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Over the past decade or so, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been home to a huge interwoven series of superhero stories about fantastical powers, world-ending villains, universe-spanning team-ups, and time-traveling gods. While many of the stories told in these movies have focused on these end of the world stakes and dramatic physical conflicts, today we're going to look at the evidence in these movies to settle a different debate:
Which characters in the MCU would do the best job at being a parent?
01. The Hulk
For most of the MCU movies, Bruce Banner and his alter ego would probably not have been people’s first choice for a competent parent. He was huge, lacking in restraint, and typically only wheeled out when it was time to smash a building in half. However, if we look at the character in Avengers: Endgame, we see that he might actually be the perfect parental role model.
The Hulk was a being of pure unbridled anger and fury, unable to be pacified, and living purely to shout at the top of his lungs while trying to hit people and destroy property. Sounds a lot like a toddler to me. Banner has learned a lot in the process of learning to control The Hulk, and he’s probably more equipped to calm down any screaming child placed in front of him.
02. Natasha Romanoff
On a similar topic, Black Widow deserves an honorable mention. As proven during several MCU movies, her lullabies were soothing enough to calm the Hulk from a rage, and as a result, would likely work equally well at ending a serious tantrum. She’s only an honorable mention, however, because her child pacifying solution is a temporary fix rather than addressing the underlying issues causing the anger in the first place. She can stop a meltdown, but can she fix the anger that causes them to occur? Probably not.
03. Scott Lang
Scott is an amazing father, and it’s clear in his level of dedication to making his kid happy. While under house arrest, he managed to turn his house into a huge elaborate play area themed around his own superpowers. The sheer amount of materials and large flat-pack cardboard boxes required to create that scale of play space is mind-boggling. Nobody has that many craft materials around their home — that is, besides a devoted father who has likely spent weeks ordering things online just to prepare for this. The assembly time alone!
Look, Loki has that whole evil thing going on and has tried to take over the world multiple times, but we can’t deny that he is talented at getting people to do as he says. He’s willing to manipulate and deceive to get his own way, and honestly who hasn’t had to use a little deception here and there to get a kid to go to bed on time? Peekaboo would no doubt be a more effective game if the parent could cover their face, shapeshift, and surprise the kid with someone completely unexpected when their hands part.
If Yondu taught us one lesson during his time in the MCU, it’s that you don’t have to be biologically related to be a real parent to them. Sure, Yondu was not a good dad for a long time, but he tried his best to do right by Peter, and ultimately stepped up when it mattered. He didn’t know how to be a good parent, but in the end, he loved his kid enough to make the ultimate sacrifice.
06. Nick Fury
Now, Nick Fury might directly be a good parent himself, but he would also probably assemble the best team of nannies, childminders, babysitters, and teachers to ensure his kid had the best life possible. A team of super-powerful experts, a task force of unique individuals ready to fight for the safety of Baby Fury. Childcarers, Convene! Au Pairs, Amass! Chaperones... Show Up!
07. Tony Stark
OK, let’s just get this out of the way, Tony loves his daughter 3000 and just wants to ensure she gets to have a happy future no matter what. Gosh, Tony, you sure stepped up to the plate. MVP actually stands for Most Valuable Papa.
08. Peter Quill
While Yondu might have pulled through in the end, Star-Lord demonstrated a quality that makes him well-suited to being a parent: intense daddy issues.
Seriously, there’s a whole stand-alone movie dedicated to Peter Quill’s untamed desire to have a proper father figure in his life, and if he had a kid himself, he would put everything he had into being a better and more present father than his was to him.
He seems like the kind of person who would want his kid to have everything he missed out on. Also, that child would grow up with a really rock-solid taste in music.
09. Clint Barton
People always joke about how Hawkeye is the least useful Avenger, but, as proven time and time again in the MCU movies, he actually has one other superpower — managing to balance being a superhero with a healthy and stable family life.
He may be an Avenger and answer the call of duty when required, but he also makes time to bond with his kids and to cultivate a happy stable home. Plus he knows how to say no sometimes. A healthy work-life balance when you work as a superhero is an amazing talent to wield.
King of Wakanda is a role that actually best equips Black Panther to look after any future children he may have. Wakanda is a technologically advanced superstate, with universal healthcare, the technology to heal any illness, and the scientific knowledge to end things like hunger and housing shortages.
By creating and maintaining such a wonderful part of the world, T’Challa’s prospective children would be brought up in the best possible circumstances. T’Challa wants the best for everyone, not just his own family, and would likely make things better for his children by making things better for Wakanda — and the world.