Sunday, June 21, 2009

Worst Dad of the Silver Age?

There are only a couple of real contenders, partially because fathers were as scarce as hen's teeth in the Silver Age.

Odin certainly qualifies for the short list. Let's see, you've got two sons. One's handsome, valiant, noble and the other's ugly, cowardly and base. And you can't choose between them?

Odin constantly interferes in his son's life, regularly (and at convenient moments for the plot) removing or reducing Thor's powers:

And interfering in his son's love life:

But on the other hand, he is a god and so maybe it's unfair to judge him by human standards.

Both Jor-El and Jonathan Kent both were good fathers for Kal-El/Clark, but they were also capable of being jerkwads when the situation called for it. In one memorable story (from Adventure #240), Jor-El sent a robot to test Superboy's suitability as a hero, with instructions to remove the lad's powers if he failed any part of the test. And Kent was capable of a little super-dickery himself:

But these minor transgressions are nothing compared to the world's worst dad, Pincus Popnecker. The father of Herbie Popnecker had no redeeming qualities. Consider:

Faithless. The last thing a son needs is a dad who's got a roving eye:

Abusive. Pincus Popnecker wrote the book on verbal abuse:

Tyrannical. Hate-filled. Egotistical. Raving.

Put them all together, you have, by a rather large margin, the worst father of the Silver Age:

BTW, I should mention that I gleaned some of the Herbie pictures from this amazing website that covers just about everything Herbie. Terrific resource for all Popnecker fans!