Marvel comics is a really small world. Not only does everyone know each other, but they also seem to be related to each other. While revealing that the romantic couple might actually be brother and sister, or that the arch-villain is actually the hero's long-lost father or vice versa (here's looking at you, Star Wars) are tried and tested tropes in books and movies, superhero comics are always at least three steps ahead.
If the Marvel movies leave you confused as to which Avenger is related to whom, then the comics which have been smoothly running for decades, are sure to bamboozle you. This list should help to demystify some of the most confusing family trees in the Marvel Comic Universe.
10 The Ultron and Vision Family Tree
Most people are familiar with Ultron as the main villain in the second Avenger's movie, created using the Mind Stone and Tony Stark's artificial intelligence program that went all awry. But in the comics, he has a more interesting life. Ultron-1 was created by Henry Pym, using the latter's own thought patterns and it seemed that he had developed a sort of Oedipus Complex with his hatred for his "father" Pym and lustful feelings for Janet Van Dyne, Pym's soon-to-be wife.
Ultron-1 not only erased all memory of him from Pym's mind, but continuously upgraded himself up to Ultron-5. There's also Victor Mancha, a cyborg who was created by Ultron using Marianella Mancha's DNA. Ultron also forced Professor Horton to change the Human Torch into "Vision" and upon being betrayed, reprogrammed Vision's mind. Vision failed to destroy his "father" Ultron, and Ultron built himself into Ultron-6 using Vision's mind. Later as Ultron-8, he made a robotic wife called Jocasta, and had his "mother" Van Dyne's mind transferred onto it. Vision too has an android wife "Virginia" created using Scarlet Witch's brain waves, and he used their brainwaves to have two kids, Viv and Vin.
9 The Inhumans Royal Family Tree
Most of the main members in the Inhumans Royal Family are related to each other. The leader Black Bolt and his wife Medusa are currently estranged, with the latter dating her sister Crystal's ex-boyfriend, Johnny Storm/the Human Torch.
Meanwhile, Crystal married and has a daughter Luna, with former Avenger Quicksilver. She later joined the Avengers, romanced the Black Knight and was in a political marriage with Ronan the Accuser. Medusa's cousins, with the exception of Gorgon, Karnak, and Trition, have both served as her chief advisor from time to time. Plus, Medusa and Gorgon were briefly a couple and Maximus, Black Bolt's brother has repeatedly tried to make Medusa his queen.
8 The Odinson Family Tree
While in the movies, Odin is the biological father of Thor and Hela, and a step-father to Loki, in the comics it's a bit more complicated. For one, Odin has way more sons. He has Thor from his relationship with Earth Goddess Jord and another son called Vidar from a Storm Giantess. Then with Frigga, he has three sons- Tyr, Hermod and Balder.
Odin and Freya also have a daughter Aldriff who was kidnapped and grew up to be the warrior Angela, along with another daughter Laussa. Finally, while Loki is adopted, he is the son of Laufey and Farbauti, another Storm Giantess. However, Hela and Fenris were the children of Loki from a previous Ragnarok cycle.
7 The Bruce Banner Family Tree
Bruce Banner's got a tough life. His love interest and later wife, Betty Ross Banner was poisoned by the Abomination, cryogenically preserved and later transformed into the Red She-Hulk. The actual She-Hulk is Jennifer Walters, who is the daughter of Elaine Banner-Walters, sister to Bruce Banner's abusive father Brian. Jennifer became the She-Hulk when she was critically injured and saved by Bruce's blood transfusion.
If that wasn't vampiric enough, Bruce's daughter Lyra was artificially conceived when Thundra stole the Hulk's DNA during a fight. Bruce also has two twin sons with Caiera- Skaar and Hiro-Kala. It is also hinted that Bruce maybe the biological father of Scorpion/Carmilla Black. Also, in the Old Man Logan universe, the Hulk has had children with his cousin, She-Hulk .
6 The Charles Xavier Family Tree
Professor Charles Xavier has quite the illustrious family tree. First off, Cassandra Nova, an alien mind parasite invaded the womb of Charles' mom Sharon which essentially makes her his twin sister. Then his step-brother is none other than Cain Marko, who later on became the Juggernaut.
