Category Archives: Worst Superhero Parents

List o’ the Week: Worst Superhero Parents #3-1

And so, here we are at the final three. Finit.

End game.

The Deathstar.

Romeo and Juliet’s poison scene.

Take a deep breath, and if you’re really that upset, revisit parts 1, 2 and 3.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…..

3. Mr. Banner (Father of Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk)

Dr. Banner tests the gamma bomb.

Dr. Banner gets surprised from behind.

Bruce Banner was a geeky scientist who gets caught up in his own gamma bomb testing, flooding his body with so much radiation that in fits of anger he turns into Mel Gibson The Incredible Hulk–a monstrously big, green creature that you don’t want to have over for Mexican food, and certainly wouldn’t enjoy being on the receiving end of a hatef-ck.

But, as Heath Ledger famously asked, ‘why so angry?’.

Turns out that young Bruce was raised by a stern, abusive father who abused alcohol, his son, and the entire world around him. Instead of funneling all that agression into making, say, ‘Thriller’ or even ‘Mean Girls’, he pushed it all down and became a government scientist, his anger not arising until the gamma bomb unleashed it all in the form of Hulk.

The Hulk hatef-cks NYC

Makes sense. I mean anyone who’s had an Irish Car Bomb or two (or 27) in one night can probably relate on some level, yeah? Hell, I’ve seen at least 30 girls in college that turned into raging sluts just after having a Shirley Temple.

Hulk is so wildly out-of-control it’s amazing to learn he’s not an Austrailan actor; he ‘s been on several rampages over the course of his career, wrecking more things than Russell Crowe and Christian Bale combined.

He’s had a particular hard-on for NYC–his been his preferred place of destruction for the better part of the 30+ years he’s been around. All told, the Hulk ranks as one of the all-time biggest ruiners of NYC, just look:

CNN’s List of Biggest Ruiners of New York City

  1. King Kong
  2. Rudy Guiliani
  3. 9/11
  4. Hulk
  5. ‘Empire State of Mind’ song
  6. Isaiah Thomas

…and there you have it. One of the greatest cities in the world (second only to Trenton, NJ) laid waste by the Hulk, who only narrowly edges out that Bat-awful song by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, though I could be easily swayed to switch their spots–you can rebuild buildings, but it’s hard to rehab taste.








2. Thomas and Martha Wayne (The Parents of Bruce Wayne, The Batman)

Cheap. That’s what I think whenever I think of the Waynes.


Why cheap? Simple.

Who needs cabs? Downtown Gotham's so scenic!

Dr. Thomas Wayne, one of the richest guys in Gotham City wants to have a nice Family Night withwife Martha, and soon-to-be-really-fugging-weird 10 yr old son, Bruce. Before we get any further though, I want to stress that the Waynes are rich. Like their own gated community rich. Like, white butler rich. I mean, white hired help? Shit, we haven’t seen that white-on-white arrangement since Mrs. Garrett, and even she called it quits and started a girl-on-girl boarding house with Tooty and Blair.

So, for Family Night, what does Dr. Thomas Wayne do? He takes the fam to the movies out in downtown Gotham which is sorta like suggesting a quiet night in downtown Juarez. Now, I’ve seen enough episodes of MTV Cribs to know that any self-respecting rich person doesn’t go to the movies–they have their own movie theatre at home. I mean if Souljah Boy can have an in-home theatre, why can’t the Waynes?

"Olive Garden--when you're here, you're family!"

On top of that, when Bruce decides he wants to leave the movie early, Dr. Wayne takes them through the back door of the theatre, which empties right into a back alley. You know what happens in back alleys? Fools shootin’ craps, rat BJ’s and hooker sex aided with movie butter popcorn. But no, Dr. Dollar here decides, “hey, this is a great shortcut to the Olive Garden”.

The alleyway is, no lie, called Crime Alley (fortunately, “Stabbing Street” was shutdown due to construction). 

