For several years now, the common trend in TV series is to have the dad be a dimwitted, background character to be pushed around or constantly corrected by the mother. Or, the father is shown as some sort of manipulative monster and bully. However, in the two super hero based TV shows on the CW, The Flash and Arrow, fatherhood is nothing to be made fun of. And in fact is something to be encouraged.
First, let's look at Arrow and the dads we have there. From the beginning, Robert Queen, the patriarch of he Queen family, has been the driving force for Oliver's transformation in season one from deadly vigilante to protector of Star City. His influence as a father has had a constant ripple throughout the first four seasons of Arrow.
At the outset of the series, we saw a man that was willing to sacrifice everything for the life of his son. And as many fathers try to do, to create a legacy that his son cold try to foster and protect, the care of their home city. Ably played by veteran actor, Jamey Sheridan, Robert Queen was initially part of a group that thought, that by destroying part of Starling City it could be protected and rebuilt by the city elite. Robert comes to regret his actions and during a fateful storm that sunk the family yacht. Robert not only gives his son the legacy of saving his city , but sacrifices himself so that his son, Oliver, played by Stephen Amell, could live.
Next we have Joe Diggle, former soldier and government agent. Considered the rock of Team Arrow, he is Oliver's former bodyguard, and member of Team Arrow. Played by David Ramsey, he is the cornerstone and strength for Starling, now Star City's protector's. As a husband and father himself, this character is quite often the voice of guidance and wisdom for this young team of adventurers and and allies. Although shaken at times, Diggle is quite often the go to guy for fatherly advice or reason for the team.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have Detective Captain Quentin Lance, a Detective Sargent, then Lieutenant, and now Captain of the Star City PD. A recovering alcoholic, he battles personal and professional demons to help protect the citizens of Star City. At different times throughout the series, Both daughters, Sara and Laurel have taken up the mantle of The Black Canary. Wonderfully played by Paul Blackthorne, he has seen the high cost of working with the city's vigilante's
The pain of divorce, his daughters working with the Arrow, and fight with substance abuse, has cost Captain Lance his trust in himself and his family. However he hurts though, he tries his best to protect his daughters as best he can, no matter the personal sacrifice.
On The Flash, we see how fathers and father figures deal with the consequences of having a super hero for a son.
When Barry Allen , played by Grant Gustin, is transformed into the Flash, and how his life is tied into his biological and adoptive fathers are at the heart of the show. Barry's biological father, Henry Allen is framed for a murder he didn't commit. Due to the evidence at the scene, Henry, wonderfully played by John Wesley Shipp, is sentenced to life in prison with Barry spending every minute he can trying to free his father. His adoptive father, Central City Detective Joe West, raises the genius boy, and tries to teach as best he can a child who is so different from him.
After Barry becomes the Flash, Joe, incredibly played by Jesse L. Martin, is shown proof that Henry is innocent and helps Barry to free him, and deal with the new responsibilities Barry has as the Flash. But, although these two dads are loving and supportive of the Scarlet Speedster, there is a third father figure that lifts up our hero, then tears him down. That man is Professor Harrison Wells, real name, Eobard Thawne a.k.a. The Reverse Flash.
Thawne is from the future, and winding up in our century has angered him to the point of murder and manipulation. Taking the face and identity of Professor Wells, Thawne realizes he needs Barry Allen's speed to get back home. So he creates the accident that not only transforms Barry Allen, but plenty of other people both good and evil. Using these other meta-humans to train and test Barry, Thawne eventually reveals his true goals and The Flash and those around him suffer by Thawne's treachery. From the frame of Henry Allen to the suffering of the officers of Central City PD, Thawne revealed to be the ultimate villain of season one. Gleefully played by Tom Cavanagh, he is the epitome of a dad gone bad as he was a hero and father figure to Barry, and the resident young genius/engineer Cisco Ramon.
It's good to see that fatherhood, even in the superhero world still matters.