It’s Father’s Day, so we thought we go through and pick out our favorite father figures from all things geeky.
Father’s play an important role in a hero’s life. Sometimes that role is an active participant. Sometimes, they are a motivating force from the past. Heck sometimes Dad is the hero.
These are our top ten Dads from across Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Comics. What do you think of our choices? Who is your favorite Dad? Let us know.
10) Sarek (Star Trek)
- “As I recall, I opposed your enlistment in Starfleet. It is possible that judgement was incorrect.”
Spock’s father may come across distant, aloof and unfeeling. But his affection for his son, while often unspoken, is undeniable, even if he doesn’t always understand his son’s human side.
It’s only logical that he should have the #10 spot on our list.
9) Henry Jones, Sr. (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)
- “Did I ever tell you to eat up, go to bed, do you homework? No. I respected your privacy and taught you self reliance.“
Coming in at number 9, is another father who had trouble connecting to his son, as a boy. Somehow he still managed to help shape him into the man he needed to be. Like his son, Henry is a man consumed by the legends of the past. A bit more of an academic, but not without his wits when danger arise, or adventure or romance.
After all, he’s as human as the next man.
8) Ned Stark (Game of Thrones)
- “War is easier than daughters.“
Game of Thrones is a show filled with some pretty bad fathers. Dad no. 8,
Eddard Stark manages to stand out from the rest of Westfall’s patriarchs. Though a man whose ambitious may have brought about all manner of difficulties for his family, his intentions were always in their best interests. He cared for his family, even taking in his illegitimate son, and raised him.
He may not have always been the most loving or doting father, but compared to the Lannisters, the Starks are Brady Bunch.
7) Stephen J Bartowski (Chuck)
- “Aces, Charles.“
Faced with the impossible dilemma of either being with his children or protecting them, Stephen Bartowski had to walk away in order to keep the children he loved safe from the world of spies and intrigue. Of course he could never have predicted that the very world he was trying to keep his son, Chuck and daughter, Ellie from, would find them thanks to one single email. And that email would help his floundering son Chuck discover his true potential.
Even after Stephen was reunited, with his kids, he still kept his distance, worrying that someone will use them to get to him. Ultimately it was the other way around, when Ring operative Daniel Shaw killed Stephen to weaken Chuck’s control over the super computer in his brain, the intersect. However, it was memories of his father that allowed Chuck to regain control, and defeat Shaw and the Ring.
6) Marko (Saga)
Marko’s whole reason for being is to protect his wife, Alana and daughter Hazel. Of course that’s difficult when he is on the run, as a deserter from his world’s army, and his wife a deserter of her world’s.
Only wanting a life of peace, Marko will pick up his sword if his family threatened. Like any good father would.
5) Uncle Ben (Spider-man comics/movies)
- “Remember, with great power, comes great responsibility.“
One of the most famous father figures in comics. Uncle Ben instills in Peter Parker the ethics and drive to do good that make Spider-man the hero that he is. It’s a shame that Ben had to die for that message to really sink into Peter tho.
Uncle Ben has been played in movies by Cliff Robinson in the Sam Raimi Spider-movies, and Martin Sheen in the recent reboot.
4) Jack Crichton (Farscape)
- “You going to find when you have your own, you’ll want ’em to surpass you, be better, climb higher. I guess if that’s the measure, I’m the greatest dad on Earth.“
If you haven’t watched Farscape, you’re missed out on seeing Dad number 4, Jack Crichton.
Imagine what it must be like to be the child of one of the men who walked on the moon? Those are pretty big shoes to fill. Luckily for John Crichton, Jack passed on his strength of character, and his curious nature to explore the unknown. Both would serve John well as he explored the Uncharted Territories to his ultimate destiny.
Jack is only in a handful of the 88 episodes of the 4 season series, and half the time he’s not actually Jack, rather an mind reading extra dimensional alien who uses Jack’s appearance, first to find out if his species would be welcome on Earth, then to recruit John to help protect his people.
3) Benjamin Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
- “I’m no writer; but if I were, it seems to me I’d wanna poke my head up every once in a while and take a look around, see what’s going on. It’s life, Jake. You can miss it if you don’t open your eyes. “
Starfleet officers have always been strong role models, but very rarely have we ever seen one as a parent, especially a commanding office like Sisko.
The added role of father gave Sisko a more grounded take on the events of the Star Trek universe. Add to that, the fact that he was a single parent, and serving on the front lines of one of the most dangerous Federation posts, you have to be impressed with how Jake turned out.
2) Jonathan Kent (Superman comics/TV/movies)
- “And one thing I do know, son, and that is you are here for a *reason*. I don’t know whose reason, or whatever the reason is… Maybe it’s because… uh… I don’t know. But I do know one thing. It’s *not* to score touchdowns.“
For Clark Kent to turn out to be the hero that he is says a lot about how good a father Jonathan Kent is. With all the power that Clark has, he could easily be world conqueror or if not that, just a huge ass jerk. But that farm work ethic, and strong moral guidance that he received from his human foster parents, are what make Superman the hero that he is.
Kent has been portrayed by many different actors over the years, but my favorite is still Glen Ford’s take from the original Superman movie, followed closely by John Schiender’s 21st century take of the independent American farmer.
1) Alfred Pennyworth (Batman comics/TV/movies)
- “Teacher, mentor, partner, but never a father… of course, Master Bruce, of course.“
Though never a role he would acknowledge, Alfred Pennyworth has served as father (and mother) to young Bruce Wayne. He helped his young master as he came to grips with the trauma of losing his parents. And while raising him to be a vigilante may not have been Alfred’s first choice, it is through the compassion and love that Alfred provides that Batman is a hero driven to get justice, and not revenge.
Besides being a parent, Alfred was also an advisor and teacher, not just to Bruce Wayne, but the series of young men and women who joined Batman in the never ending battle against crime in Gotham City.