This Father’s Day, I want to highlight three great reads to either give to your father or to remind you how wonderful those male role models have been in your life.
Nimona is the touching story of the titular character seeking adventure with the one-armed villain Lord Ballister Blackheart! However, turning up on someone’s doorstep announcing you have been sent by “the agency” to be their evil sidekick may not be the most efficient means to get your foot in the door. As Nimona, a teenage shapshifter and Blackheart, a curmonged villain, begin to know each other, they discover that their goal of evil-ry does not mean the same thing. While Blackheart strategically plans out every attack against “The Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics”, which rejected him after he lost his arm, to minimize causalities and maximize effectiveness, Nimona just wants to kill things. With Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, Blackheart’s nemesis on their trail, will Nimona be able to shape and shift her way out of this great adventure?
Why it’s great for dads
One of the best aspects of Nimona is that it is a great read for dads, step dads, grandfathers, uncles, teachers, or any male who has had an influence on your life. The relationship between Nimona and Blackheart illustrates the amazing bond between a caring adult and a growing adolescent. Blackheart, with his worldly wisdom, continues to push Nimona to the moral and just decisions with each scenario they encounter.
What goes through a man’s mind when he is about to become a father? In Jeff Lemire’s The Underwater Welder, we follow the weeks before the birth of Jack Joseph’s first child, a son, off the Nova Scotian coast. As an underwater welder on an oil rig, Joseph’s job is wrought with dangers; however, when the opportunity presents itself to return to the rig for one last dive before the birth, Joseph takes it, much to the dismay of his wife. During his dive, he discovers an old watch and memories of his father who disappeared long ago begin to flood his life. Returning to town, he discovers not all is as it seems. A town deserted, Jack attempts to make amends with the memory, or lack thereof, of his father and determine what type of father he will choose to be. As an author/illustrator, Jeff Lemire seamlessly tells his story on two levels, through the written words and his minimalist, black and white illustrations.
Why it’s great for dad
If you dad love symbolism, this is an excellent choice. Lemire’s dialog is extremely conversational, exploiting the human nature to drag on and speak it often staccato sentences. Because he is an author/illustrator, Lemire also leaves much of the story telling to the illustrations, with the ability to devote entire pages to birds preparing to fly away as a moving car approaches. An introspective books, The Underwater Welder is great for any soon to be father but also a man who has watch children grow and mature, understanding that nurturing comes in all shapes and sizes and the resilience of adults to take the experiences of their childhood and mold into amazing adults.
The relationship between parents and their children is very complex. That relationship is compounded when mom is The Invisible Woman; dad, Mister Fantastic; uncle, the Human Torch; brother Franklin is all-powerful; and sister Valeria is smarter than the smartest human ever. But what happens when one family wields so much power, both physically and mentally? Luckily, for the Fantastic Four, the Future Foundation has brought together the finest young minds to solve the world’s most complex problems. With the death of uncle Johnny, the discovery of the multiverse Reeds intent on taking over the world, the return of Black Bolt and the Inhumans, a gathering of your family’s arch nemesis and the appearance of Galactus, it’s difficult to imagine how any family could survive.
Why it is great for dad
The Fantastic Four is always a great choice for dads because of the family dynamics. In FF, not only do the parents have to look over the children, but the children work relentlessly to keep their parents in line while continuing to make their own childish mistakes. As the Future Foundation works to solve intergalactic problems, they must also learn what it means to have adult responsibilities with the guidance of amazing adults.
Happy Father’s, step-father, uncle, brother, teacher, or an other awesome male role-model day!