The Evil Geeks Top 5 Thunderdome Throwdown: Our Dads Can Beat Up Your Dads Edition
Happy Father’s Day Evil Geeks! Dad’s come in all shapes and sizes. Geek culture is certainly in no short supply of classic father figures, whether good, bad or ugly, we got ’em all. It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Top 5 list so we thought what better time to do one than Father’s day? Consider this our tribute to all the nerd father’s out there.
5.) Norman Osborn
Genius, world class dick, criminally insane and a super villain, it would be difficult to keep Norman Osborn off this list. Well, Normy was never anyone’s notion of an ideal dad but he did pass his ridiculously strange hairline to his son Harry. Yes, Norman should have been a “better” dad, but in a very Hemingway-esque moment his wife died giving birth. That’s enough to resent your kid and lash out against him, right? It’s not, but I find Norman’s story to be an interesting one. If anything you can trace it back to his father, Ambrose the brilliant alcoholic who lost their family’s company and was down right abusive to them. Norman’s staying power within the Marvel U is no surprise, as he’s one of the most misunderstood, derided, twisted and fascinating characters. We just can’t seem to get enough of him.
If banging your son’s friend and spawning children, only to try kill her in a very public way (with Spidey inadvertently delivering the death blow) to cover up your secret and also traumatize your arch nemesis doesn’t scream dad of the year than I don’t know what does.
4.) Bowser Koopa
Admit it. You were just as shocked as I was the first time you played Super Mario Brothers 3 and found out that the villains in each of the castle’s were Bowser’s children. It just presented so many questions. Where were these kids in the first Mario game? Who is their mother? Were they born in the lull of time when Mario 2 takes place, which is why Bowser isn’t in the game? Does time in the Mushroom Kingdom happen faster than the real world? Did Bowser rape somebody? Has he been capturing Princess Toadstool so that his kids can have a mother?
While we may never get the answers to some of these questions, we do know that Bowser gave his kids a bunch of whacky names and gave them a family business for them to excel in. Their hatred of the Mario brothers runs deep in their blood. Each of them received their own castle and their own land to rule over meaning that Bowser is a much more benevolent man than we all would have given him credit for. All of them were willing to die to see their father’s dream of killing Mario and defiling Princess Toadstool come true. If that isn’t dedication to a father, I don’t know what it. He must have been doing something right.
3.) Battlin’ Jack Murdock
It ain’t easy being an alcoholic Dad raising your recently blinded son on the money you make as a low rent Boxer (think of the medical bills!). Not to mention the boy’s mother is now a nun, but that’s exactly what Mr. Murdock did. He made sure that Matt would have a better life than his own by emphasizing the importance of education and studying rather than having to rely on physical prowess and world of violence like him. When he refuses to throw a boxing match because his son is in the audience he is killed by gangsters after the match. This is effectively Daredevil’s origin but it’s also a bad ass ultra noir tale of morality. My hat’s off to you Battlin’ Jack, you did the best you could.
2.) Henry Jones Sr.
Yea, so I already talked Henry Jones Sr. during our Novembeard celebration but it’s hard to keep him off any list, I mean it’s Sean Connery for God’s sake. Professor of Medieval Literature and elderly badass there’s little not to like about him. Sure his son was less important to him than someone who’d been dead for 500 years in another country or researching the Holy Grail, but that’s life! If Indy really resented his father he would have become a race car driver or a Nazi rather than a professor/archeologist and pal around with his father’s old friend, Marcus. Anything for his father’s approval…
Indy may have felt alone as a kid, but as the man says, “I taught you self reliance”. There’s some great father/son moments in ‘Last Crusade’ but Jones Sr. steals the show. Especially when we find out they are Nazi eskimo brothers. His stand off parenting style made his son hard as nails and is exactly what our modern day over protective society needs.
1.) Jack Arnold
Similar to my #1 Geek Crush, I’m not sure if this technically counts, but if we are doing a list of Dad’s there no way I’m not including Jack Arnold. I was terrified of him when I was younger, but now as I revisit episodes of the Wonder Years I’m fascinated. Jack’s about a decade off, had the show taken place in the 1950’s he could have ruled his household with an iron fist. In the 60’s though he was busting his ass at Norcom with no upward mobility and grueling work only to come home and face a family that was equal parts scared of him but also depriving him of the respect he deserved. His grip was slipping. Women’s liberation was the worst thing that happened to Jack Arnold and we’re talking about a man who fought in the Korean War.
