How Would the Superheroes Parent?

Marvel superheroes dominated in the box office this summer. And sure, they can battle a bunch of baddies, but could they actually survive an epic toddler tantrum? 

We eventually began to wonder how some of our favorite heroes would fare if given another super power–parenting skills. Here’s how we imagine their maternal and paternal instincts might unfold.

Iron Man
Iron Man’s house is where all the kids want to hang out. Tony Stark is always ushering his kids and their friends into his lab or office saying nonchalantly, “Hey, check this out,” while proceeding to let them try out the latest gadget he’s invented. Sometimes, the kids are resentful because their friends want to hang out with their dad more than them. But, thanks to help from Dad, they’ve won every science fair and STEM competition they’ve ever entered. The Stark kids are polite and charming, but they have to hide the fact that they are usually bored at their friends’ houses. As his kids get older, Tony strongly advises them to not reveal too much too soon to their girlfriends or boyfriends, but secretly celebrates when his kids are popular. He’s been known to buy his kids out of trouble, and it usually works.

Black Widow
Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff, is the mom who always gives her kids second, third, and fourth chances, no matter what they do, and encourages them to do the same for their friends, because, “You never know what they might be going through,” she says. Meanwhile, she’s the first to look through all her kids’ texts and social media accounts when they go to bed at night. She welcomes her kids’ new friends, but she always Googles their families before they come over. She has a heart to help others and takes in multiple foster children. When her kids show an interest in researching their family’s genealogy, Natasha suggests they do something more productive, like enroll in a self-defense class.

Captain America
Captain America constantly talks to his kids about hard work and respect, and they do respect him because he practices what he preaches. Steve Rogers can often be seen training alongside his kids for whatever sport they are in, and they are never late for practice or games. He’s the most encouraging dad on the sidelines, and he has little tolerance for other parents who curse or spew negativity. When his kids text him, he always calls back, even if it’s a three-word answer. He’s strict about the shows his kids watch on TV, deeming almost everything inappropriate for a wide range of reasons.

Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch, or Wanda Maximoff, teaches her kids that family is everything, and most of their weekend activities revolve around what their cousins are doing. Wanda maintains that nobody quite understands all your quirks and beliefs like your family. As her kids get older, she makes them feel guilty when they don’t show up for family plans to hang out with their friends. Never quite satisfied with the schools her children attend, she insists they’re not appropriately challenged, and is always researching different charter, magnet, and private schools. She’s quiet, so the other moms at school overlook or underestimate her, but they’re surprised when the school fundraiser she coordinates turns out to be the most successful of all time.

Hulk and his family live in a quiet mountain community at the end of a winding gravel driveway, surrounded by acres of open space. Dr. Bruce Banner teaches his kids from a very young age the importance of developing coping skills to control their emotions. He’s always coaching his kids to do things like, “Sniff the flower, blow the dandelion,” and “Know your triggers.” There’s always a Zones of Regulation chart posted on the refrigerator. When the Banner kids ask to play football or soccer, Bruce always suggests yoga or coding club. The Banner kids love it when dad helps them with their homework–and he can always help–but when dad loses patience with them, they make themselves scarce pretty quickly. Kids at school always wonder why the Banners never invite anyone over–after all, they seem so great, and they have all that land! It’s a generally happy home, if you learn to walk on eggshells.

Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel, or Carol Danvers, always tells her kids they can achieve more than they think they can. Carol doesn’t have patience for kids’ excuses like, “It’s too hard,” no matter what the challenge, and always tells them to keep trying. She’s very successful in her career as a professor while also being a mom who her kids look up to. Many moms are jealous of her and wonder how she does it all. Her kids know, though, that she can be incredibly forgetful when it comes to remembering things like lunch and school programs. They learned a long time ago that Mom would never be the one to give them reminders about the little things. She cautions her kids that their classmates might not be exactly who they seem, and to be careful who you trust. ■

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30 Sep 2019

By Lydia Rueger

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