James T. Kirk in Star Trek
Speaking of Kirks, sadly James’ luck with his own offspring was ill fated from the start. He didn’t get to be a part of his son David’s life primarily because mama said no: Dr. Carol Marcus didn’t think a star-hopping space captain had the makings of a good father figure, so she raised David on her own while Kirk was off exploring the final frontier (and presumably siring hundreds, if not thousands, of other children we just didn’t ever find out about). When Jim and David finally meet again face to face, it’s a reunion that’s very nearly literally cut short, as David attacks Jim with a knife. He was understandably pissed: thanks to a ruse by Khan, David believed that Jim was coming to abscond with the Genesis Device he and his mother had devoted so many years to perfecting. He already didn’t have a good impression of the starship captain who had been absent from his whole life, but trying to swipe Genesis was the (space) straw that broke the (space) camel’s (space) back.
Thankfully, Jim got the chance to prove himself to his son shortly after their reunion, with Kirk very nearly losing his life and his ship trying to prevent Khan from running amok with a life-generating device that also doubled as one hell of a doomsday weapon. After Khan is defeated, David reconciles with his father, telling him, “I’m proud, very proud, to be your son.” Unfortunately, their newfound relationship wasn’t going to have long to blossom, as David was to die soon after, killed by Klingons on the Genesis planet while trying to prevent them from killing another hostage. His death is impulsive, heroic, and without thought to personal consequence…in other words, very much like something his father would have done. David’s death haunted Kirk for the rest of his life, creating a simmering resentment toward Klingons as a species.
If He Was Our Dad: Well, we’d be kind of irritated we didn’t get to know him sooner, even if dear old mom’s intentions were good. Also we’d take some self-defense classes focusing on overpowering Klingons. Just in case.
Ideal Father’s Day Gift: Twenty-four years’ worth of retroactive “Happy Father’s Day” cards.