Arthur Brown AKA Cluemaster is described by Batman as a second-rate Riddler but that’s also his superpower. The World’s Greatest Detective is stumped as to the identity of the mastermind behind a supervillain team-up that nearly kills him. He never suspects Cluemaster. His master plan is nearly spoiled by his daughter, Stephanie Brown, when she walks in on him during a supervillain meeting. Cluemaster puts a hit out on Stephanie, who becomes the Spoiler in order to expose her father. He takes matters into his own hands when the financer of the plan, Lincoln March AKA Owlman, tells he wants a body in 24 hours, either hers or his. Spoiler manages to stop him and knock off his ridiculous goggles in the process in Batman Eternal #24. Cluemaster hints a rematch as he’s hauled off to jail.
#21: SCARECROW’S FATHER, DR. GERALD CRANE
Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA Scarecrow followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Gerald Crane. Scarecrow abducts children as test subjects for his fear toxin and has a flashback to his childhood in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2: Cycle of Violence. His father conducts experiments on him at home by locking him in the basement. “These experiments are so courageous, they can’t be done in an ordinary lab,” he tells his son. He callously monitors the child’s vitals as he panics in response to hallucinations. Ironically, Gerald has a heart attack when the police knock down the door.
#22: POISON IVY’S FATHER
Pamela Isley AKA Poison Ivy hates only one thing more than humans: men! The reason for her misandry is revealed in a flashback to her childhood in Detective Comics #23.1. Poison Ivy’s father would hit her mother then apologize with flowers. “My father taught me that flowers could manipulate others,” Pamela realizes. The abuse escalates until her mother is killed and buried in the garden. Poison Ivy develops her toxin then visits her father in jail and kills him with a kiss.
#23: DOCTOR OCTOPUS’ FATHER, TORBERT OCTAVIUS
Otto Octavius AKA Doctor Octopus is bullied much like his nemesis Peter Park AKA Spider-Man but unlike him, he didn’t have an uncle Ben. Otto grew up with an abusive father as revealed in Spider-Man Doctor Octopus: Year One #1. Torbert Octavius is only concerned with having to replace his son’s glasses when he gets beaten up at school. The next time he’s bullied, Otto protects his glasses rather than his face to avoid another beating from his father. When Torbert dies in factory accident, Otto says at his funeral that “He spurred me toward a god of my own design.”
Otto get a second chance at his childhood when he swaps bodies with Spider-Man. He experiences Peter’s memories of being raised by aunt May and uncle Ben, which slowly mold the villain into a hero. Peter is stuck in Doctor Octopus’ failing body and uses his dying breath to force Otto to relieve Uncle Ben’s death in Amazing Spider-Man #700. Otto learns that with great power comes great responsibility. Otto sacrifices himself by relinquishing control of Peter Parker’s body so that the truly superior Spider-Man can save Otto’s girlfriend, Anna Maria Marconi.
#24: CAPTAIN AMERICA’S FATHER, JOSEPH ROGERS
Steve Rogers AKA Captain America had an abusive father as revealed in a childhood flashback in Captain America #1. Steven watched helplessly as his father, Joseph, hit his mother, Sarah. She told her alcoholic husband to put down the bottle and stop making excuses for being unemployed. He slapped her multiple times and nearly punched in the face before restraining himself. Steve asks her why she didn’t stay down. “You always stand up,” she told him. Captain would live be the these inspirational words for the rest of his life. The issue ends with him being restrain and experimented on by Zola. Cap remembers his mother’s words and breaks free. He escapes and rescue Zola’s infant son Ian to raise as his own.
#25: GREEN LANTERN GUY GARDNER’S FATHER, ROLAND GARDNER
Green Lantern Guy Gardner’s tough guy attitude no doubt comes from his abusive father, Rolland Gardner. Guy relives his childhood memories in “Yesterday’s Sins” a 4-part storyline beginning in Guy Gardner #11. Roland berates him at every opportunity while lavishly praising at his older brother, Mace, despite his flaws that include being a drug addict. Roland also suffers from alcoholism, which gets him fired. Guy works hard to win his father’s approval. He tries to show off his winning science fair project but gets a beating when his drunk father accidentally destroys it then blames it on him. Guy tries to follow in the brother’s footsteps by becoming a star athlete on the high school football team. When he comes home excited about winning the big game his father acts as though he’s being incentive because his cop brother was just admitted to the hospital, which he had no way of knowing. The police inform them that Mace was shaking down criminals for drugs and has been kicked off the force. Mace is paralyzed from the waist down and commits suicide. Roland dives deeper into the bottle and Guy decides to leave home before his father eventually drinks himself to death.