He was always a man of few words, in some cases not speaking in favor of grunting. Beneath his cold as ice exterior, Jack had a good heart and cared about his family. He may not have always shown it, but it was there. In the episodes when you see it, that makes it all the more heart breaking and poignant. Oh, and he seems to really like Pepsi.
Honorable mention: Don Draper, Atticus Finch, George McFly
Martian Luthor Kang 117th
5.) Jonas Venture
The super scientist and adventurer extraordinaire Dr. Jonas Venture is the long deceased father of Rusty Venture and Jonas Venture Jr. on Cartoon Network’s The Venture Bros. And while he may, on the surface, appear to be a Ward Cleaver-esque model father, his exploits actually did a remarkable amount of damage to the mind of his young son Rusty.
Globetrotting about the earth a la Doc Savage with the original Team Venture, Jonas was constantly putting his son in harm’s way. And the risk to life and limb is only a fraction of the damage done to Rusty; Jonas forced his son to kill a man with a house key as if it were teaching him to ride a bike. Rusty was routinely exposed to Jonas’ remarkably open-minded attitude toward sexual liberation. And if you’re looking for a nice mixture of physical danger and psychological torture, at one point in the series it’s revealed that The Action Man, a friend of Jonas’, would often wake Rusty by pressing the barrel of a gun to the boy’s forehead, pulling the trigger, and saying “Not today, Rusty. Not today.”
So Rusty is understandably a bit messed up, but at least Jonas Jr turned out all right!
Christopher Summers wasn’t always able to be present in the lives of his sons Scott (Cyclops) and Alex (Havok). He was busy being a space pirate… and not in the sense that he hijacked spaceships and sold their cargo on the black market. No, Corsair (as he liked to be called) dressed and acted like an early Hollywood depiction of a pirate while fighting the oppression of the Shi’Ar empire across the galaxy. So even though his kids grew up thinking they were orphans, they eventually showed up and brought them on various space adventures. Alex eventually ended up taking over the family business and assuming his father’s post as Captain of the Starjammers. Unfortunately, the position was not vacated by a retirement but rather Corsair’s murder at the hands of his super-secret third son Gabriel. That’s comics for ya!
The previous entry’s eldest son is one hell of a father himself! Scott Summers has an interesting personal life. He was in love with his schoolmate Jean Grey for years, but when she seemingly died he did a little dating. Eventually he came across a very familiar face, which belonged to one Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne was a dead ringer for Jean Grey, and Scott couldn’t be with the one he loved so he started lovin’ the one he was with. And the product of that love was a bouncing baby boy named Nathan. Shortly… and I mean, like, REALLY shortly after Nathan was born Jean showed up again and Scott went right back to her loving arms. Madelyne was understandably upset and, somewhat less understandably, made a deal with a demon in order to exact revenge upon Scott. After Madelyne was sorted out, Scott and Jean took custody of baby Nathan.
Then their enemy Apocalypse infected Nathan with a deadly virus… so Scott and Jean sent their son off to a future where he’d be cured… you know, as far as they knew. Nathan grew up, went back in time, and joined his dad’s team under the name Cable. One time they hugged. It was very likely the happiest day of Nathan’s life.
2.) Kyle Reese
Number two on my list is that healthy mixture of father and friend. The strange thing is, he was John Connor’s friend before he was his father. Time travel is tricky… In the Terminator universe, Kyle Reese was a soldier in the human resistance against the machine uprising. When Skynet sends a killing machine back in time to kill the mother of John Connor, his comrade-in-arms and friend Kyle Reese is the lucky fellow who gets sent back to foil this plan. While things got off to a rocky start between Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor, running in terror from robots must really get her motor running because they have a one night stand and Kyle ends up being the father John never knew. Personally, I like to think it was all a prank on Kyle’s part… I imagine he was planning on returning to the future and busting his commanding officer’s ass about the time he screwed his mom.
