DC Wishes You a Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, and if you still have yours in your life, I hope you'll do something nice for him (or have something nice done for you if YOU'RE a father). You're reading this blog, so maybe you decided to get your dad some digital comics from ComiXology's Father's Day Sale? Here's the selection (click for bigger):The problem is, and we've been tittering about it all weekend on Twitter, none of DC's offerings seem particularly dad-friendly! I decided to dig through the list to see if there was just an anomaly here and there, but no, it seems to be a fair cop. Here is what DC thinks dads want to read, coming from their sons and daughters...

FIRST CATEGORY: DEAD DADS
All-Star Superman: Pa Kent is dead. It's a sweet coda to his life, but he's still not in it, you know?
Superman - Brainiac: Pa Kent dies while Superman is basking in his victory against Brainiac.
Green Lantern - Secret Origin: Daddy's plane goes boom!
Rite of Passage: Tim "Robin" Drake's father is... only maimed?! Well, that's as good a result as we can get, probably!
Identity Crisis: Oh wait, Tim's dad is killed in this one, along with Captain Boomerang, another father.
(And for that extra touch of "Dad, I hope you'll now finally understand why I blow all my cash on comics", there's a rape in there too.)

SECOND CATEGORY: BAD DADS
Aquaman - Death of a Prince: Aquaman lets an unsupervised Aquababy get kidnapped and killed.
Flashpoint and Flashpoint - Knight of Vengeance: Features a version of events where Thomas Wayne is unable to protect his son Bruce in Crime Alley.
Green Arrow: Oliver Queen finds out that he had an illegitimate son who grew up to adulthood without knowing him. Not pictured: Oli calling him a bastard.
New Teen Titans: Raven's dad is Trigon, a giant demon who corrupts her and makes her attack her friends.
The Judas Contract: Wilson "Deathstroke" Slade allows his young son to get his throat cut.
Superman - Last Son: After losing their adopted son in the Phantom Zone, Lois and Clark accept the fact that parenthood isn't for them.
I mean, if you know you're gonna be bad at it...

THIRD CATEGORY: DAD, I HATE YOU
Batman & Son: Batman meets his own illegitimate son, Damian, raised as an assassin and an unhealthy disrespect of his deadbeat dad.
Family Lost: Jericho wants revenge for his dad letting him get his throat cut in The Judas Contract.
Gotham Knights: Bad kids humiliate their fathers by becoming common criminals for Batman to kick around.
So are there ANY DC books in the collection that feature positive, healthy father-child relationships? Only a few:

THE EXCEPTIONS
Batwoman - Elegy: Kate Kane's version of Alfred is her father. (Too bad they've had a falling out since then.)
The Wild Wests: Wally West, the Flash, raises his two kids with superpowers. (Of course, he's the Flash DC doesn't want to acknowledge anymore.)
Starman: Jack Knight's relationship with his father Ted has always been a strained, but loving one, and a realistic portrayal of the generation gap.
So are they telling me that they can't do any better? Or that they just entered the word "father" into a search engine and picked those books regardless of the actual content? Seems to me there are lots of good LIVING Pa Kent stories (off the top of my head, Adventures of Superman 500, with Clark and Pa fighting to escape the afterlife and succeeding could have been included), as well as strong father figures in the JSA. Or how about Animal Man?

6 comments:

d said...

Is "The Miraculous Return of Jonathan Kent" reprinted anywhere? One of my all-time fave bronze age Superman's and a much better choice then most of the books here.

Siskoid said...

It was collected in Superman in the Eighties.

SallyP said...

Man, I really did love the way that Jack and Ted related to each other.

Martin Gray said...

Great commentary, sir!

Ha, nice one D, I'd just been to check the adjective before seeing you'd brought up The Miraculous return of Jonathan Kent already. I love that two-parter (and the prologue in Superboy), it's so full of love and poignancy.

>choke<

Anonymous said...

So... no Roy Harper?

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