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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – U

Today, we look at the coolest family member in all of comics.

Uncle

First off, superhero-wise, there is not a bigger Uncle than Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben Parker.

Talk about an influence!

This kindly father figure of Peter Parker took care of young Peter after Peter’s parents (including Ben’s brother, Richard) were killed. Spider-Man let a crook go that he could have stopped, and that same crook ended up murdering Ben!!

Spider-Man’s entire personality is based upon the advice he learned from Uncle Ben, specifically the famous “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” quote that defines Spider-Man’s heroics.

If it were not for Uncle Ben, there likely would never be a Spider-Man.

Character-wise, though, Uncle Scrooge has Ben beat, as Scrooge, a creation of legendary Disney artist, Carl Barks, has become one of the most famous comic book characters in the world.

The amount of artists influenced by Barks’ adventure stories with Scrooge, his nephew Donald and their nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, is incalculable.

DuckTales is a close approximation of the greatness that was Barks’ Uncle Scrooge.

More recently, Don Rosa did excellent work with Uncle Scrooge, well.

Uncle Sam has become more of a major character in the DC Universe recently.

One of the quality characters DC purchased from Quality comics, Uncle Sam gains his power from the willpower of the American people.

Recently, this led to a cool moment by writer Jeph Loeb where Uncle Sam gains a Green Lantern ring, making him extremely powerful, as the ring is being powered by the willpower of an entire country!! What a cool idea by Loeb.

Omar Karindu reminds me that I should feature Uncle Marvel, so here he is, courtesy of Walt Grogan’s amazing Captain Marvel website!

Mr. Dudley was an affable enough old man who served as a sort of guardian to the three Marvel youths (Billy, Mary and Freddy). He would often pretend that he had powers, too (but he did not, of course)!!

Finally, Uncle Duke is from a comic strip, but, well, he is awesome!!

He is an unscrupulous, but hilarious scam artist, based on the mannerisms of Hunter S. Thompson, who gets into all sorts of schemes.

So there ya go – Uncles are where its at, people!!

12 Comments

As Dan Slott so cleverly reminded us in Spider-Man/Human Torch #5, the Thing is also an “Uncle Ben,” to Franklin and Valeria Richards. (He’s a “dutch uncle” rather than a blood relation, but I think he counts.)

Tch. No mention of Uncle Marvel?

Good call, Omar.

And the mention of Uncle Duke absolves you of the sin of not using The Question for Q.

Will I be showing my age if I say Uncle Elvis?

Is Uncle Elvis an old reference already?

Damn, that’s scary if so. :)

Who’s Uncle Elvis? A Guy Gardner character?

Just kidding, I used to read his letters alongside the many others in all the DC issues.

There were letter columns in DC Comics?

NFL SuperPro makes you say Uncle. He has the power of steroids!

I remember a chris rock bit where he says how ‘your uncles prepare you for life’. Very true.

Ah Duke; you’ve got to love a man can who be responsible for inciting a major international incident over a bad check. After being kidnapped in Iran in the late 70’s and trying to buy his way out, he said, “If you want to make an international incident out of it, why not take over the American Embassy?”

I saw the first line about the coolest family member in comics, and my first thought was Uncle Marvel, but then it suddenly occured to me that Uncle Scrooge was a better choice. I never dreamed you would do ALL uncles! Perhaps you should’ve done a tribute to all of Little Dot’s uncles here, too. (I think she had about 400 of them.)

I am visiting this 2008 post from the future (2011!!!!!) to tell all you prehistoric 2008-types that Martin Sheen is the new Uncle Ben.

Just wait four more years if you don’t believe me.

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