To “celebrate” father’s day, I’ve written a selection of essays on some of comics worst ever dads. From adoptive fathers to absent ones, from rich and fascist to poor and useless, I’ve got ’em all! So strap in, grab your daddy issues, a stiff drink, and get ready to realise that pretty much all of your beloved men in tights are not only terrible people but also terrible parents. Welcome to BAD DADS – COMICS’ WORST FATHER FIGURES.
To be honest, I probably should have started with Scott Summers. Because really, is there anything worse you can do as a father than just casually leave your infant son on a with a random stranger on a dying space ship in the hope that maybe his mysterious techno-virus will someday be cured in the future? Probably not. Or if there is, it’s probably having a baby with your new partner who looks a lot like your ex, then leaving them both because it turns out your ex is still alive. Well, he did that too. Yeah, shocking, I know! Scott Summers is a complete jerk, it must be a day ending in y.
The Xavier school’s favorite jock Scott has always had a special place in old baldy’s heart, maybe it was because Cyclops was his first student, or could it have been that the world’s second most powerful telepath–duh, Jean is the strongest–possibly foresaw that Scott too was his brother in terrible dad arms. Cyclops’ bad daddery is honestly some of the most prolific no-good fathering that the Marvel Universe has ever seen, and when it comes to being a bad dad, Scott Summers’ just can’t stop.
First things first: Cable is Scott Summer’s son. Yes, that gnarled muscle bound silver fox is Cyclops kid, known lovingly in his early appearances as “baby Nathan.” So, how exactly did cute lil Nath become the grizzled old hot dad that we all know and love today? Well, that would be due to good ol’ Slim. After Jean Grey died, he was out very quickly finding solace in other women. And you know what, that’s fine, we all grieve in our own way. But Scott’s a prick so of course these women happened to look a lot like Jean. Well, guess why that was: Scott’s new beau Madelyne Pryor was actually Jean Grey’s clone! That’s some dark shit man; Mister Sinister was to blame, but it’s all chill cos when Jean Grey came back to life miraculously (as is the way of comics), Scott breezed Madelyne and baby (now toddler) Nathan for the OG Maddy: Jean Grey.
So, onto how that sexy old muscled metal dad-bod Cable came to be. Well, get ready, cos this is one wild ride!
After Scott abandoned his family, Mister Sinister returned, sending a team to kill Maddy before she could be revealed as a clone. Scott would later try and find his family, but would quickly give up when he found them missing, because he’s a wasteman. Meanwhile, Maddy was super stressed about Scott’s betrayal and, as is the want of comics creators, she slowly lost her mind, becoming the Goblin Queen and plotting to use baby Nathan and nine other baby mutants to take down Scott and Jean. This never happened, and after Madelyne killed herself the Summers Family 2.0 decided it would be a good idea to take baby Nathan onto an AI ship called Ship where his destiny as Cable would truly begin to manifest.
Scott is a ridiculous waste of space, as we all know, and low and behold against Jean’s better advice Scott decided to take Nathan on missions with him. Whilst on a mission, Nathan was kidnapped by Apocalypse and contracted a techno-virus–seriously the Marvel universe is full of these things, why hasn’t someone invented a cure–which would almost certainly kill him. Ship merged with Nathan’s electronics–Cable’s cyborg-ish nature is largely kept vague and mysterious–and saved him, but Scott decided the best thing to do would be to leave Nathan alone on Ship never to see him again. Because to truly save Nathan Ship would have to take him far into the future. Great plan, Scott. Like I know you were trying to save your son, but seriously WTAF. Just send your baby on a spaceship, dying of a techno-virus, flying alone into the sun/dystopian future or some shit.
Cable (adult version) had already made his appearance as the mysterious leader of the New Mutants, but it wouldn’t be revealed to Scott that his missing son was already back on earth for a while. But, you know, seeing as Jean is amazing, and cos women do everything of import in the world of comics, it turns out she actually travelled through time and raised baby Nathan as a mysterious future foster mother, so that he would grow up into the hot old hero he was truly meant to be. Sure, Scott was there too, but what do you think that fool really did, other than sit around and feel sorry for himself cos he has such hot strong eyes? Yeah yeah, I know. They’re optic blasts.
Scott DOES have an alternate-universe child, who was born by the now dead Scott and Jean in the Days of Future Past reality. I suppose we can’t really blame 616-Scott for being absent in this case, but hey, when Rachel Summers joined the 616 reality, why didn’t Scott raise her then, huh huh huh? Boo Scott!
Anyway, turns out that the world’s worst X-Man is also one of the world’s worst dads. You know, my dad did a lot of bad shit, but he never gave me a techno virus or left me alone in the vast expanse of space. I guess there’s that. But I’m not a hot silver fox with a cool cybernetic body, so actually FUCK YOU DAD! Go back in time and throw baby-me into space, wherever you are.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOR OUR PENULTIMATE PART OF DADDY ISSUES: #7 WOLVERINE HE’S THE HOTTEST DAD WHO CAN’T RAISE A KID TO SAVE HIS LIFE.