And because Thomas Wayne, a guy rich enough to buy the actors in the movie and have them make it out for the Waynes, a guy whose huose parties probably inspired Eyes Wide Shut, a guy who has at his whim a butler who serves as a waiter, a cleaner, a driver, and hey, yeah, a ‘fishing buddy’, is too cheap to call a cab or even whistle for his manservant, they run into a robber.

The result?

Bang down goes Thomas.

Bang down goes Martha.

Bang there goes the birth of the Batman. Worst. Family. Night. Ever. He’s never recovered.








1. The -Els and the Kents (Parents of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman)

When Kryptonians pack for the End of Days and you’ve got one chance to save your son’s life, you pack the following:

  • blanket with family crest on it

    ....and then the 3 Wise Men came.

  • Blue’s Clues books
  • So You’re Having An Alien: A guide to raising your discovered baby
  • memento from home–Kryptonian rock

Jor-El savvily sends son Kal-El to Earth where he will have a leg-up on everyone else–it’s like when middle-class families send their kids to under-performing schools so they can graduate as valedictorians.

 But he also sent fragments of Krypton with lil’ Kal-El; apparently even in his last moments Jor-El was still bitter that wife Lara lied about being on the pill.

A normal mortal would smash this. Not Supes!

Kal-El crash-lands in Kansas, is raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent–who quickly change his name from the “Obama sounding” Kal-El to a much more inoffensive “Clark”, and constantly keep his powers in check by, I dunno, putting Kryptonite powder in his cereal. No flying, no lifting, no X-ray vision to look through Lana Lang’s dress, no powers at all–unless he’s doing work on the farm!

Jor-El does this every time he walks into a room.

And Jor-El? The only time we see Jor-El after that is once Clark/Kal’s makes a name for himself on Earth as Superman. Jor-El pops up like deadbeat dad Denzel Washington in He Got Game trying to be all cool, and in need of someone to co-sign on that Krypton space-car he’s had an eye on.

In the end, all three of these parents conspired to create the world’s strongest, most powerful–bumbling, celibate reporter. This is sorta like God asking Jesus to not turn water into wine, cure leoprasy and instead focus on getting a management job at H&M.

What a waste. A waste!

Worst parents ever.


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List o’ the Week: Worst Superhero Parents #5-4

5. Reed and Sue Richards (The Parents of Franklin and Valeria Richards)

Speaking of “bad spaceship rides”, take a ride with sometime with mad skillz scientist Reed Richards; you might come back as:

  • The Human Torch (Johnny Storm): constant burning sensation, and questionable sexual identity (“Flame on!”)
  • The Thing (Ben Grimm): strong like bull! Like an overdose of Cialis, permanently hard and ironically unable to make love to a woman
  • The Invisible Woman (Sue Richards): you thought a woman was invisible in the 1960’s? Well sister, you don’t know invisible until you meet the Invisible Woman

….Reed on the other hand, “tragically” ends up with the power to stretch any part of his body. On what I’m sure is a totally unrelated note, he and Sue Richards soon marry and have two kids: Franklin and going-to-be-a-super-powered-stripper-with-this-name, Valeria.

It’s already hard enough to have parents who escape to outer space and other dimensions when you need help with your pasta-paste project, Reed and Sue are bad parents just for letting their kids live with them in the Baxter Building–headquarters to the Fantastic Four, a building that gets attacked more often than Sarah Palin (who I wish could turn invisible).

Sue: Mm; you taste of algae and soda cans Namor: And you taste of suburban marital displeasure, my dear.

Panel 2: Reed and Sue exchange pained pleasantries about their Atlantean-looking child. In the last panel, Sue shuts her eyes and can only pray for the lie she's about to live.

