 'Mayday' Parker—aka the sensational Spider-Girl—lives young comic fans' dreams of being Peter Parker's kid, and while it's not always a breeze, it's also never dull. Peter can come down hard some time, as anybody who has faced the amount of tragedy he has would, but while he may not love his daughter's web-slinging, Peter remains a pillar of support and an example of both power and responsibility." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: SPIDER-GIRL #10—The Amazing Spider-Man teams with his daughter, the Spectacular Spider-Girl!

4. NORMAN OSBORN Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 (1964) Children: Harry Osborn, Sarah Stacy, Gabriel Stacy Why He Makes the List: "It's a good thing this isn't a list of Marvel's best dads, because ol' stormin' Norman surely wouldn't make the cut. But, while he's a crap dad, he's also one of our favorites. Why? Because he's crazy, he's driven his kid crazy and yet he's still there for Harry when the junior Osborn runs into problems. I suppose that even awful dads have their moments." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #513—The secret children of Norman Osborn revealed!

3. MISTER FANTASTIC Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (1961) Children: Franklin Richards, Valeria Richards Why He Makes the List: "It's not easy to balance being one of the world's premiere super heroes, a genius-plus-level big brain scientist and a dad, but Reed Richards does his best to make it work. Though he may have trouble showing his emotions at times, Reed has never had a problem when it comes to displaying his love for his children—and we're not talking about the Torch and the Thing. Reed would go to hell and back for his kids, and he also takes them on rad vacations to the wild West—that's a cool dad." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #6 (1968)—Reed Richards faces Annihilus for the lives of his wife and unborn son!

2. ODIN Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #85 (1962) Children: Thor, Loki (foster son), Balder, Tyr, Vidar Why He Makes the List: "Do you know what Odin's nickname is? 'All-Father.' Yeah, that's right. All. Dash. Father—which means he's the biggest, baddest, most 'let's-have-a-catchiest' father out there! Or it just refers to his role as top god in the Asgardian pantheon. Still, whether he's dishing out love both tough and touching to Thor or taking in a lost and abandoned young Loki as if he were his own, the one-eyed god gives fatherhood a good name." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: THOR #353—Odin fights side-by-side with his sons Thor and Loki against Surtur!

1. BEN PARKER Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AMAZING FANTASY #15 (1962) Children: Spider-Man (Peter Parker; nephew) Why He Makes the List: "When you look up 'father figure' in the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe…well, there is no entry, but if there were, kindly Uncle Ben's picture would be pasted front and center. In a single appearance, Ben Parker imparted on Peter Parker—and all of us—the life lessons that would make him one of Marvel's greatest heroes. Though Peter was actually his nephew, not his son, Ben treated the boy as if he were his own and made sure he had a happy childhood, setting him on the path to being a good man before he was taken too soon. As long as Spider-Man swings the skylines of the Marvel Universe, Ben Parker's legacy will live on." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING FANTASY #15 (1962)—Uncle Ben teaches his nephew Peter that with great power comes great responsibility…
 
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Comments

13 comments
ECH2007
ECH2007

Happy Father's Day to one and all.

johnnysword
johnnysword

[quote@Spideybuff Aww man...i can't believe they actually mentioned Norman's Stacy twins. I was hoping that was just a bad dream that would die a quiet death...oh the horror of Sins past[/quote] I couldn't agree more! Sins Past was so horrible it makes One More Day look good. I hope the intern who posted this info just threw it up there to be consistent against us continuity nit-pickers. May Sins Past fade away into obscurity and no one ever speak of it or Gwen's kids again!