1.) Pa Kent
Superman, like the star of a late 80s sitcom, had two dads. And while Jor-El may have been his biological father, and took great pains to see to it that Kal-El would survive the destruction of Krypton. But Jor-El didn’t really have any choice in the matter, it’s a father’s instinct to do anything that he can to protect his offspring. Jonathan Kent, however, chose the role of a father. He and his wife Martha took in an alien child fearless of the potential danger that came with it. They faced the adversity of raising a child who was different from every other being on Earth. And they were the ones who raised him to become the hero he is. It’s a matter of nature vs nurture, and it’s impossible to deny to importance of the morality instilled in Clark by his Earth parents.
5.) Eddard Stark
Coming in at #5 on my list is Eddard Stark of Game of Thrones. The fact that even though he only appeared in one of the books and one season of the show, yet he made such a lasting impression on the series as a whole is saying something. A total man of honor, and seemingly no secrets or bad airs about him (minus one, but we can’t talk about that haha) he lives all of his children and tries to make sure that they are men of honor and strong as well. Even with his daughters, he makes sure they are comfortable and allowed to be their own people rather than some object to be traded and bartered with. Sadly, this man’s story does not end all that well, but the way it happens makes you feel and understand that he did everything for his family. He did what he did for honor, and to make sure that his children and wife were kept safe. Not all things work out the way they should, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t try his hardest.
4.) Jay Sherman
I have a feeling a few of you may disagree with this one, but I loved the Critic, and really enjoyed the interactions between Jay Sherman and his son. Jay is not really the best of men, being a film critic and making other people’s lives hell, but the one place he actually tried was with his son. He really loved him, and even though he is an idiot and constantly gets them into trouble, he did it all for him. The fact that they looked exactly alike, except one was balding and the other had hair, made everything a lot more endearing too. It was like seeing a man trying to correct his past mistakes through his son and make him not have to deal with what he dealt with. You have to at least appreciate that. In a misguided way, he just really wants his son to have a better life and not be as cynical and hateful as he is in his adulthood.
3.) Nolan Grayson/Omni-Man
This one is going to be slightly twisted. Coming from another planet in order to scout and then prepare for take over, Omni-Man is somewhat of an enigma. He appears to be a good father to his son and a good husband, but that all changes when he lets his family know his true identity as conqueror, and proceeds to beat his son (who also has powers being half alien himself) within an inch of his life. He makes up for it later though big time when he rebels against his own dying people to help his son protect the earth from invasion. You can tell he always loved his son, but knew the ways of his people and didn’t want him growing up like that. It just wouldn’t be good for him. It’s a pretty awesome moment though seeing the reunited family…even if it wasn’t exactly too jovial.
Did you think i would have anyone else at this high of a spot? The All-Father and regular father of Thor and Loki, Odin is the ruler of Asgard. He it’s upon his throne up high and governs with courage, strength, and wisdom. That’s right folks, all three parts of the Triforce. His fatherly antics can leave something to be desired, but he is on point when he needs to be. Anyone would have issues trying to raise Asgardian children when one is a god of thunder and the other a god of mischief. I can barely control myself let alone something like that. He loves both of his sons equally, even though Loki is a huuuuuuge pain in the ass sometimes. That’s not to say Thor hasn’t had his share of troubles too though, having to banish him to earth for a while can take a lot out of a man. Which leads me to my #1…..
1.) My Dad, Dimitrios
Hailing from the far off seas of Greece, my father came here with the best of intentions years ago. I will never make claims that was an easy child to deal with, but he did his very best to try and tame me. Working day and night tirelessly to make sure we had food on the table and a roof over our heads, he is honestly one of the greatest men I know. When I was a kid, I would wake up on Saturday mornings to see him doing self taught karate in the backyard, and I always wanted to be like him. He would take us to the Great Escape even though he hated rides and wait outside by the benches with all of the absurdly large stuffed animals we would win in the blazing sun. The funny thing is, he still does that stuff to this day. Although his routines have evolved from backyard karate to amateur demon summoning along with myself, he is still the same hardworking man who would do anything for us. This one is for you Dad, and you’ll always be #1 on my list. Love ya!
Being a dad is all about putting your life ahead of that of your child and no father in the Universe proves that more than Jor-El. When faced with the impending destruction of Krypton, Jor-El easily could have saved his own ass and skipped town with his wife (or his mistress, we don’t know much about Jor-El, so I suppose it’s possible he kept a little strange on the side). Instead of doing that though, he did the noble thing and made sure his son got out safe. Not only did he send him away from certain death, he also made sure to pack his kid’s ship with all sorts of goodies, including every piece of amassed knowledge ever collected on Krypton, but also included a Grow Your Own Kick-Ass Apartment Crystal as well. If that’s not enough to earn him a spot on this chart, Jor-El even managed to shoot little Kal towards a planet located near a star that would grant him super powers. Now THAT is parenting!