In addition, even when your mom’s there, she’s not there (on account of the invisibilty); a power that Sue uses to slip out and make-out with Namor, the Sub-Mariner (think Aquaman crossed with the looks of say, Star Trek’s Dr. Spock) who apparently lives right off of Coney Island, because he and Sue Richards see each other all the time it seems. Plus, probably due to Daddy and Mommy Four’s exposure to space herpes, poor firstborn Franklin Richards is curiously struck with what I like to call “Webster’s Disease”–born about 30 years ago (our time) he’s only about 10 years old. Can you imagine that? Your dad can create robots that talk, gadgets that can kill planet-eating gods, create holes in time to travel to other dimensions…….but you’re still hung like a worker ant.

The Search for Reed Richards begins in Namor's trousers....!

This in a world where your parents hang out with hotties like Storm, Spider-Woman and yeah, even She-Hulk if you’re into that sort of thing, and they’re basically your age at this point but no, no, no your parents would rather you dodge lasers from Dr. Doom and each weird shit from other planets like Martian feces because dammit Franklin, it builds character and if you don’t button-up and fly right, we’ll send you to the that Xavier Institute where the kids are like the Lost Boys of Sudan and you don’t want that do you (but you do, yeah you do ’cause you wanna make it rain with Storm)?

This in a world where your mom’s like, “I’ll be right back, I’ve got to run to the Nth Dimension to get some milk” but then, then you see her down at the docks leaning over the pier, sucking face with that mer-man Namor, only it’s really f-cking weird because only her head’s visible–the rest of her body is invisible–so there she is, f-cking Floating Head Mom tongue-searching for the Lost City of Atlantis inside Little Nemo’s mouth and hey, hey, hey Daddy Reed will tell you it’s science baby, it’s all science.

And that is why they’re bad parents.

4. The Flying (?) Graysons (The Parents of Dick Grayson)

Well, they clearly suck for naming you “Dick”. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Second, the Graysons suck for raising their boy in the circus. The circus! The circus is about the #5 worst place to raise your child, just look:

Yahoo! List of Worst Places to Raise Your Dick

  1.  in church
  2. in school
  3. in court
  4. in West Philadelphia
  5. in a circus

Hard to argue with Yahoo!, isn’t it? So yeah, The Flying Graysons did a high-wire trapeze act, and in a stunt straight outta reality show TV, they got their son involved, too. So there’s their son, getting tossed around in the air, back and forth, back and forth on the trapeze. And there’s those two grinning jackasses–look at them overhead!–tossing their Dick around like he’s nothing.

Dick practices the "trust fall" with his parents

And what happens? I’ll tell you what happens. Dick Grayson gets to watch his parents plummet to their death during one of their trapeze acts. This happens because some mob guys working for, I dunno, let’s say Cirque Du Soleil, show up pre-show and cut the wires just enough for An Accident. So there’s little limp Dick watching his parents complete the Karma Sutra Toss (“remember to reach with your loins, honey! On 3!”) when–oh snap–the wires break, and they fall and crash to the ground like so much Humpty Dumpty, and probably munched on by circus lions and sprayed with Seltzer water by the clowns.

So why’s this important? Because guess who’s watching the show this particular night?

Bruce Wayne!

So there’s Batman there, sitting in the crowd, probably applying some Bat-butter to his popcorn and having Alfred feeding it to him, and he watches Dick lose his parents in the worst America’s Funniest Home Video segment ever.

And what’s he thinking?

“Hm; less butter Alfred.”

Or maybe he says something cool and collected and cliche’ like, “Guess we won’t be seeing the lion swallow Dick tonight”, or, “It would appear that the Flying Graysons have just been grounded”.

But then he’s thinking, man, I know that when I lost MY parents the only thing that comforted me was sitting in a cave and paying Prince to write songs about me–I want to save that boy and play ‘Purple Rain’ for him.

Metaphorical Joker stands in for thousands of comic nerds.

And that’s how Dick Grayson became (the first) Robin, spending several undoubtedly confusing years wearing French-cut panties, a yellow cape and a tuck job, leaping from rooftop to rooftop wondering where it all went wrong.

