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The Un Favourite / Comic Books

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  • The Mighty Thor:
    • Loki sees himself as this, with a very "Thor was always the favorite!" outlook on life. Even though he's a total douche most of the time, most of what he does is done in an effort to gain the respect and adoration of Asgard and his father. In a case of tragic irony, Odin does actually love Loki (despite the thousand and one reasons not to). He's just near-completely incapable of ever actually saying it. The one time he did, he immediately yelled at Loki and Thor afterward, and refused to speak on the matter.
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    • There is also the generational abuse thing going on with Odin himself growing up in the shadow of his father's (Bor's) favorite son Cul (who is a villain and almost destroyed the world at least twice). The Asgardian royal family is impressively dysfunctional.
  • In the Spider-Man Trilogy, Ultimate Spider-Man, and The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon, Harry Osborn is a rare example of being The Unfavorite as an only child, with his father preferring fellow intellectual and friend Peter Parker to his own son. This is in contrast to the portrayal of Harry and Norman's relationship in the comics: originally, Norman was portrayed as a loving, but absentee father who tried to make up for his utter lack of time for his son, via spoiling him rotten. This in turn led to Harry becoming a drug addict, as he used his dad's money to avoid working, and spend his days partying and buying drugs from his neighborhood drug dealer. Of course years later, the relationship between Harry and his father was retconned into a "Kick the Dog" scenario to make Norman (then dead and buried, with Marvel dead set on not resurrecting him) an evil person who physically and emotionally abused his son throughout his entire life. When his son died, this led to Norman seeking out a replacement heir, ultimately settling on Peter Parker largely due to editor Bob Harras's demand that Peter and Norman's rivalry be changed to be more like Professor X and Magneto's rivalry, complete with Norman wanting Peter to join with him the same way Magneto is forever harping on Xavier to join forces and conquer humanity.
    • There was another period of Peter being the favored one, with Johnny Storm as the Un Favorite. While they eventually got over it and became buddies, for a while, Johnny resented the fact that Peter seemed closer to his family than he was, due to Peter's shared scientific aptitude with Reed and ease at being friends with Sue.
  • The X-Men have a lot of this going on:
    • Emma Frost was The Unfavorite to her successful brother until he revealed he was gay. Then both kids were unfavorites.
    • Sam Guthrie's other siblings are all Unfavorites in comparison to him.
    • Charles Xavier and Cain Marko, stepbrothers, were both unfavorites to a degree.
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    • Alex Summers was Unfavorite to Scott in the eyes of Nathaniel Essex.
    • James Proudstar was Unfavorite to his brother John, who died heroically stupidly on his first mission as X-Man.
    • Deathbird is Unfavorite to her sister Lilandra, thanks to being avatistic throwback. Lil's brother D'Ken was also the Unfavorite, driving him to go nuts and steal the M'kraan Crystal.
    • Quentin Quire can actually be seen as an inversion, as while he perceives himself to be the Unfavourite at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, he is actually treated with an incredible amount of leeway, respect and is allowed to be privy to missions and conversations where other students simply would not be permitted. Evan remarks on this, saying that "Professor Logan treats him like he's the only student here".
    • Vivisector in X-Statix. He's an only child, of course, but there's nobody in the world that Myles' father hates more than Myles himself. Why? Simple. His dad is a New England old money Ivy League college professor, and Myles is a gay mutant.
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  • Super Skrull's relationship with his two children is a textbook example of this trope. He favoured his son Sarnogg over his daughter Jazinda, even though Jazinda outshone her brother, mostly by the virtue of finding a way to be unkillable while he died in combat. He was even willing to allow Talisman to kill Jazinda in order to take her immortality for himself, until Shehulk reminded him he did still love his daughter and he saved her life, although he resumed his parental abandonment shortly afterwards.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • The Ultimate X-Men version of Professor Xavier really didn't bother to hide his contempt for Dazzler, even wanting to expel her for the Krakoa debacle (which was indeed her fault) and only didn't do so because Angel took the blame, and refused to take her feelings into account after Nightcrawler kidnapped her.
    • The Ultimate (man, family relations suck in this universe) Reed Richards, a bespectacled young genius, was never the ideal son his father wanted. It's shown in the first issue that his father showed more affection to Ben Grimm, the tough football star of the school, than to his own son. Fortunately, the situation isn't visited often in later issues; what with Reed finding a new father figure in Sue and Johnny's scientist father and being faced with matters more important than getting paternal approval, such as cosmic mutations and alien invasions every other week. Except for when things finally get to such a boil for Reed Richards that he fakes his death by blowing up his family home, vaporizing his entire family in the process.
