The 5 Worst Father Figures in the MCU: Infinity Saga

July 7, 2020 at 11:05 pm (Reviews, TV/movie review, With a list)

So many choices, amirite?

So let’s start with the man who got a pass on the villain list despite making Ultron.

5. Tony Stark

Look, Tony. I know your own dad wasn’t super emotionally competent, but it is not okay to enlist a child into your civil war, okay? Particularly without his guardian’s knowledge or consent.

And coming on to said guardian while you’re there? Unhelpful at best.

No matter how cool the scene ends up being.

4. Yondu

In Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Yondu is ret-conned to a certain extent. He didn’t keep Quill because he was handy child labour; he kept him to save him from his killer father.

Having said that, Quill was still abducted from his home planet and was constantly threatened with being eaten. Yondu died to save him, and that’s worth a lot—but parenthood takes a fair bit more than one grand heroic moment. Quill has a lot of reasons to be screwed up, and Yondu is definitely one of them.

3. Odin

The all-father seems like a great dad, wise and compassionate and all kinds of great stuff. He sends Thor on a quest that makes him a better person, and he adopts a baby belonging to his traditional enemies, raising him as his own. His quest for Thor nearly gets the god of thunder killed, and he should have told Loki he was adopted… but it’s not until Thor: Ragnarok that we find out about Hela and about Asgard’s blood-soaked past.

Parenthood: It’s not one of those things where you can change your mind about your parenting style and lock the first kid in an underground dungeon so you can start over.

It is an elegant tragedy that Odin’s most lovely, fatherly speech towards Thor is actually Loki pretending to be Odin.

2. Ego

Impregnating various races in order to gain a child who can help you take over the universe is not a good reason to become a dad. Killing countless offspring who disappoint you—and the occasional mother that you’re tempted to stick with—is also not good parenthood.

Just… just no.

Honorable mentions, for those who are mostly good but also kind of awful:

Rocket cares deeply for Baby Groot, and it’s adorable, but in an ideal world children don’t get raised by psychopaths. Just saying.

King T’Chaka raises two wonderful children, and is fundamentally a good man—but he has something in common with all the worst billionaires of our time. He chooses not to care about the rest of the world. I understand the urge to protect one’s own people at the expense of others, but if you truly want to be a decent father, that means being a decent human being as well.

Hank Pym, for being cranky as and for taking way too long to let Hope have a suit. She’s so, so much more competent than Scott.

Scott Lang, for going to prison and then continuing to steal stuff and risk his freedom. He loves Cassie, but he makes a lot of dumb, awful decisions that put her in harm’s way and that stop him being able to actually act like the good dad he wants to be.

 

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And finally, Thanos

Not because he wants to kill half the universe (although that’s certainly a solid entry in the ‘nope’ column) but because of the way he gaslights, abuses, and manipulates his adopted daughters.

Those girls are deeply messed up, and that was entirely intentional on his part. He wanted them desperate for his approval, and constantly fighting one another in an attempt to please him that would never be satisfied.

It is delightful to see them both break free of him.

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