4.) Red Forman
Being a dad is more than just giving your kid cool stuff. There’s an opposite side to that coin; you have to know when to drop the hammer of discipline. One dad who was perfect at keeping law and order was Red Forman. A Navy veteran who served in Korea, Red was never shy when it came to talking about “Shooting Commies”. He was a no nonsense, level headed guy most of the time, but he wasn’t afraid to Hulk out every now and then when the situation called for it. If you screwed up, rest assured Red would be there to put a foot in your ass and make sure you knew that he thought you were a dumbass. Red was also a die-hard Packers fan, so he’d be a great dad to hang around with on Sunday’s during football season. Even though he could be a hard-ass, deep down inside he really cared about his kids and just wanted what was best for them. Honest, fair, and utterly intimidating. A road map to the perfect dad if there ever was one.
A dad has to be more than a guardian, he also has to be a teacher. It’s important for kids to learn the ways of the world, but sometimes they have a little trouble coming out of their shells and a good dad needs to know when to give his child the extra push they need. In Godzilla’s case that little extra push amounts to a big ol’ stomp on his child’s tail, but cut him some slack: he’s non-verbal, so he needs to communicate anyway he can. Breathing blue fire on stuff is an important part of a developing child’s life and no one knows that better than Godzilla. With the proper motivation, he was able to turn his kid from being a smoke ring blowing pussy to a fire-breathing…well he was still a pussy, but at least he could breathe fire now. Despite his harsh teachings, the Great Scaly One was a ferocious watchdog when it game to his offspring. Anytime some flash in the pan, monster of the week rolled into town thinking he could push Little Godzilla around, they’d surely be getting a visit from his bigger, far meaner pop!
2.) Uncle Ben
Being a dad is more than just about fathering children. In fact, some of the best dad’s aren’t even the fathers of their children. Being a great dad, regardless of the circumstances is about being a positive influence and a role model. To be a good dad, you need to teach a child that there’s two things they’ll need to learn in life in order to be successful even if they’re someone else’s kids: 1.) How to take responsibility for your actions and 2.) the secret to making good rice quickly. Unfortunately, we live in a world where a man embodying these qualities doesn’t exist, so for the purposes of this article I’ve combined Uncle Ben from Spider-Man and Uncle Ben from boxes of rice that are probably in your kitchen right now. Comic Uncle Ben: Had a child foisted upon him and his wife thanks to his good for nothing scientist, possible spy, brother, then raised that child to be a paragon of heroism. Uncle Ben the rice guy: I really don’t know much about him, but damn it, the man built an empire on rice and that’s something to be admired. Ben Riley taught Peter Parker the important life lessons he’d need in order to become one of Earth’s greatest heroes and the other Uncle Ben can teach us what we need to know in order to succeed in business. Role models? Absolutely.
1.) George Bluth Sr.
No father is perfect. Fathers are human too and therefore they are not without their shortcomings. A good parent can manage to teach his kids valuable lessons despite those shortcomings and there is simply no father in the world better at teaching lessons than George Bluth Sr. from Arrested Development. With the aid of his powerful teaching tool: 1 armed man J. Walter Weatherman, George Sr. managed to hammer home important lessons like why it’s important to always leave a note, or why it’s important to not yell when undocking the boat; Hell, the man even taught his kids a lesson about why you shouldn’t teach your kids lessons. The teachings of George Sr. were so memorable that to this day the Bluth’s still leave a note when one of them finishes the milk. He also managed to teach his kids the importance of cleanliness and hygene (“WHO LEFT THE CAP OFF MY F#$%ING GLISTEN!!!), as well as installing in them a sense of business savvy (There’s ALWAYS money in the banana stand!). He was a motivator, often pitting Michael and Gob against one another or always rejecting Michael’s first ideas, even ones that are sure to be successful. He’s also FIERCELY protective of his kids when he needs to be (Do you know the Muffin Man?). George Sr. really is the complete package when it comes to fatherhood and for that he’s earned the top spot on my list.