  • On a planet where twins are the norm, Mekt Ranzz (Lightning Lord), older brother of twins Lightning Lad and Lightning Lass of the Legion of Super-Heroes, felt like he was everyone's unfavorite. This is why he eventually became a supervillain who terrorized his younger siblings. Felt is the key word, as it's never been revealed that his parents or his siblings treated him like garbage because he was a singular birth.
  • From Batman:
    • Huntress has at times been considered so, among the members of the Batfamily, due to her more violent nature and unwillingness to work well with the others, and especially Batman himself, with whom she has a conflicted relationship.
      Oracle, speaking about Huntress: And what about the least favorite daughter?
    • Jason Todd (the second Robin) has been considered the unfavourite of the Robins at best since his resurrection, since his tactics and methods fly in direct conflict with Bruce's and he's attacked other heroes in the past — at worst, he's not even considered part of the family. While his relationship with Bruce improved somewhat once he stopped killing criminals, he's not loved as much as Dick, respected as much as Tim or given as much acceptance and leeway as Damian. Depending on the Writer, he was the unfavorite even before his death — with Bruce making it fairly obvious he would prefer Dick in the role — but other writers posit that this was all in his head, with Dick considering himself the unfavourite (although this one is established as being entirely in Dick's head — he's actually The Favourite).
    • Batgirl (2011) reveals James Gordon Jr. turned to villainy because his sister Barbara was their parents' favorite. Although nobody disputes his claim, nobody is willing cut him any slack, either. And Batgirl -who always loved him the most until he attempted to murder her- points out that becoming a psychopathic serial killer because you feel your weren't getting enough attention from your parents is pathetic.
  • Art Spiegelman, the Author Avatar of the biographical graphic novel Maus felt he always had to compete with his dead older brother, Richieu, who had died as a result of the Holocaust. Certainly not helping is during Vladek's final words, he addresses Art as Richieu.
  • Bone has this with one of the primary antagonists saying "Mother always liked you best." before trying to strike her sister down.
    • This isn't the only time Briar mentioned this. She explains that her family treated her like an old, useless nursemaid and made her younger sister Rose the queen instead of her. The reason, according to her, is because nobody knew she was a Veni-Yan-Carni, a type of powering dreaming sorceress born into the family line. It's possible she just neglected to tell them though, since Rose mentions she thought Briar's "dreaming eye" was blind.
  • In Adventures In The Rifle Brigade, Captain Hugo Darcy is a man among men and a true hero if ever there was one. He saved the entire world at the end of the first miniseries, and once called Erwin Rommel "a big nosed cunt" to his face. At the beginning of the second mini, he visits his family, and because his work in the Rifle Brigade is top secret, his drunken idiotic flyboy brother Robert gets all the glory and adulation.
  • Kalibak in The DCU is Darkseid's Unfavorite. Even worse, his father's favorite, Orion, is the heroic Arch-Enemy of the entire rest of his blood family and wants to kill them — but Darkseid still respects him more because he is, at least, competent about it.
    • Grayven has it even worse. Darkseid at least sees Kalibak as useful and loyal Dumb Muscle. Darkseid snubs Grayven at every possible opportunity since Grayven is nothing but Darkseid-lite. Grayven's Eye Beams are weaker than Darkseid's Omega Effect, Grayven isn't as strong as Darkseid, Grayven's a Smug Snake while Darkseid is a Magnificent Bastard...the only thing Grayven has going for him is his hair. There is literally nothing Grayven can do that Darkseid can't do better. Grayven's also pretty open about his ambitions to overthrow Darkseid. He's incompetent and disloyal.
  • Marvel 2099: Paul-Philip Ravage suffered from this quite a bit. Didn't help that his was a family of backstabbing businessmen, all of whom immediately began plotting his downfall when he started proposing actual solutions to pollution problems. And by the time he was winning his father's respect, he began losing his human form...
  • Jimmy in the Chick Tract "Unloved," as his parents refuse to attend his high school graduation, constantly tell him he's inferior to his sister, criticize his choice of a wife for having kids (and she later leaves him with all his money) and disown him after he asks to borrow money. Strangely enough, while his sister always does better in their eyes, they don't even bother to attend her wedding.
