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The Comics 8 Ball 6.09.14: Top 8 Dysfunctional Father-Child Relationships
Posted by Anthony Kennedy on 06.09.2014


Welcome back to the Comics 8 Ball in the Movie Zone! Per usual, I'm Anthony Kennedy and I'll be your guide in our intellectual trip through comicdom. As always, we will be tackling a topic and providing you the Top 8 selections related to comics. One thing to please understand, these are meant to be my personal takes and not the definitive list on the subject. Although I do consider myself somewhat an expert, feel free to disagree and I'll freely admit you're wrong. (No hard feelings though?)

This week with father's day six days away, I wanted to show love for pops and dedicate the 8 Ball to the hard working fathers out there.

But first, let's get to some responses to last week's topic with some….READER FEEDBACK!

CyberVenom: Holy crow! That is an awesome list! Here's what I'm going with:

10. X-Cutioner's Song
9. Fall of the Mutants
8. Mutant Massacre
7. AvX
6. Schism
5. Onslaught
4. Age of Apocalypse
3. Inferno
2. Utopia
1. Fatal Attractions

I like the "X-Cutioner's Song" story, but it's waaaaaaay too complicated to be produced in a film. Between Cyclops having a kid, that kid's clone trying to kill them, Apocalypse rising, Cable and X-Force being hunted. It would take a few movies to even get to that story.

Inferno is really all about X-Men-X-Factor fight and revelation of Madelyne Pryor. Other than that it's too complicated a story to pull off on film too.

His Bubblines: A definite 'yes' to a Genosha-related movie. There are a lot of themes to explore and there's just so much potential in the action sequences.

You feel me! Those two stories would be great on film. Can you imagine if they did one film where the X-Men encounter Genosha to rescue one of their own who got involved with mutant refuge from the island, only to end it on that attack where the Genoshan government kidnapped half the X-Men and New Mutants to stand trial for their crimes Empire Strikes Back and Catching Fire style? Awesome storytelling there. On top of that, and more importantly, they've teased war between the humans and mutants, it would be great to see the magistrates with their weaponry and not powered mutant army going toe-to-toe with the X-Men.

Tim Hansen: Age of Apocalypse is just another version of the concept used in X-Men: Days of Future Past; what would happen with the timeline if this or that happened. Only this time it is the mutants who are the Nazis and the humans who are the victims. And that's not a spoiler, because that's the plot introduction that the first trailer will show us if the movie gets made.

I would rather see the Phalanx storyline. That could turn out really interesting. The Brood story also seems promising. Or what about X-Men's adventures in Savage Land? Then again, I'm not sure if Fox has the rights to use Ka-Zar or Savage Land (but maybe Marvel would be willing to let them pay to use these elements for this single movie without giving up their rights).

Hmmmm I can second the "Phalanx Covenant" is good change of pace non-mutant antagonist story to do. But if there's an option for such a story, my vote is for the Brood.

Top 8 Most Dysfunctional Father-Son Relationships in Comic Books

Well, we're a week away from giving pops their props so decided to pay homage to the great fathers depicted in comics. And we've had some great father figures that have nurtured and developed some great heroes, those that showed great protector instincts to raise their child and those whose somehow yield great offspring in spite of their actions. Let's take a look at the Top 8 Most Dysfunctional Father-Son Relationships in Comic Books.

*Caveat: No surrogate (Alfred) or father figures (Uncle Ben) made the list.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Norman & Harry Osborn: You'd think being the son of the billionaire businessman would have its perks, I guess being the Green Goblin II counts for something.
  • Odin & Loki: You're the ruler of Asgard and the person who wants you disposed is your son.
  • Professor X & Legion: He accidentally went back in time and killed his "dad" and the innuendo that he fathered himself by raping his mom.
  • Ra's Al-Ghul & Talia: Being constantly told what a disappointment you are and your purpose is to give him heir. Wow.

    #8 David and Cassandra Cain

    Dysfunctional Scenario: This psycho badass assassin bedded Lady Shiva and produced this killer (literally) progeny. He went on to fill her childhood with loving lessons on how to be the best assassin in the world while robbing her of basic human functions such as speech. Cain trained his daughter in the art of war, to the point where she didn't even know how to speak with the exception of a handful of words.

    #7 Darkseid and Kalibak, Orion and Mister Miracle
    The New Gods

    Dysfunctional Scenario: Jack Kirby is a cruel bastard. Bad enough you're born to Darkseid, but one son (Kalibak) is totally ignored and treated like an abject failure. Another son (Orion) is cast off in a trade and you spend countless years trying to kill him and his adoptive father. And the last one (Miracle), admittedly not your blood, you tortured and demeaned. How did it take so long before one of them finally merc'd him.

    #6 Jim and Barbara Gordon
    Batman Books

    Dysfunctional Scenario: Serving as Gotham City Police Commissioner while his daughter is the masked vigilante Batgirl. Gordon should have been relieved of his duties long ago for not coming to that realization long before the Joker knocked on his door and put a bullet in his daughter.

    #5 Cyclops and Nathan Christopher Dayspring Askani and Rachel Summers
    X-Men Books
    Cable & Rachel

    Dysfunctional Scenario: Scott is 30 (we think) and he has one twenty-something child from a second dead wife and a son from his other dead wife that's older than him. Those family get-togethers have to be awkward. Some of the best storytelling the X-writers did were these interactions between Scott and his kids, especially after seeing Rachel post Jean's first death.

    #4 Rick and Carl Grimes
    The Walking Dead

    Dysfunctional Scenario: To be fair, Rick's actions are a product of currently living in the post zombie apocalypse. He's forced to act and treat his son a little differently. It doesn't mean it's not totally screwed up that Carl is one of the biggest bad ass characters while barely being old enough to attend middle school.

    #3 Nolan (Omi-Man) and Mark (Invincible) Grayson
    3351334-invincible+vs+omni+man+#10+(9) a>

    Dysfunctional Scenario: Your dad's an alien and one of the world's best known superheroes and you just got hooked up with your own set of superpowers. Life should be good? Welp, until dear old dad kills the entire Guardians of the Globe and reveals that he's supposed to be some Earth conqueror as part of the Viltrumite empire. On the plus side, it warmed my cockles to see dad put an ass whipping on that boy for getting out of line.

    #2 Batman and Damian Al-Ghul Wayne (Robin) and Dick Grayson (Nightwing)
    Batman Books

    Dysfunctional Scenario: He's the god damn Batman!!!!! No matter what you do as a human being you'll NEVER be able to measure up to that. Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist. It had to be rough for Dick coming of age as a ward of Bruce Wayne but damn Damian had it far worst being reared under the tutelage of Ra's Al-Ghul while hearing the amazing tales of his famous father.

    #1 Magneto and Pietro and Wanda Maximoff
    X-Men Books

    Dysfunctional Scenario: Whether savior of homo superior or personification of the mutant menace, being the offspring of Magneto ain't easy. These three have had a long love/hate relationship that's legitimately seen Magneto try to kill Quicksilver a couple of times. It's the most dysfunctional father-child relationship in comics.

    Can't wait to hear your feedback on these horrible father-child relationships. That's my list, let me know where I completely missed the mark with this and who didn't deserve inclusion at all.

    Join me next week for another edition of the 8-Ball! Have a great week and don't forget to read the many other great columns, news articles and more here at 411mania.com! It's still real to me dammit!

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