Father’s Day is almost here and that means everyone is looking for some way to honor the men that shaped them. Comic books are no different. Readers see tales of men who save innocents daily. Many of those same men also work to protect their own families, and try to raise their children as best they can. While there are more than those that appear on this list, DC has created many of these super-dads over the years. So today ComicsVerse looks at five of DC’s best heroic fathers!

Father’s Day Honorable Mention — Jonathan Kent

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Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This list features currently living DC dads, in order to keep it small. However, it would be a failure not to mention arguably the most iconic father figure, Jonathan Kent. While he possessed no powers, Pa Kent still provided a service to humanity by helping mold the Man of Steel. It was Jonathan’s morals and example that helped shape Clark Kent, and made sure that Superman always remained human. Jonathan underwent many incarnations over the years, shifting between being alive and dead. His relationship with Clark changed as well. His over-protectiveness was a source of conflict with Clark in BIRTHRIGHT. However, that same desire to protect let Jonathan journey into the afterlife to pull Clark’s soul back to Earth after THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN. DC decided to kill off Jonathan and Martha Kent in the New 52 relaunch, but Pa’s impact on Earth’s greatest hero can never be denied.

5. Highfather

Father
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The greatest super-dad, in terms of raw power, Highfather is the leader of New Genesis. Highfather takes inspiration from other cosmic dads (i.e. Zeus, Odin), as he shepherds the race of the New Gods. Modern depictions gave Highfather a harsher personality, but he began as a more gentle, nurturing figure. He was beloved by the New Gods and stood as a cosmic counterpart to Darkseid. However, his greatest act as a dad came when he brokered peace between New Genesis and Apokolips. He exchanged his infant son with Darkseid’s, which greatly pained him. Yet Highfather’s actions allowed for Orion (Darkseid’s son) to emerge as a hero of New Genesis and Earth. Highfather’s ability to instill great values into the son of his enemy echoes Jonathan Kent, but also shows that his parental abilities were as strong as his cosmic ones.

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4. Black Lightning

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Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Fans know Jefferson Pierce from his recent CW show, which echoes Pierce’s relationships with his daughters, Thunder and Lightning. Pierce in the comics dealt with both of his daughters gaining powers. He struggled with Thunder becoming a hero, which is a sly echo of the karma of having a child that acts like you. However, he’s come to terms with both his children’s super-careers, and their choice to use their powers for good shows his influence. Pierce has even taken on a mentorship role to Static in recent years. Black Lightning is arguably the best of example of a super-dad with a super-family.

3. Green Arrow

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Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

At first glance, Green Arrow doesn’t seem like the best dad. He can be a womanizer, who has loved and lost many women before finally finding Black Canary. However, Oliver Queen has proven himself a surprisingly adept father. The most well-known example is Roy Harper, who trained under Queen as sidekick Speedy before graduating to Arsenal. Queen also took on Mia Dearden as the second Speedy and surrogate daughter. However, Queen also revealed an actual son in Connor Hawke, who Oliver had abandoned as a younger man. Oliver and Connor spent many years working on their relationship, both as heroes and as father and son. Connor forgave his father for his past, showing that despite Ollie’s mistakes, Green Arrow can still be a great dad.

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2. Arsenal

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Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Arsenal’s parental history shows both sides of the Green Arrow coin. On one hand, his daughter Lian was conceived from a one-night stand with the villain Chesire. That’s pretty Green Arrow. However, Roy took Lian in and raised her by his side, which is also pretty Green Arrow. The two lived together in Titans Tower, and Roy took great measures to protect and care for his daughter. He took his role as a single parent seriously, and Lian’s death following FINAL CRISIS pushed Roy back into addiction and despair. He joined a villainous group of Titans, but reformed when he finally accepted his daughter’s death. Lian has been written out of current DCU, but her positive effect on Arsenal and their depiction of a healthy single parent relationship would be worth seeing again.

1. Batman

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Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

Yes, Batman wins again. However, it’s especially impressive given that Batman’s supposed to be a serious loner, but has been a father figure many times over. The most famous example is, of course, Dick Grayson. Bruce took him in as his ward and the first Robin, but it was his first time of playing a mentor (and father) role. Bruce even went as far as to legally adopt Dick but, unsurprisingly, kept it a secret. His relationship with the first Boy Wonder can be summed up with one quote from THE OBSIDIAN AGE:

“The only time I ever feel pride is when I look at Nightwing. Sometimes, I think he’s the only thing I ever did right.”

Those feelings inspired Bruce further, as he since been a father figure to Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Cassandra Cain. These relationships didn’t all work out, but Bruce clearly cared about all of his charges. He pushed them to succeed, but was still there for them in hard times. All of that came to fruition when Bruce met his actual son, Damian Wayne. Given this child’s… difficult manner, Bruce definitely needed all that prep work! Bruce succeeded though, as Damian has tempered his aggression and become an important part of the Batman mythos and a worthy son to his father. It also shows that no matter how hard their job, all good dads rise up to better their children.

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