Familial relationships are at the heart of some of the most famous stories in history. Cain and Abel. Oedipus Rex. The family drama of Hamlet. Game of Thrones. We could keep listing famous family tales, but you get the idea. Of course, comic books have always used sibling rivalries and other family-based stories because writers know they work. Frankly, we’re surprised there aren’t more notable pairings of siblings or famous examples of superhero/supervillain parents. The passion, animosity and overall depth of emotions in family conflicts is hard to top.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t clarify that plenty of these relationships are loving and beneficial -- for example, there are plenty of siblings that get along and parents that adore their kids. But, especially in comics, conflict sells. Comic books have plenty of their own legendary familial rivalries: Thor and Loki and Wolverine and Sabretooth are just two of the many inner-family rivalries that have enjoyed success over the years. But for every Aquaman and Ocean Master relationship, there’s a connection that fans always forget about. Not every sibling or super-parent can be as notable as the rivalry between Charles Xavier and Juggernaut. Plenty of these connections are often ignored. It’s a shame because plenty of the relationships deserve further exploration. Sure, some of them have been forgotten for good reason. But we wanted to remind fans of some of the lost familial connections in comic books. So, with that being said, here’s a list of the top pairs of related characters that fans keep forgetting.
15 QUAKE AND MISTER HYDE
Everyone knows Daisy Johnson as Quake, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D, and, sometimes, the Destroyer of Worlds. But her status as the daughter of the villainous Mister Hyde is often forgotten. Hyde, or Calvin Zabo, has been a Thunderbolt and a Master of Evil and he gets his name from his fascination with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.
Zabo has been a Thor villain and a recurring antagonist of the Avengers. On the other hand, his illegitimate daughter, Daisy, is one of the top agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she played a crucial role in beating the Skrulls in Secret Invasion. Quake has even been an Avenger and the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. during her relatively short history.
14 BATMAN AND BATWOMAN
The Batman/Bruce Wayne family tree is quite complicated, especially when you factor in various continuities and retcons. DC Rebirth has done a pretty good job cleaning up these complex connections -- specifically, the writers have made it easier to understand the relationship between Batman and Batwoman.
In current continuity, Bruce Wayne and Kate Kane are cousins or, more specifically, Bruce’s mom, Martha, and Kate’s dad, Jacob, were siblings. Bruce and Kate somewhat drifted apart through the years. However, they’ve both become leaders of the Gotham-based crime fighting community, and Batman recruits Batwoman to spearhead his team in Detective Comics. Kate’s run on the team ended terribly, but there were some good times….
13 GALACTUS AND GALACTA
With this relationship, its forgettability clearly doesn’t come from the character’s names -- it’s a small step to see that Galactus and Galacta are related. But, of all the parental characters running around the MU these days, the Eater of Worlds (or, more recently, the Lifebringer) flies under the radar. After all, his daughter is a fairly new character as Galacta debuted in 2009.
The Daughter of Galactus even got her own mini-series, but, rather quickly, she faded into obscurity. One could point to the fact that she’s not considered canonical for her lack of success, but plenty of alternate reality characters have thrived. Unfortunately, Galacta never managed to get off the ground.
12 LOKI AND VALI HALFLING
The idea of Thor being a father makes a lot of sense. Loki, on the other hand, seems ill-equipped to bring life to the world and mold it as he seems fit. Yet, despite being universally hated in the MU, Loki manages to father a son whose name is Vali Halfling, or Agamemnon.
Vali’s name is fitting -- his mother is a woman from Earth while his father is an Asgardian, so Agamemnon is half-human, half-Asgardian. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree, as Loki’s son followed his father’s mischievous footsteps. Vali went on to have many kids of his own, which ensured that Loki’s individual bloodline would continue for quite some time.
11 GRAYDON CREED AND MYSTIQUE
Mystique’s maternal connections to Nightcrawler and, in a different way, Rogue are well-established and rarely overlooked. But her link to Graydon Creed is often forgotten. Graydon, unlike Mystique’s other notable children, is totally free of mutant abilities -- other than his parentage, he’s completely human.
After both of his parents abandoned him, Graydon took that resentment out on all mutants and he’s served with the Purifiers and founded the Friends of Humanity, which are two of the largest anti-mutant groups in the MU. Similarly, the objective of his time with the Upstarts was to kill mutants for sport. Mystique eventually ended Graydon, effectively terminating this problematic mother-son relationship.
10 ROGUE AND REBECCA/OLIVER
Like mother, like daughter. Rogue’s had a few gifted children of her own. Two of the more forgotten of X-Men offspring of all time are Oliver and Rebecca, Rogue’s children from “The End” storyline. In an alternate reality, Rogue and Gambit, or Mr. and Mrs. X in recent comics, have these two children together. Oliver and Rebecca wound up being almost as powerful as their parents, and they may have made fine X-Men.
Alas, the world will never know. Mr. Sinister’s allies end Rogue and her family subsequently falls apart. Since then, Oliver and Rebecca have faded into the deep depths of obscurity and may never be seen again.
9 MEDUSA AND AHURA
As one of the most legendary Inhumans in Marvel history, it’s fitting that Medusa would have a child in order to carry on her legacy. Everything about the birth of the child, Ahura, defied the Genetic Council and he was born on Earth in further noncompliance of the authoritative body.