He also has an affair with Gabrielle Haller and gives birth to David Haller, aka Legion, and a daughter Xandra, with Princess Lilandra of the Shi'ar empire. Finally, in an alternate timeline, he gets together with Mystique and has a son, Charles Xavier Jr.
5 The Carol Danvers Family Tree
Captain Marvel finally got her own film this year, much of which dealt with uncovering the character's backstory and identity- though none of it is as confusing as it gets in the comics. Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers has been recently revealed to be half-Kree. Her mother Marie, aka Mari-Ell was a Kree warrior who was blown off target, landed on Earth and married Joe Danvers Sr, a former US Navy Officer. Carol also has a half-brother Stevie who was drafted and killed in the Vietnam War.
In one creepy storyline, Marcus Immortus, the son of Immortus (the future self of Kang the Conqueror) was stuck in a time limbo from which he couldn't escape and so he decided to be reincarnated and reborn on earth. For that purpose, he kidnapped Carol, brought her into limbo, brainwashed her into loving him, impregnated her, and sent her back with no memory of the whole thing. Carol gave birth in a matter of days, and the baby Marcus grew up instantly.
4 The Tony Stark Family Tree
The movies would have Iron Man's family history to be pretty clean. He's a billionaire industrialist and the son of weapons-manufacturer Howard Stark and married to Pepper Potts. But in the comics, he's similar to Loki, in that they were both adopted and their real identity remained hidden for a long time.
The real child of Howard and Maria Stark was called Arno. His life was under threat so he grew up in secret while Tony was adopted. Tony's real mother was Amanda Armstrong, a rockstar who worked part-time as a S.H.I.E.L.D agent. There she met Jude who was initially a Hydra double agent, but later a big-time criminal and became romantically involved and gave birth to Tony, who was left in an orphanage in Bulgaria, from where Howard adopted him.
3 Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver Family Tree
The relationship between Pietro and Wanda have always been tumultuous- as have their murky familial origins. When they were first introduced as members of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Magneto had nothing to do with them and they were the kids of Django and Marya Maximoff.
Then there was a twist and they were supposed to be the offspring of WWII superheroes Miss America and The Whizzer. Later it was suggested that the siblings were in fact, the children of Magneto and Magda. But recently in 2014, it was affirmed that the duo were Maximoff's children after all. Both of them have always been intensely close and even though the subtext was always there, there's an alternate universe storyline where the siblings share an incestuous relationship.
2 The Wolverine Family Tree
Wolverine's family tree gets messy because there are way too many clones and kids to keep track of. His most well-known legitimate offspring is Daken, with a Japanese woman Itsu. Meanwhile, some of his other kids were part of a mutant team The Mongrels and killed by Wolverine himself, and it's only later he discovers that he had killed his own kids. These were Gunhawk, Saw Fist, Cannon Foot, Shadow stalker and Fire Knives.
Moreover, he also has a few DNA derivatives. Deadpool gets his healing powers after being injected with a bit of Wolverine's DNA. X-23 or Laura Kinney was created out of Wolverine's damaged DNA as well. Laura's DNA is also later used to create three more clones or "The Sisters". Finally, Park, a prisoner in North Korea was imbued with the DNA of both Wolverine and Deadpool.
1 The Scott Summers Family Tree
Scott Summer's family tree is clearly the most confusing and "timey-wimey" of the lot. Firstly, he has a second brother, Gabriel Summers. His parents were attacked and kidnapped by the Shi'ar and while his dad escaped eventually, his mom was put into an alien harem where she got impregnated with Gabriel. Scott, who later became the X-Men Cyclops, grew up in an orphanage and later fell in love with Jean Grey. After her death, he fathered a child Nathan with Madeleine Pryor who turned out to be a clone of Jean. His future daughter Rachel, from an alternate reality, also came to settle down with them.
Nathan, however, contracted a virus and had to be taken to the far future to be saved- and where he was also cloned. He didn't return until he was old. Scott's original wife also returned at which point, Scott dumped the clone version, who of course turned evil, presumably out of spite. Of course, given how several of the comics are on-going, these family trees are sure to grow more and more branches with each new issue.