"Jason? Jay?...Robin? You're just sleeping, right lilttle buddy?"

This eventually wore thin, and so Dick growed up and left the cave, and in his place came Jason Todd, a Robin so despicable not only did DC Comics hold a  fan 1-900 telephone poll deciding whether to kill him or not, but then, when the decision came, Jason Todd Robin was tied to the chair, beaten to a pulp by the Joker with a crowbar, and then blown up inside a building. I’ve seen Chris Brown dates that’ve ended better than that.

And so, it all comes back to the Flying Graysons, and their fateful vanity–they ruined Dick’s life AND when Dick leaves and young Jason Todd tries to fill some weird homoerotic void in Batman’s life, his life too.

Two birds. One stone.

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List o’ the Week: Worst Superhero Parents # 7-6

The latest list from The Kids is answering the question: “can two fugged up people uglies and create someone that turns out SUPER, albeit a little messed-up?”.

For many of us, that would be a resounding “YES”–one would need look at the above question and quickly hit your joy-buzzer and reply with, “What is Joe and Katherine Jackson?”. But here we’re talking about superheroes not Kings (and Queens and Jermaine’s) of Pop.

So sure, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man are all great guys and all, but what about their mamas? Do you punch the Joker because he’s The JOKER or are you punching him because your mom made you sleep in the same bed that your big brother Heath used to sleep in? And wear his pajamas. And use his sippy cup.

Get it? No? Well read Part 1 then; the rest of us will get on with our lives.

The Kids Don’t Get It Worst Superhero Parents #’s 7-5

7. Uncle Ben and Aunt May Parker (The Adoptive Parents of Spider-Man)

You know, if you’re 75+ yr olds Ben and May Parker, and you’ve taken in the nephew who lost his parents to a car accident, you should probably try and, I dunno, spend some time with him.

Go to the movies.

Take him to get jeans at the Gap. Parent stuff.

You can at least chaperon high school field trips to a science lab, so if your unlucky surrogate son gets bitten by a radioactive spider, there’s someone there other than the HS Science Teacher or that creepy kid Harry Osbourn to suck the venom out. Parenting’s all about anticipation— I mean, even Charlie’s grandpa went to the f-cking Chocolate Factory with him, what once he saw it was run by that dope-fiend, Gene Wilder.

Instead? Aunt May and Uncle Ben get EPIC PARENTING FAIL.

Later, Peter learns that old Lazy Bones Ben Parker’s too broke to pay the billz, so he wrestles some dude for money! In an effort to prove he’s tough too, Uncle Ben tries to eat a bullet through his chest. Didn’t work, but leaves Spider-Man with the mantra that defines his career: “Better ingredients, better pizza. Papa John’s”. No, wait, that’s: “…with great power comes great responsibility”–a great phrase for a young man with superpowers, pursuing a college degree, or boning someone without a condom.

And instead of working again–I think there’s an earlier comic that features Aunt May midwifing a T-rex– Aunt May wiles away spending her time hating Spider-Man through Glenn Beck-like hate-letters-to-the-editor to The Daily Bugle (“Spider-man Created Gays”; “Spider-Man Is a Muslim”; “BP Oil Spill? Web Fluid!”)–and weekends faking her death.

February 16, 1978: Fake Death #17--Heart Attack

September 5, 1988: Fake Death #45--Old People Disease

December 25, 1995: Fake Death #77--Gun Shot Wound (as inspired by Uncle Ben)

April 12, 1997: Fake Death #210--Permanent Coma

6. Mutant Parents (Parents of The X-Men recruits)

Apparently enrolling your mutant  kid in school in the Marvel Comics Universe is a cinch: there’s no need for a campus visit, no interest or need to see a brochure; shit, you don’t even ask what degree the kids are graduating with. The Xavier Institute of Higher Learning (secret headquarters of the X-Men) seems to consist of roughly the same admissions rigor as the University of Phoenix: just sign-up for an AOL account.

