Welcome to the 8th edition of the weekly "From Top to Bottom" column! Every week I will look at something within the comics industry and give you my opinion on what I think is the best and what I think ranks amongst the bottom-feeders.
Last week I took a look at the Top and Bottom of Hulk Artists that chronicled the Green Goliath. This week in honor of Father's Day (and being a true dad, this column is late) I will be examining Comic Book Dads. The good ones along with the deadbeats.
I am a very lucky guy. My dad (seen here taking a blow from my kid dressed as Wolverine for Halloween) always bought me comics when I was younger and still to this day he still supports me collecting and reading comics. In fact, I returned the favor and bought him a comic just the other day. He is a HUGE fan of the spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood that I got him a copy of the new "Man With No Name" series and he liked it. As far as being a dad in a comic universe, here are my Top 3 Best Dads and then 3 Dads that just couldn't pass the mustard.
3) Mr. Fantastic
How cool would it be to have Mr. Fantastic be your dad? You would always have someone that can assist you with your homework and can you imagine the help you would get with your science projects? The only drawback would be IF he was around to help you since he is so busy saving the universe every other day. It certainly wouldn't be boring to have him as your dad!
2) Rick Grimes
Being a parent isn't easy. But try being a single parent in a world full of zombies! Rick has gone through a lot of traumatic events but manages to do his best in such a harsh environment. He immediately recognizes that his son Carl would need to know how to handle and shoot a gun in this world, which paid off quickly just a few issues later! He has taught his son compassion, hard work, and has helped his son deal with this new world.
1) Stan Lee
Okay, okay. I kinda cheated with this one but it is my column and I am allowed. He is the Father of the Marvel Universe and technically he has been in Marvel comics before. If it weren't for Stan and his creativeness, my childhood wouldn't have been the same. Thirty-some-odd-years later, I still feel like a kid when I read comics he helped create!
Now some comic dads just don't cut it. Some were not special enough to make a mention here. Take Cyclops for instance, I really could have placed him in both lists. I should give some props to Sentinel, Green and Red Arrows, Pa Kent and a bunch others. But I cannot fit them all here. Now, for the dads that weren't the best examples and should forget about fatherhood.
3) Captain Dynamo
Every dad keeps some sort of secret. But what if your dad was the hero known as Captain Dynamo and you find out that your dad was not as nice as a hero as you think he was and that he fathered illegitimate children (5 of them became the super team known as Dynamo 5 and is a terrific book) all over the world? This dad's may have left his offspring superpowers but I suspect that is this dad was alive, he would be a deadbeat dad!
2) Deathstroke: The Terminator
Maybe he just shouldn't have kids. He kills his own son Jericho by ramming a sword through his chest and then later on he finds a daughter he didn't even know he had and brainwashes her to become a mercenary like himself.
1) Green Goblin/Norman Osborn
First he doesn't think you are worthy to have the Osborn name. Than he sleeps with one of your friends and tries to kill another. Norman will never win any "Father of the Year" awards with these types of actions. Being a psychotic dad makes Norman the bottom of all dads! I guess Norman may have done something right, his son Harry does act an awful lot like his dear ol' dad.
I dedicated this to my dad for helping and supporting me in this addiction. My dad always wanted to me to be able to read and write, and he saw that comics would be a fantastic way to help. Thanks Dad! And I wish a belated "Happy Father's Day" to all the dads out there. Now I am off to play the new Lego Indiana Jones game for the Wii which my son Logan got me for Father's Day. I must be raising him well since he sure knows how to pick a gift!