It’s every parents goal to put their children in a position where they can one day do better and have more than they did. Of course, that probably looks a little differently when you’re a member of the Justice League. Despite initially wanting to project an image of youth in their mainline superheroes, over the years most of them have seen their “families” grow.
And since comics desperately need new heroes, many of these children have grown up to become superheroes after their parents. For this list, we’re looking at some of those children and pointing out which of them have already surpassed their parents...or have been confirmed to do so in the future.
10 CONNER KENT
Admittedly Conner isn’t technically Clark’s “son”, but he’s a clone made up of half of Clark’s genetic material, which in a world full of super technology is the same thing. When Conner was first created he was built to be a replacement for Superman, and while they couldn’t directly emulate Superman’s powers they managed to imitate them with an ability known as “tactile telekinesis”. Still, after years of fighting and using his powers, he started to develop actual Kryptonian abilities, making him possess much of Superman’s natural powers while also being a powerful telekinetic. He’s even proven capable of shrugging off magical energy, something Superman simply can’t do.
9 DAMIAN WAYNE
In one way or another, all of Bruce’s “children” wind up surpassing him. Dick Grayson is the better physical athlete. Jason Todd has greater rage and drive. Tim Drake is the superior detective. Damian Wayne however might have had the best training of them all. He was literally grown to be his father’s superior, and received education from the League of Assassins to become the best possible fighter he can be. And if the future is to be believed, Damian eventually grows up to become an immortal version of Batman who’s capable of recovering from severe injuries, making him even scarier than his father.
8 CONNOR HAWKE
The son of Oliver Queen, Connor Hawke spent a bit of time operating as the sole Green Arrow in the 90’s after Oliver died on one of his missions. During that time, we were able to see what he could do as a superhero, as he not only worked on his own but teamed up with the JLA more than a few times.
Having spent his entire life until adulthood training at a monastery, Connor had nearly the same ability with the bow as his father. However, where he surpassed his father was with other combat abilities, as Connor is a master hand to hand fighter who’s only been bested by a handful of the very best fighters in the DC Universe.
When Bruce first became Batman, he had no idea what he wanted that to look like. He was forced to piece it together on his own, gradually learning the skills but never knowing how they would fit together. But by the time he found Dick Grayson, he’d spent a year working as Batman, honing his abilities and perfecting the lessons. Dick was already physically fit in a way even Bruce likely wasn’t initially, as Dick was a born gymnast. Dick wasn’t taught how to be a martial artist, then how to be a detective, and so on. He was taught how to be a crimefighter.
6 BLACK CANARY
This one is mostly a pre-Flashpoint deal. During that era, Dinah Laurel Lance is actually the daughter of Dinah Drake Lance, originally a member of the Justice Society of America. While her mother was talented enough to bash Nazis with that group, Laurel managed to surpass her in several aspects. For one, she developed a metagene which surfaced in the form of a Canary Cry, giving her superpowers. But also, she’s one of the most highly trained martial artists in the DC Universe. She’s learned over a dozen martial arts and taken lessons from everyone from Wildcat to Wonder Woman, picking up new skills to her arsenal as she goes.
Jennifer-Lynn Hayden is the daughter of Alan Scott and Rose Canton, better known as Earth’s first Green Lantern and the villain Thorn. Jade was first introduced as a denizen of Earth-2, joining up with the Infinity Inc team, made up of the children of the Justice Society. Later, she was brought over to the DC Universe in the wake of the first Crisis. Her powers are much like her father’s, making her capable of creating anything her will and mind can imagine. Alan Scott’s power levels are constantly going up and down, but when he’s simply using the Green Lantern ring, there’s no comparison as Jade doesn’t even need a ring to access her power.
Zatanna Zatara is the daughter of Giovanni Zatara, a character who actually dates back to Action Comics #1 from 1938. Even back then he was a magician who spoke backwards to activate his abilities. His daughter inherited her powers from him, developing magic in the same way as him. But while Zatara often remained to the best of his abilities out of the spotlight, Zatanna was able to do no such thing. As a member of not just the Justice League’s main superhero division, but the Justice League Dark, their magic-focused group, Zatana has saved the entire world multiple times over alongside her fellow heroes.
3 JESSE QUICK
Contrary to what people might have noticed on the Flash TV show, Jesse Quick isn’t the daughter of one Harrison Wells. But she is the daughter of a scientist who studied speed from another Earth. The daughter of Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle, Jesse Chambers has done everything from helping Wally West against threats like Savitar to working in the Justice Society. She surpassed both her parents when it was revealed that she actually had a mix of her father’s speed and her mother’s super strength. But if that’s not enough, Jesse’s also tapped into more of the Speed Force than her father could, making her even faster than he ever was.
2 BART ALLEN
People might not realize this, but Bart Allen is the son of Don Allen, one of the Tornado Twins who was responsible for protecting the 30th century with his super-speed. Bart’s powers were initially so far out of control he was actually hyper-aging, and spent his time in a super-speed virtual reality program to learn about the world.
After having the rapid aging issue solved, Bart would go on to become Impulse and join Young Justice and later the Teen Titans. While he’s still young, Bart’s proven that he might actually be the best Speedster one day in the future, as he’s proven capable of insane feats like holding the entire Speed Force in his body and retaining the knowledge of anything he’s learned after speed-reading, something other Flashes have proven unable to do.
The daughter of Jefferson Pierce (Black Lightning), Jennifer became a metahuman at a younger age than her father or her sister Anissa, who would become the superhero Thunder. She has the ability to create electrical energy, and like her father she can also manipulate it as she pleases. In the comics, this power is so out of control she joins up with the Justice Society just to learn how to control her abilities. In the CW series, her powers are similarly out of control, with much of her story centering around learning how to use them. She’s also stated to be stronger than her father, even being able to supercharge him after losing his abilities.