    • Generally, any character in a Chick Tract who converts tends to become the Unfavorite of the world at large.
  • Carol Danvers, AKA: Ms. Marvel, now Captain Marvel, was never close to her father due to his decidedly outdated chauvinism. The breaking point came when he refused to spend the money necessary to send Carol to college, instead sending one of her brothers, despite the fact that Carol was smarter than her brothers and had better grades, simply because her father didn't believe that women should go out and get themselves proper educations and jobs. He even point blankly told Carol that as a woman she didn't deserve a full education and career and that she could never hold her own in the real world, and that the best thing for her was to meet a Nice Guy who would marry her and take care of her and then she should Stay in the Kitchen and have kids. The fiercely independent Carol rejected her father's sexist beliefs since she wanted more out of life than being someone's stay at home wife and mom and joined the military, specifically the US Air Force and became an accomplished fighter pilot reaching the rank of Major while also dabbling in spy work and of course later becoming a superhero. Carol's father never really accepted what she did with her life, even though her accomplishments included saving the entire world, and it led to an estrangement between the two that was never reconciled.
  • In PS238, Tyler already had issues with his parents, world-famous superheroes who refused to accept that he was a Muggle Born of Mages; but then, Tyler winds up with a clone "brother" named Toby, who actually does have superpowers and his parents approval. Toby, at least, is rather nice about the situation (fittingly, since he shares some of Tyler's memories and knows how he feels).
  • In The Technopriests, Panepha favors her son Almagro, barely tolerates her other son Albino, and utterly despises her daughter Onyx, because Onyx has red skin and four arms.
  • Eddie Brock is his father's Unfavourite because his mother died during his birth. As a result, Eddie's father neglected Eddie his entire life and never gave him any approval, while Eddie's sister was treated fairly. When Eddie was disgraced after his source on a story was revealed as a compulsive confessor, his father disowned him and it's implied that he was basically looking for any excuse. Years later, well into Eddie's career as Venom, Eddie would discover that he had a half-brother, who seems to be given more affection than Eddie as well.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Sensation Comics: Joel Heyday is definitely his mother's least favorite child, and when he learns she's leaving him nothing in her will he decides to kidnap and murder his adopted sisters in retaliation. Unlike most examples Joel brought his mother's disfavor on himself with his cruel attitude growing up and criminal activities as an adult but he doesn't see it this way.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Ares is understandably Zeus and Hera's least favored child, given he's violent and manipulative. Amusingly Ares despises Zeus partially due to Zeus's self obsessed serial rapist ways.
  • Marvel Universe's Ares is one of if not the most despised of all of Zeus' children. One of Ares' issues with Hercules is Zeus (and mortals) make it clear that Hercules is preferred over Ares despite Hercules being an illegitimate, drunken, womanizing buffoon prone to causing massive destruction when he loses control, compared to Ares who is one of Zeus' few legitimate children and for all the talk among humans that despise war, he's also responsible for all the good he thinks war brings to a nation like valor and the construction of kingdoms. Hercules constantly succeeding in defending Olympus is compared to Ares' constant failings in that regard.
  • In Superman comics:
    • Lucy Lane resented her older sister Lois because Lois was their father's most beloved daughter. Who Is Superwoman? reveals that Lucy is so eager to become Sam Lane's favorite than she's more than willing help him commit genocide.
    • Subverted in Superman Family storyline Strangers At The Hearts Core. During her final battle with Supergirl, villain Lesla-Lar claims she's her long-lost sister, who was thrown out by their parents because they loved Kara the most. Kara quickly points out her parents having another daughter is impossible, and guesses Lesla has been driven crazy due to becoming a disembodied spirit trapped in the Phantom Zone during one decade.
  • Elfes et Nains: Jorun feels he is one. Born without talent, impetuous as a child, Jorun feels neglected because of his perceived failures. It's true to an extent because Redwin doesn't trust Jorun, and Jorun doesn't give Redwin any reason to trust him when he's so violent with his big brother.
  • Usagi Yojimbo has Noriko. She's shunted to her aunt's after her mom dies because her uncle is actually her biological father (mom and aunt are sisters). Aunty doesn't like her very much and then bio-dad straight-up tells her he'll never accept her as his daughter, so she kills him and poisons her "step" father for being weak. She reveals all of this to her The Favorite cousin Tomoe while beating her to the ground (on top of having worked a day in Noriko's mine). For Noriko, it's a very satisfying beating.

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