Ahura had the same madness as his uncle, Maximus, which made him an even more controversial figure in the Inhuman community. After spending some time with Kang the Conqueror, Ahura was a pariah. Ahura felt that his parents, especially Black Bolt, failed to raise him properly but, unlike other disheartened offspring, Ahura somewhat made up with his parents.
8 DOCTOR STRANGE AND BARON BLOOD
As a Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange has access to methods of healing and medical care beyond the wildest dreams of the average surgeon. Naturally, when his brother, Victor, gets in a terrible car accident, Stephen Strange tried to use sorcery when western medicine failed.
Strange uses a spell to bring his brother out of a coma and the consequences are dreadful. Upon returning to the waking world, Victor is a vampire. He took the name Baron Blood and used his hunger to fight crime by feeding on criminals. Racked with guilt, Blood took his own life, and he’s remained dead for many years, which is why he’s the forgotten brother of Doctor Strange.
7 DARKSEID AND INFINITY MAN
The power structures of kingdoms like Atlantis and Apokolips often allow DC to tell political stories reminiscent of Game of Thrones. For example, the legendary DC villain Darkseid used to have a bitter sibling rivalry with his brother, Drax. Before Darkseid’s days of conquering planets and menacing the greater DC Universe, he was Prince Uxas of Apokolips, and he tried to kill his brother.
Uxas nearly ended Drax, but the latter was healed by Astorr, or Infinity Man. Shortly before the warrior’s demise, he passed on his role as Infinity Man to Drax, a hero almost as powerful as Darkseid himself. Infinity Man became a protector of the Forever People, and his rivalry with his brother remains unresolved.
6 ETRIGAN AND MERLIN
Etrigan, everyone’s favorite rhyming demon, has been around since 1972, when Jack Kirby introduced him to the world. Initially, the demon was a servant of Merlin. Later, writers retconned Etrigan’s origin so that the demon and the wizard had a closer connection.
In the character’s new background, Belial, Etrigan’s father, had a half-human baby with mystical powers and hoped the new kid could corral his wild brother. Merlin, the younger of Belial’s sons, would fulfill his father’s wishes and successful control Etrigan for the foreseeable future. Etrigan’s origin continues to change, but, at least in some continuities, the demon is related to Merlin.
5 DORMAMMU AND UMAR
Dormammu, we’ve come to bargain, and our offer is to remind everyone of your forgotten sister. Dr. Strange has countless menacing demons in his rogues’ gallery, and Dormammu is one of his most recognizable rivals. However, the Lord of Chaos’ sister, Umar, is far less prominent.
Umar had been locked up for millenia because her brother feared her power. Upon Dormammu’s defeat, Umar broke out of her prison and took her brother’s place in Doctor Strange’s life. Through the years, Umar has fought alongside her brother, and she has also battled against him. While Umar the Unrelenting could return and become a more notable character, she has always lived in her brother’s shadow.
4 CAPTAIN AMERICA AND CRUSADER
As founding members of the Avengers, Captain America and Thor are two of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. Any character that holds the power of an Asgardian God and the strength of Steve Rogers would be downright unstoppable. While Crusader didn’t leave much of an impact in Marvel history, she definitely had 15 minutes of fame because she is one of the few heroes that has held Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer.
On Earth-9811, Captain America and Rogue got married, and, shortly thereafter, Sarah Rogers was born. In the character’s short run, Sarah used her father’s iconic shield, and she also managed to pick up Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. As a bonus power, she inherited Rogue’s mutant abilities, too.
3 VISION AND GRIM REAPER
The relationship between these two characters is a atypical, to say the least. When Ultron constructed the Vision, he basically copied Wonder Man’s mind for his newborn synthozoid. So, in a way, Vision and Wonder Man were the same person. No big deal, right? Not exactly. Wonder Man was gone at the time, which muddied the waters of Ultron’s already controversial decision to copy someone’s brain.
The Grim Reaper, the late Wonder Man’s brother, planned to destroy the Avengers once and for all. When the Reaper learned that Vision technically had Wonder Man’s mind, he dropped his plan to attack the Avengers. Since then, the two “brothers” have had a complicated relationship, which culminated in the Grim Reaper’s demise at the hands of Vision’s wife.
2 AQUAMAN AND AQUABABY
It’s a little surprising that Aquaman doesn’t have a legitimate, canonical son. When Arthur Curry has kids, they’re either wiped away by continuity reboots or taken off the board completely. For example, look at precious, little Arthur Curry Jr., also known as Aquababy. The longest tenured of Aquaman’s children, Aquababy was a part of the Aqua-family for ten years.
His time was cut short when the Black Manta ended his existence, which cemented the villain’s status as Aquaman’s archnemesis. Aquababy is gone and, unfortunately, largely forgotten. Hopefully, it won’t be long before Arthur Curry has a son that manages to stick around.
1 POWER GIRL AND EQUINOX
At times, Power Girl has been among the most notable heroes in the DCU. When writers decided to explore how Kara Zor-L might function as a mother, they decided to think outside the box. When Kara’s grandfather, Arion, infused her with handmade genes, he hoped to create the greatest warrior in history. Unfortunately for Arion, the pregnancy defied all expectations.
The baby, Equinox, aged rapidly and, while he had some powers, Equinox paled in comparison to other Kryptonians. The new addition to Kara’s family literally vanished from existence; he hasn’t been seen in roughly twenty-two years, and it appears that writers have no plans to bring him back.