Tag Archives: Fantastic Four

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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