DC fans can be forgiven for forgetting a lot of their favorite characters are actually related. To be fair, it’s hard enough trying to remember the names and birthdays of your own relatives. After 85 years of comic book history, DC heroes and villains have some pretty complex family trees.
Fans might not be surprised to find out the Wonder Twins are siblings, but low-key family ties have been the secret ingredient to the DC universe’s success ever since we met Superman’s cousin, Supergirl, decades ago. These characters endure because any reader can relate to family drama. Here are 10 DC family connections that fans forgot about.
10 Aqualad And Black Manta
Aquaman’s most trusted friend was fathered by his greatest foe. Aqualad is such an unwavering ally to the King of the Seven Seas that he actually named himself Aqualad. Despite his son getting caught in the crossfire, Black Manta is still obsessed with conquering the oceans. Father and son relationships are typically one of the closest bonds people can share. However, there’s no love lost when these two clash on the deep-sea battlefield. If Black Manta is Aquaman’s arch-nemesis, that might as well mean he is Aqualad’s, too. It must make Father’s Day really awkward.
9 Superboy And Lex Luthor
Speaking of an awkward Father’s Day, Lex Luthor created Superboy using a combination of his DNA fused with Superman in a scheme that backfired faster than a speeding bullet. The reason it’s so easy to forget Superboy’s origin is precisely because he is a failed experiment.
Luthor cloned Superboy with the intention of making a superhuman version of himself. Instead, Superboy inherited all of the best qualities in Superman that Luthor totally abhors. DC fans aren’t the only ones who forgot these two are related. Luthor and Superboy can’t seem to remember, either.
8 Joker And Harley Quinn
Yes, you read that right. In prequel comics to DC’s Injustice video game, Harley Quinn reveals that her fiery relationship with Joker actually went to the next level. She had a daughter with the Clown Prince of Crime that he never acknowledged. Although it’s only mentioned briefly, DC fans can easily imagine why Quinn rarely mentions the child. Being raised by two of the most dangerous characters in the DC universe can only lead to a life that ends tragically or violently. Judging by Quinn’s uneasy tone when she speaks about her daughter, maybe it already did.
7 Deathstroke And Ravager
It seems there’s no shortage of DC supervillains trying to settle down and have a few of their own. Deathstroke has a son and daughter who actually took the same moniker, Ravager, at different times. Grant and Rose Wilson try hard to make their way as supervillains using their own skills and abilities, but they always rely on daddy for the heavy lifting. Although they’re skilled combatants, neither Ravager ever reached the heights of their father. After Grant actually died during a battle with the Teen Titans, Rose joined the team as a revamped Ravager before falling back into her father’s fold.
6 Robin And Ra's Al Ghul
Damian Wayne’s Robin was the son of Batman and the Daughter of the Demon herself, Talia Al Ghul. Why it’s so significant that DC fans remember Robin’s connection to his grandfather, Ra’s Al Ghul, is because he inherited many of the traits that made Ra’s so very dangerous. Damian was raised by Talia and her League of Assassins to be somewhat of a second-coming of her father. Although Batman was eventually able to deprogram some of Damian’s training, hints of his grandfather always remained. In Damian’s defense, you can’t pick your family.
5 Batman And Owlman
Damian Wayne isn’t the only surprise relative to show up at Batman’s doorstep. Although, technically, this relative showed up on Batman’s doorstep in another dimension. DC comic books don’t shy away from playing around with alternate universes.
In one particular parallel reality, Batman meets his older brother, Thomas Wayne Jr., who grew up to be a supervillain called Owlman. They quickly develop a sibling rivalry when Owlman follows Batman back to his dimension and wreaks havoc. The old saying goes, “Brothers are what best friends can never be.” Of course, Batman’s best friend can never be a supervillain.
4 Catwoman And The King of Cats
Batman isn’t the only DC character to find out they have a sibling who rips off their whole look. Catwoman met her brother, the King of Cats, because he stole her modus operandi for committing crimes. Maybe Catwoman shouldn’t be so shocked her sibling is a copycat. Despite her long history of villainy, Catwoman has evolved into quite the anti-hero over the decades. When the King of Cats tries to pull her back into crime, Catwoman turns her back on a big score. Unfortunately, that means turning her back on her brother as well.
3 Aquaman And Ocean Master
Sibling rivalries are strong in the DC universe, but half-sibling rivalries are even stronger. Aquaman and Ocean Master try so hard to forget they’re half-brothers that readers often forget, too. They don’t share any brotherly love, but competition for the affections of their mother often keeps them in close proximity.
Aquaman considers Aqualad, Tempest, and Mera to be his true family. However, whether he likes it or not, one of Aquaman’s closest relatives is also one of his most fearsome enemies. While Aquaman feels conflicted, it’s safe to say Ocean Master doesn’t have any reservations about destroying him.
2 Wonder Woman And Ares
Here’s another half-sibling duo who just cannot stand each other. As the God of War, Ares is kind of hardwired to not get along with Wonder Woman. Both warriors we created by Zeus, but their family history gets a bit wonky when you realize that Ares is also Wonder Woman’s grandfather. It’s hard to figure out how that even works, but it doesn’t stop either one from beating the snot out of the other. Fighting with your brother and grandfather at the exact same time must make Thanksgiving dinner really uncomfortable.
1 The Flash, The Flash, And the Flash
One interesting tidbit of Flash history is that speedsters are related, for the most part. Wally West’s Flash is actually the nephew of Barry Allen’s Flash, who is also the father of the Tornado Twins. Their close family ties are not only the reason they can harness the Speed Force so similarly. Being part of the same family means they’re raised with the same values that instill the very courage that make them superheroes in the first place. When you look at the Flash family lineage and see generations of superheroes, maybe it’s not so surprising that they’re all related.