What Is A Father? – A Comic Book Guide To Fatherhood

What is a father?

In celebration of Father’s Day, I wanted to take some time to reflect and share my thoughts and feelings about it. For many, Father’s Day is a time to look at your Dad and appreciate all that they’ve done and do. They are real life superheroes who we place on well-deserved pedestals and in some cases, they even appear larger than life.

And they don’t even have to be biological. A father can be a man who steps into a situation well after the child is born and takes on the responsibility of raising the child.

So, what is a father?

The comic book industry has done a phenomenal job of portraying all of the good qualities that they possess. They:

  • teach the difference between wrong and right
  • give strength and guidance
  • show unconditional love
  • show that it’s ok to fall but teach to make sure that you always get back up
  • teach appreciation
  • teach humility and gratitude
  • are continually supportive
  • don’t pass judgment
  • keep an open mind
  • protect their family at all costs

I look at Jack Murdoch as a prime example.

While Jack wasn’t the perfect father (washed up boxer who did questionable things) he tirelessly taught his son Matt (Daredevil) that it just doesn’t matter how many times you are knocked down. The only thing that matters is that you get right back up. Further to that, he pushed Matt to get a good education so that he may make something of himself one day. Jack didn’t want Matt to follow in his footsteps. Like every father, their one wish is that their children grow up to surpass everything that they were and are.

We all know that this worked out for Jack and Matt as he learned to fight for justice on the streets and in the courtroom.

Again, what is a father?

Even Marko from Saga lives and breathes what a father is. His daughter, Hazel was the product of two rival factions who live in a constant and neverending battle with one another. Marko had given up everything for her and his wife, Alana, including his desire to carry and use weapons. However, when push came to shove, he abandoned everything he believed in so that he may protect his family.

The true definition of a father is a man who always does what he believes is right. He lives his life constantly putting himself last. His priority should and will always be his wife and children. A father is someone who will live his life being the runner-up in his household and that suits him just fine. If he is the runner-up, that means that all those with him in the house have won. If they’ve won, he’s won.

To all the people reading this who have children, I say never let them go. They will always be the greatest thing in your life. They will challenge you in every which way possible and that is half the fun. Children have a funny way of making us rise to the occasion and you know what? It’s perfect. It’s all worth it each and every time that they look into our eyes and say “I love you, Dad.”

Really, what is a father?

Remember, a father’s legacy isn’t left by the houses they have, the cars they own, or the toys they possess. A father’s legacy is left behind in the children that they inspire. So, if I may offer some advice, take the time to be present in the moments that are here and remember and reflect on the ones that have passed. These moments, the ones that we cherish, are our legacies and without them, life lacks meaning.

I think this quote sums it up nicely, “No matter how old I get, my dad will always be my hero”.

Happy Father’s Day,


Image © Ian Barbour
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