Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent and Dylan Sprayberry as Clark Kent in "Man of Steel" (2013). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Celebrating fatherhood: The father figures of the DCEU Superheroes

5 mins read

Father’s Day is a special occasion that allows us to appreciate and honor the remarkable fathers who have made a lasting impact on our lives.

In the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), we have witnessed the emergence of iconic superheroes, each with their unique abilities and captivating stories. Beyond their superhuman powers, these superheroes are also defined by the profound influence of their fathers. In this article, we pay tribute to the father figures of Superman, Batman, Cyborg, Shazam and the Flash, exploring the crucial roles they play in shaping their heroic journeys.

Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent in “Man of Steel” (2013). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Jonathan Kent — The Moral Compass for Superman

At the heart of Superman’s character lies his adoptive father, Jonathan Kent. Through his loving guidance, wisdom, and strong moral compass, Jonathan instilled in Clark Kent the values that would shape him into the symbol of hope we know as Superman. Jonathan taught Clark about the importance of using his powers responsibly and the weight of his choices.

One of my favorite aspects of the film is how he gives Clark the choice to be who he wants to be but trusting his son to be the good person. His protectiveness helped Clark discover his purpose in life without being exposed to the world when he’s not ready to face it. He became the pillar of support that enabled Clark to navigate his dual identity, reminding him that his abilities were meant to serve and protect humanity.

Russell Crowe as Joe-El in “Man of Steel” (2013). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Jor-El — The Man who walked so Kal-El could fly

Jor-El’s legacy extends far beyond his role as a father. His unwavering belief in the potential of humanity and his hope for a brighter future inspire Superman to become a symbol of hope for the world. Jor-El’s spirit lives on through Superman, reminding him of the responsibility he carries and the positive impact he can make on the world.

He risked everything to ensure not just the survival of Krypton but through one person, the survival of all of krypton. Without being partial. The best decision he took was perhaps never coming on board with Clark because he understood that he was a product of the failures of Krypton. Despite not playing a part in Clark’s upbringing, he still made sure Kal El was the bridge between Krypton and Earth. A true symbol of hope.

Jeffery Dean Morgan as Thomas Wayne in “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Thomas Wayne — The Catalyst for Batman

Batman’s origin story is intertwined with the tragic loss of his parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne. While his mother’s influence is significant, it is Thomas Wayne who leaves an indelible mark on Bruce’s life. Thomas’ commitment to justice, compassion and most importantly — bravery during his last moments inspired Bruce to dedicate himself to ridding Gotham City of crime and corruption. As a father figure, Thomas Wayne’s legacy continues to shape Batman’s unwavering resolve, serving as a reminder of the impact one man can have on a city.

Although I limited this tribute to the DCEU, it’s worth mentioning that in the comics and in the 2022 film “The Batman”, Thomas Wayne saves Carmine Falcone while young Bruce watches. For me, that would be a character defining moment for Bruce as he gets to learn at a very young age that help and justice aren’t partial. Maybe that is one of the major reasons why Batman doesn’t kill.

Because he believes in second chances for everyone. The foundations for Batman’s beliefs are rather too strong so it really is fun to see those break and Batman fixing them overtime. Also, its worthwhile to acknowledge that in Zack Snyder’s original storyboarded arc, Bruce Wayne’s fate is similar to his father where he sacrifices his life to save the life of his unborn child. Whether or not it came into fruition, it’s still an amazing concept to play around with.

Joe Morton as Silas Stone in “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” (2021). Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Silas Stone — The father who almost lost everything

In the story of Cyborg, Silas Stone plays a vital role as both a father and a scientist. Silas’s brilliant mind and unconditional love for his son, Victor Stone, led him to make the fateful decision to save Victor’s life by transforming him into Cyborg. Silas becomes a guiding force, supporting Victor as he struggles to accept his new form and find his place in the world.

Silas’s unwavering belief in his son’s potential serves as a source of strength, empowering Cyborg to embrace his abilities and use them for the greater good. I love how they grounded Victor’s story by showing how he wanted his father to be there for his game but his father had work and that day everyone lost everything. In many ways, I believe that the reason Victor is a good man who genuinely wants to help people despite all the judgement, just like superman, is because of his upbringing. It was amazing to see him save his father despite being angry at him because he was upset but he was good enough to not let his emotions stop him from doing the right thing because ultimately, he understood that momentary anger and sadness should not lead to life long consequences.

And that being said, it was very very emotional to see Silas give his life to mark the motherbox because at that moment, the last thing Silas saw was Victor leading the justice league and understood that he now has found his place in the world and that now, he’ll be okay. He trusted his son with the future and that is why he did not hesitate to give his own life. In a way, Cyborg’s arc mirrors that of Superman and yet, he stands out on his own as the heart of the film.

Ron Livingston as Henry Allen and Maribel Verdú as Nora Allen in “The Flash” (2023). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Henry Allen — The Emotional Anchor for The Flash

For the Flash, his father, Henry Allen, provides unwavering emotional support during his journey as a superhero. Falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Henry’s incarceration left a void in Barry Allen’s life. Despite his circumstances, Henry instilled in Barry a strong sense of compassion, justice, and determination. Henry’s unwavering belief in his son’s innocence and his constant encouragement fuel Barry’s pursuit of truth and justice as the Flash.

The moment in Zack Snyder’s Justice League where he begs Barry to not waste his life and make his own future rather than sticking to the past leaves an ever lasting impact as Barry runs through the speed of force saving the world while casually uttering his father’s words. The sense of joy that we feel a the end of the film when Barry tells him that he now has a job is unparalled because for many reasons, this is something we want from all superhero stories – a chance for the parent to be proud at their children and with Henry Allen, that fulfills a lifetime accomplishment.

Cooper Andrews as Victor Vásquez in “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” (2023). Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Discovery

Victor Vásquez — Love makes a house a home

Víctor Vásquez, portrayed with heart and sincerity by Cooper Andrews in “Shazam!,” exemplifies the power of a loving and supportive foster father. Víctor’s role in shaping Billy Batson’s journey as Shazam extends beyond his guidance and moral compass; it reflects the importance of creating a nurturing and inclusive family environment.

Cooper Andrews’ portrayal brings Víctor’s character to life, reminding us of the profound influence that fathers and father figures can have on the lives of their children despite not being their biological ones. It simply points to one thing – humans are meant for love and they can love. Billy ran away a million times and yet they were patient enough to wait for him every single time. Family is important and Victor and Roza will always have a special place in my heart for doing the God’s work by making it a home for these children.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, it is important to acknowledge the pivotal roles played by the fathers of our favorite superheroes in the DCEU. Jonathan Kent, Jor El, Thomas Wayne, Silas Stone, Victor Vásquez and Henry Allen are not just parental figures but also sources of inspiration, guidance, and strength for their super-powered children. Through their love, sacrifices, and wisdom, these fathers have shaped the heroes we admire today. They remind us of the enduring influence that fathers have on the lives of their children, both superhuman and ordinary, and the profound impact they can make in shaping the world.

Jainam Turakhia

Jainam Turakhia has been a fan of DC for as long as he can remember, but what really tickles his inner creativity is Zack Snyder's vision for the DC Universe. From there Turakhia has traveled to a lot of destinations exploring works of other artists who make movies or write books/comics. Zack Snyder however, is always his hometown. He loves watching, and analyzing, anything and everything. Still a student from India studying Chartered Accountancy, Turakhia's passion for stories doesn't seem to end.

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