LuisMa
LuisMa

[quote@Myst3 Marvel dudes, that is harsh and unfair to Magneto!Who is this "Secret Cabel" of Marvel? Last time you wrote about Magneto you were fair. What is this stuff about "monster" and "most dangerous" super villain? Magneto is sometimes a hero, he's sometimes an anti-hero, and he's the Adversary of the X-Men. He is not some monster. .[/quote] He's not much of a father either. And he is a dangerous supervillain, sometimes an Anti-Villain, But he's mostly a villain and calling him a hero is a bit of a stretch. Anti-hero works depending on the moment.[quote@goodgame but no wolverine :sad:[/quote] Well he could do a better job of raising Daken and his daughter/clone X-23.

goodgame
goodgame

What ?! Peter parker (mc2) but no wolverine :sad:

Myst3
Myst3

Marvel dudes, that is harsh and unfair to Magneto!Who is this "Secret Cabel" of Marvel? Last time you wrote about Magneto you were fair. What is this stuff about "monster" and "most dangerous" super villain? Magneto is sometimes a hero, he's sometimes an anti-hero, and he's the Adversary of the X-Men. He is not some monster. He didn't know Wanda and Pietro were his children when they were in the BOEM. When he found out, he attempted to establish a relationship with him.Pietro has been as hateful to him, as he has been to his son in more recent times. They have a very troubled father-son relationship. But Magneto tried to make it up to Wanda in EXCALIBUR vol.3, leading to HOUSE OF M. And he was an excellent father to Anya. He adored his first born. She was murdered, and he was prevented from saving her, which is why his powers exploded in the first place, many years ago.As to his supposed many affairs, again you are wrong and being very unfair to Magnus. He spent years -- far many than anyone else could be expected to spend -- searching for his beloved Magda. He remained loyal to her. Anya, Wanda, and Pietro are all the children of Magda. So, in all the years since she left him, some 50+ years, he can't have had another sexual relationship? He fell in love with a woman, Susanna Dane, at some point, and probably didn't know she had a baby, either. So, two women in over 50 years, wow, how promiscuous of Mags. So, your article is extremely off-kilter. Magneto didn't have the chance to be the good father he could have been. (Witness his relationship with his own father, Jakob, in "Magneto Testament.") And once he found out these grown people were his children, he tried to make amends, but was rejected. And then he's had bouts with psychosis and depression, he's been mind-wiped and mind-controlled by Wanda herself. All parties in this family are equally responsible for the Magnus Family tragedies. Magda, Magnus (Max), Wanda, Pietro, and Lorna.

Miles_Warren
Miles_Warren

Maybe its just me, but I really don't think Reed should be on this list. I am always reading about how Reed constantly spends so much time in the lab (usually days on end). Where does he get the time to spend with his kids. I forget the issue where this is mentioned, but I'm pretty sure it was in one of the Straczynki issues. Also anytime Franklin goes to his dad with a problem, his dad usually responds "not now son" or something. Again I forget what issue this happened in, but it did happen. imo, Reed could be a better father. And he difinately doesn't derserve the number 3 spot.

hyaughit
hyaughit

As much as I dig Spidey (and I truly, truly, truly dig Spidey), I think this list got one thing wrong - Ben NEVER told Peter "With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility!" If you re-read Amazing Fantasy 15, you'll see it was a lesson Peter had to learn himself. I guess you could argue that Ben did "teach" that lesson to Peter - through his dying. Ouch.I hate being "that guy," but I think the blame here (if any) should be placed on the Spidey films and how we view those films as more canonical in certain instances - including this one.Other than that, it was an awesome list!

SPNWareZ
SPNWareZ

A gr8 read. I must agree with Marvel. Ben Parker's is the Number one story ever told.

wyvern9
wyvern9

[quote@Spideybuff Aww man...i can't believe they actually mentioned Norman's Stacy twins. I was hoping that was just a bad dream that would die a quiet death...oh the horror of Sins past[/quote] I actualy think that "Sins Past" was pretty good, there was just no way that Gwen Stacy was as inocent as she appeared. :wink:

ninjadude853
ninjadude853

the weird thing is, while im not exactly a huge hulk fan (hes cool and all, but not cool enough for me to buy evey month) Skaar is one of my favorite characters in ANYTHING, and lyra isn't too bad either, not great, but pretty cool

Spideybuff
Spideybuff

Aww man...i can't believe they actually mentioned Norman's Stacy twins. I was hoping that was just a bad dream that would die a quiet death...oh the horror of Sins past

neling
neling

Thank GOODNESS! Azzy isn't there.