Marvel Dads In The MCU Are Just Awful, Here Are The Worst MCU Dads

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

The MCU has a dad problem. All of the fathers are either dead, abusive or want to wipe out half of the known universe. Even a loving, attentive father like Hawkeye is still putting his kids in danger just by being an Avenger. With Father’s Day just around the corner, we thought it would be the perfect time to rank the 10 worst MCU dads in order from slightly terrible to genocidal maniac.

10. Howard Stark

Howard Stark MCU

Tony Stark’s father wasn’t bad in the sense that he didn’t love his son or anything. No, Howard Stark’s real crime as a parent was not showing it. Stark was always busy.

Whether it was building Captain America’s shield or founding S.H.I.E.L.D., there was always something occupying Howard Stark’s time other than his son. It’s this neglectful approach to parenting that earns Howard Stark a place in the pantheon of worst MCU dads.

9. Ant-Man

Scott Lang is the quintessential fun dad who’s never around for the important stuff—including his daughter’s formative years. A thief by trade, Lang spent most of his daughter Cassie’s early childhood behind bars. Though he constantly tries to make it up to her, Scott never manages to be the dependable father his daughter needs.

It’s easy to forget most of this when watching the ridiculously likable Paul Rudd do his stuff, but the fact remains: Ant-Man is one of the worst MCU dads.

8. General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross

Thaddeus Ross may not have the worst track record in the MCU, but he’s enough of a jerk for us to label ol’ Thunderbolt a bad dad. Ross spent most of The Incredible Hulk‘s runtime trying to hunt down and kill his daughter Betty’s boyfriend. Sure, that boyfriend keeps turning into an 8-foot-tall mass of green muscles and causing millions of dollars in property damage, but hey, nobody’s perfect!

7. The Vulture

Adrian Toomes is a lot like Thaddeus Ross in that he, too, attempted to kill his daughter’s boyfriend. The difference is Ross is a decorated General in the United States military, and Toomes is the arms-dealing supervillain The Vulture. It’s his status as a violent criminal that gives Toomes the edge in the “Who’s a worse father?” competition.

6. Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man

Before anyone comes after us, we want to make it clear that Tony Stark was a wonderful father to his daughter, Morgan. It’s Stark’s other “child” Ultron, that lands him on the worst MCU dads list. Tony created Ultron to protect the world.

Instead, he endangered it. Like Dr. Frankenstein before him, Iron Man played God and faced the consequences. While one could argue that Stark wasn’t responsible for anything Ultron did once he was conscious, the fact remains: Ultron didn’t ask to be born.

5. Yondu

Yondu Udonta had a complicated relationship with his adopted son, Peter Quill. On one hand, he taught the boy the skills he needed to take care of himself in a cutthroat galaxy. On the other hand, he did kidnap Peter from Earth and threaten him with unspeakable violence on a regular basis.

Yondu is far from the worst of the bad MCU dads, but he’s no saint, either.

4. Odin

Anthony Hopkins

At first, you may be puzzled as to why Odin is in the running for worst MCU dad. After all, Thor seemed to like him well enough. But that’s the problem. Odin had three children yet he doted on the blonde himbo and all but ignored the other two.

Odin treated his adopted son Loki like a distant second, and he banished his daughter Hela to the underworld after she helped him take over the nine realms. He may have been a great leader, but he was a lousy dad.

3. Xu Wenwu

Shang Chi’s dad was a major jerk. Wenwu had a son who wanted nothing to do with murder and a daughter perfectly willing to learn the art of assassination. Naturally, as one of the worst MCU dads, he forced his son to kill and refused to train his daughter.

2. Thanos

If this list was the worst people in the MCU and not just dads, Thanos would be number one. Wiping out half of existence—for any reason—is a truly heinous and irredeemable act. But since this is specifically the horrible fathers, Thanos will have to settle for number 2.

Thanos was a downright horrible father at one point, sacrificing his own daughter to get an infinity stone. And while killing Gamora was despicable it’s still better than what he did to poor Nebula. Thanos pulled his second favorite daughter apart piece by piece, inch by inch, slowly replacing her original body parts with cybernetic “upgrades.”

Next to that, the victims of the snap got off lucky.


Ego sired thousands, possibly millions of offspring, and killed nearly as many. It was all part of an experiment to create a child with celestial DNA that Ego could then exploit to help him take over the galaxy. As if that wasn’t enough to make Ego the worst of the worst when it comes to MCU dads, he personally gave Starlord’s mother cancer.

The only way Ego could be a bigger jerk is if he kicked a puppy.