So how do these kids find the X-Men school?

Well like most militant cults, the X-Men target the marginalized kids. Basically head professor Charles Xavier sends his merry band of X-Men have a recruitment handbook outlined with these easy strategies:

  • Go To Where Kids Hang Out: on the street corner, in ice cream shops, or in the dressing room of a children’s clothing store
  • Isolate Them and Convince Them That They’re ‘Special’:
  • Educate Them About The War Against Special People Like Us
  • Show Them That We Wear Skin-Tight Clothing
  • Stab Them

    "Join us!"

  • Bring Them Back to School in the X-van

20/20 called this approach The Kitty Pryde Story. As a girl that can walk through solid objects, Kitty was recruited by the X-Men while at a soda shop–they told her about a great place for Kids Like Her, and hey, we’ve got even better sodas and cute boys at this new place, and hey, you don’t mind occasionally bleeding or watching classmates die, right?

Then for the next 24hrs she gets wrapped up in a (probably staged) battle as the X-Men Fight For Their Lives.

When it’s all over and Kitty’s outraged parents find them, what do the X-Men do? They erase her parents’ minds! Right in front of her!

So much PARENT FAIL here: human absent-minded parents don’t care that she’s gone for a day, while her new parents (super-powered, multi-cultured, rough mutant sex) immediately show her that hey,when life gives you yuppie lemons, you make them forget shit.

"Can't sit down. Can't..remember..why..?"

So maybe Kitty’s bottom’s sore for reasons other than “a really long spaceship ride with Wolverine”…..?

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List O’ the Week: Worst Superhero Parents #8-10

If you’re like everyone else, and by “everyone else” I mean, “people that are attending the San Diego Comic-Con” (that’s comic book convention, kids), you’re really into superheroes and what makes them tick.

Seeing how most of us blame our adult issues on mom and pops, it only makes sense that that must be at the root of superheroes becoming superheroes, right? I mean it must take spectacularly bad parents to make a superhero; it’s why Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston’s daughter is destined to become Afro-dite and while Jon & Kate’s batch of Gremlins will similarly result in some biracial real-life X-Men team.

But, I suppose we can elaborate, can’t we? So we’re going to look at how these heroes were created; specifically, how bad of a parent you have to be convince your child to sit in the dark wearing a mask and whore-tight clothing.

So strap-on your mask, cape and insecurity: Mama’s gonna teach you to fly.

The Kids Don’t Get It Worst Superhero Parents #’s 10-8

10. Mr.and Mrs. J’onnz (The Martian the Manhunter’s Parents):

No Earth. No Wind. No Fire.

Martian the Manhunter (MtM) is, well, a martian–the kind that comes from outer space, not to be confused with the one who dated “Gina”–that’s “Martin Lawrence” , as in Martin, but we’ll forgive you for making such an error. MtM was born on Mars and was DC’s even-more-alien ‘Superman’, because no one wanted to write stories of a brown-skinned Superman of Earth flying the skies of Detroit or something. Like Supes, MtM can fly, lift things and shoot eye-beams. And can read people’s minds.

All a clever play on not having a Black Superman–I mean Black guys can read people’s minds too. When I’m walking in the city, I know that the white lady I’m passing is thinking, “this Barack clone is going to snag my purse”–that’s why she quietly pulls it close. And when a shapely chick is strolling down the street, she tugs at the back of her skirt because she’s thinking, “this coloured man is eager to sneer at my hindquarters once I’ve passed”. I can read it like I read my Gmail.

MtM even has a black name–J’onn J’onzz. That could easily be the guy sweeping your office or a member of Jodeci. Or both. And then there’s his ‘Kryptonite’: fire.

Bah! Everyone knows that brothers’ real Kryptonite consist of water (can’t swim, slave ships), cops, and not being drafted/signed to a label.