5.) Jango Fett
Mr. Fett here is a very interesting father, he is a father to many in fact! Jango Fett was the soldier that the entire Clone Army that the Galactic Republic built was based on! To create the army with a quick turnaround, the Kaminoans sped up the process to create adult soldiers from on Jango’s DNA all save for one, a little boy named Boba (who would grow up to be the biggest, baddest, bount hunter that the universe had ever seen!) Now Jango wasn’t exactly a good guy, but he cared for Boba and made sure to leave him one sweet ass jetpack when Obi Wan took his head off!
4.) Charles Xavier
The funny thing about Chuck is that he is a really bad parent to his real kid! Xavier’s son Legion is crazy-pants CRAZY! And despite trying to help him out, that guy is just a nut ball. So Charles locked up his bad little boy and did something to take his mind off of it by basically adopting every poor mutant teen that ever crossed his path! Now don’t get me wrong here, Charles had a dream that humans and mutants could live together peacefully and thats why he brought together the X-Men. But he was helping all of these kids out not taking care of his kid. In the end, Charles met his maker (like 20 times!) But most recently was killed by none other than Scott Summers, who was in all ways a son to him. Xavier sacrificed himself to stop Scott from being the Dark Phoenix. Will he come back, yeah probably, and then maybe he’ll take care of his own!
3.) Thomas Wayne
Yeah, this guy is dead, but it was this man’s (and his wife’s) death that was 100% instrumental in creating the Dark Knight Detective! We all know the story, Thomas and martha were gunned down leaving their son Bruce alive, Bruce decides to dedicate himself to training his mind and body to its peak and goes on a vengeful search for justice! OK, but what if he didn’t die, what would he be like? Well, in Geoff John’s Flashpoint mini-series we saw a different Batman, a Thomas Wayne Batman! Basically, Bruce met his maker that night and Thomas decided to don the cowl instead. Sounds hokey, but he was one of the best parts of that story and the reason he is on my list is basically because he chose to help The Flash “fix” everything and erase his own timeline so that he could give his son a life. If that aint a reason to be on this list, I don’t know what is…
Nathan Summers was many things to many people; time traveler, soldier, X-Man, but most people never even fathomed what he would be like as a dad. Cable has a kid in the future named Tyler who was captured by Stryfe’s forces when he was a teenager and ultimately was engineered into being an apocalypse-like creature named Genesis that Wolverine had the pleasure of gutting. So about 15 years later, Marvel decided to saddle Cable with another kid, an extremely powerful one named Hope Summers! Hope was the mutant messiah that was supposed to bring the mutants back into the world after the House of M debacle, but there were many people out there that wanted to see that little girl dead. So Cable grabbed her and took her to the future to protect her and essentially raise her as his own. Their life wasn’t easy, being chased all over the place by Bishop (who was revealed to be the X-Men’s grand traitor… spoilers 5 years later!) Eventually Cable got her back and decided to sacrifice himself for her by taking a one-way trip to the future and then back again to Techno-Organic-Virus land! In the end, Hope brought him back because she really is that damn powerful, but trust me, this guy will kill you for just looking at his little girl!
1.) Darth Vader
I know, I know… two Star Wars characters… So sue me! Anywho, Good ol’ Darth (or Anikin to his friends) made my list here because he really was just a good guy who got twisted by the dark side of the force. He loved his lady, to the point where he would kill to keep her safe and probably would’ve done the same to his kids if he knew about them earlier in his life. Through the rebellion, Dear old Darth did some sick shit to his kids (almost killing them more than once,) but in the end he realized that he could still be a good man and save his son from the Emperor! Which essential saved his soul and made him Darth Vader: #1 Dad!
All right kids, that’s our list! Get out there and spend some time with the old man today and take him to do something that he really wants to do (or at least tell yourself that when you’re dragging him to the comic book store!)
Happy Fathers Day!
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Posted on June 16, 2013, in COMICS!, Geekology, Movies, Top 5, TV, Video Games and tagged Arrested Development, Batman, Bowser Koopa, Cable, COMICS!, Cyclops, Dads, Darth Vader, DC, George Bluth, Godzilla, Greeks, Indiana Jones, Jango Fett, jor-el, Mario Brothers, Marvel, norman osborn, Odin, Pa Kent, Professor X, Sean Connery, spider-man, Star Wars, Superman, Terminator, Uncle Ben, venture bros, Wonder Years. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.