One thing I’ve noticed about myself when I’m thinking of goofy headcanons or scenarios about Harry Osborn when he’s a dad – and has an ideal living situation, let’s clarify – is that I lean into a lot of my experiences with my own dad.
Now, granted, my father and Harry don’t have a lot in common beyond “was kinda super skinny in his teens and 20s”, “had a bad mustache era”, and “not a conventionally attractive guy”. But I love my dad very dearly and I count myself very very fortunate for that. When I try to think of situations where I want to portray someone as being a good father, I think about the man who helped raise me.
And like… it wasn’t anything big. It was all the little things. It was giving him a hug when he got home from work. It was him introducing me to his favorite music, which became my favorite music. It was him trying his best to be understanding even when I was going through some really really rough times mentally, even if he didn’t get it. It was him helping me move, him making an effort to be really cool to my girlfriend, him sending me memes and dad jokes every day just to make me smile.
But my dad was never the tough guy. That was always my mom. He wasn’t exactly a protector, he was a pacifist and he wants to be liked by people and while he’ll stand up for me when it comes down to it, he’s never a physical fighter. But I know he loves me and our family and would still do anything for us. That’s the kind of dad I see Harry being, too.
There’s a lot in canon about Harry unfortunately being an absent father for long stretches of time but I do think that when he’s written well, his kids are really his life. They’re his biggest priority. He will put them before anything else. It means a lot to me when a writer puts the effort into showing Harry as a good father; as someone who is trying so desperately to break the cycle of abuse. He’s not perfect, and sometimes he screws up (sometimes really horribly). But he loves Normie and Stanley, he loves them and I like when I get to see that.
I really can’t overstate how important Harry’s fatherhood is to me. I always feel a little bit robbed that after Harry came back during the Parker Industries era, we never really got to see the way he juggles his whole life, especially where the kiddos are concerned. Certainly we didn’t see much at all in the 2018 run before his unceremonious death at the end of Kindred. But in my heart he ultimately left a legacy as a good father, and if I had my druthers, I would want to keep it that way.
Because sometimes, he reminds me of my dad – and my dad is one of the best men I know.
(ASM #263, DeFalco & Frenz; ASM #646, Waid & Azaceta/Southworth; ASM #800, Slott & Camuncoli)