Mississippi burning

So what makes J’onn J’onnz’s parents so b’ad b’ad? Because of all the things that they could’ve taught him–how to not look Superman in the eye when he speaks to him, how to speak ‘proper’, the cultural bias built into Justice League Membership test–they instead taught MtM how to be a shape-shifter. A shape-shifter!

This dude could be Affirmative Action Superman, and his parents want him to learn how to be like everybody else. Could there be a crueler message to send to a colored man with so much untapped potential of his own? I don’t think so.

Don’t worry MtM; you my J’onnz.

9.  Gloria Steinem and Aphrodite (Wonder Woman’s Parents):

Raised on the Amazonian chick-ranch Paradise Island (it’s where they shoot all the Venus shaving gel commercials), Wonder Woman was


born and bred to be a princess, ambassador and a warrior. Look, I’m all for strong women types–that’s why I’m such a huge Kim Kardashian fan!–but the Amazonians spent years Diana (Wonder’s real name) to be a strong, just and noble representative of The Ultimate Woman and what’s her mother’s first advice in sending her daughter into Man’s World?

“Put on this star-spangled thong, gold tiara and Athena’s old bustier and for Zeus’ sake girl, get some bracelets!”

And then she was gifted with an invisible plane that everyone could see through because women should be seen at all times, but not heard. Gotta get them mens, right?

The result of Wonder Woman’s mission of “How to Serve Man” is almost biblical in proportions:

  • there was Wonder Woman, who begat Strawberry Shortcake

    "Who has time for a career? I've got undies to wear!"

  • who begat Veronica/Betty in Archie Comics
  • who begat Cheetara, den-kitten to Panthro, Lion-O and Wily-Cat
  • who begat Catwoman
  • who begat Blanche on The Golden Girls
  • who begat Xena
  • who begat Samantha on Sex and the City
  • who begat Katie Perry

Each previous one has been consumed by the last because Their Can Be Only One.

8. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers (Captain America’s Parents)

"Your milkshake called me to the yard, Suzie"

Picture this: it’s like 1940 and you’re a young Caucasian boy with a bright, bright future ahead of him. You’ve graduated high school which in the early 40’s was the only other prereq to becoming POTUS (besides being white male which didn’t change until Clinton). You’re probably thinking, “man, I can’t wait to go to the malt shop and have Old Black Sam make me and Suzie Beaver a swell milkshake!” and then after that milkshake you’ll take Suzie Beaver and screw her because “Suzie, there’s a war going on and I don’t know if you’ll make it, or I’ll make it or even your queer little brother Harold will, but I know I got this thing here, and while it can’t punch Hitler, it can certainly blitzkrieg you.”

But no. Not happening if your Steve Rogers. If you’re Steve Rogers, you’ve got parents that say, “did you know Old Black Sam’s son J’onn J’onnz is volunteering in the war?! What are you doing with yourself? Stop playing with that twat Suzie Beaver!”, so you run down Marmalade Lane….Brightwood Ave….Mulberry Lane…and now your chest is heaving because usually you only have to chase the coloured boys out of Brightwood, and you’re realizing that you aren’t even fit for war, and that Suzie Beaver’s not going to want your weezy, wimpy noodle with studs like Old Black Sam around, and you don’t want to die and come back as a ghost just to watch them screw do you?


So you’re Steve Rogers, high school graduate, American-lover, Hitler-hater, and sick of people making fun of the fact that your dad’s got that weird neighborhood “kids show”, so you go where? To the Army! And when you get there and they see you can’t lift towels but you Bleed This American Life, well, they say “we’re going to pump this sissy full of that stuff we were going to use on those Tuskeegee boys” and whamm0!–you’re stuck faster’n you can say Mein Kampf, and now you’re PUMPED, you’re going to the front-line of the war, you’re CAPTAIN AMERICA and you’re going to punch Hitler in the face because he looks like Mr. Rogers with a mustache and you’re bringing Bucky along with you because he’s you man, and you want to see someone Shut Daddy’s Mouth Up.




#’s 7-10 next.

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