Which Father Knows Best? X vs. 4 (Editorial)

Apr 23, 2020


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What could cause a battle between these two heroic factions, these two families? Both led by strong willed and intricately intelligent minds. What fundamental issue is at the center of the X-Men Fantastic Four series? Which father is in the right?

Once the events of House and Powers of X were fully understood, the ramifications were unbelievable. The mutants of the Marvel Universe now have stability, leverage and thus found themselves able to make demands.

Meanwhile, the Richard’s household is finally whole again. After being separated following the events of 2015 Secret Wars, the team was back together.

X vs…..

This isn’t the first battle against other heroes the X-Men have engaged in recently. 2012 saw them battling the Avengers, while in 2016 readers witnessed them face off against the Inhumans. Both of these crossovers have the same theme as this current one does. Survival.

If you read Avengers vs X-Men the main story sees Cyclops and crew empowered by the Phoenix. Of course this happens because they were working to protect Hope whom the Avengers sought to apprehend. The X-Men believed she was crucial the mutant race. The Terrigen Mist was the main threat in Inhumans vs X-Men. This cloud had the power to cause sterilization as well as being lethal to mutants while it was the means of creating new Inhumans.

You wouldn’t think with the safety(?) of Krakoa and resurrection at their disposal that survival would be an issue for the X-Men any longer. Maybe it’s because of his level of power, but you’d think Proteus would be enough. Maybe it’s just a truly altruistic offer. For whatever reason the X-Men want Franklin to join his people and the Fantastic Four are more than willing to fight to show where his home truly is.

In deciding the “best” choice for Franklin it may be best to examine each “Dad” and what their behavior shows about their parenting styles.

The House that X Built


Let’s start with the adoptive or surrogate father of many. Professor Charles Xavier greeted his young wards and comic readers with a simple message. His goal was to prepare mutants for being viewes as different than their peers and how to deal with the situations that creates. He would argue the various schools and the X-Men serve that purpose through different means. One to teach, instruct and train the other to defend and protect. It would be safe to state Charles made all mutants his mission, seeing the good in them all. He presented himself as wanting nothing but the best for all mutants. More than anyone, he seemed to carry the pain of every struggle, loss and death of his “children”.

Now Xavier has an island for them all which should be viewed as the completion of his work. Is that why the sudden interest in Franklin? Does Professor X see this moment as incomplete until all mutants recognize Krakoa as their home?

And there in lies the Problem of X. Think about any moment in X-Men lore and one thing stands out. It was orchestrated or operating because of the wants and whims of Charles Francis Xavier. The school and X-Men are a chicken and the egg of the Marvel Universe. He was always preparing soldiers for war.​​​​

And there was that thing with the Vulcan? And Danger?

He didn’t go looking for Beak to bring him to Krakoa, that was Armor.

So why does Xavier want Franklin with his “family”? Very rarely does anyone know what Charles is thinking, while he on the other hand, well that’s his power after all.

Mister Mister


Now on to the father of what could be considered the First Family of Marvel. Reed Richards is a man of few limits both mentally and physically. Prior to his space voyage he was far smarter and analytical than others. Once he received his powers more opportunities were introduced for him to explore. With his girlfriend turned wife, best friend and a future brother in law he would prove himself time and time again to be fantastic.

And his son, well the term god-like power isn’t thrown around often. Recreating a multiverse certainly proves the apple didn’t fall far in terms of thinking and imagining. But now his powers are waning and it will take a mind unlike any other to solve the problem. Who better than his own father to help him?

Tired pun alert, Reed always stretches himself too thin. He is always inventing, exploring, solving or at least trying to solve something. His reach is often greater than his grasp. Always in pursuit, always distracted.

Could he have cured Ben or better yet all of them? Did or does he even want to?

He does know about Sue and Namor, right?​

The distance between Reed and others can be as vast as he can stretch. Is he out of touch with the situation by viewing it as another experiment instead of his son?

His Two Dads

So which father would you prefer?

One dad has a plan for you. Since birth, or in this case since he became aware of your mutant signature. He chose his students, he made decisions like putting a teen on a team while others were New Mutants. This is the dad who wants you to go to the school he wants, choose the profession he determines and marry based on his choices and attitudes.

Dad number two has a plan, for him. Solve it, fix it…unfortunately since “it” can be anything he ends up trying to fix and solve any and everything. His time is precious and so he dedicates it to his own agenda over those closest to him. Not like he didn’t spend time with Franklin during the incursions, he even used him to help. This dad is doing his thing, you want to bond with him over game day or his interests and he is all in. If not, you could be talking right to him and be totally ignored.

So which choice truly is best for Franklin. This decision resembles a mix of the Judgement of Solomon and Losing Isaiah. Does he belong with those he is like or those which he is a part of? Which father is putting Franklin above his own interests and agendas? Should he choose the Mister or the Mutants?