In real life, we tend to naturally adopt different features from our parents. Features like those in the face, height, that sly grin from our mother, etc. Kids adopting different qualities, features, and traits from their parents is, oddly enough, less likely to happen in the world of superhero texts. Whether it be in the DC Universe, the Marvel Universe, or a more obscure comic book household outside of the big leagues, superheroes and supervillains are not always able to transfer their abilities onto their offspring. Obviously, that does not mean stuff like that never happens. After all, Superman had his Superboy, Wolverine had his X-23, and Peter “Spider-Man” Parker had his Mayday Parker.
There are plenty of examples of comic book characters who took after their superpowered parents, but there are just as many examples of comic book characters who did not. There are some comic book characters out there who grew up to have completely different superpowers from their parents, and even some out there who had no powers whatsover despite both of their parents being super. Here are just a few examples of such cases that took place in the wonderfully strange world of comic books (and some superhero movies).
15. VICTOR MANCHA
Ultron’s origin and history has been well documented — especially in light of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron — but far less is widely known about that of his son, Victor Mancha. After being defeated by Hank Pym, Ultron’s remains were disposed of in a landfill, but his head was recovered by petty criminal Marianella Mancha.
Ultron used knowledge of Marianella’s infertility to manipulate her into constructing him a new body with a promise to reward her with a child.
Using Marianella’s DNA and his own nanotechnology, Ultron created a cyborg named Victor. While he adopted some of his father’s abilities (i.e. super strength and speed), Victor also is capable of technopathy and electromagnetic manipulation. Horrified by his father’s villainy, Victor has opted for a more heroic lifestyle.
Unbeknownst to Professor Charles Xavier, a Holocaust survivor he had a fling with was pregnant with his child. That child would grow up to become supremely talented, and deeply disturbed. David Haller (aka Legion) not only has powers that differ from his father Charles Xavier (aka Professor X), he has even more powers than his dad does. Legion has an entire arsenal of abilities tailor made for each of the split personalities he has.
Through his different personalities, we have seen Legion produce several different abilities, like telekinesis, warping reality, energy projection, energy manipulation, matter manipulation, telepathy, time travel, pyrokinesis, belching acid gas, rapid punching, and many, many others. Legion is officially an Omega-level mutant, which would classify him as being way more powerful than even his own father.
13. VALI HALFLING
The only character who could possibly be more mischievous than Loki is Loki’s son, Vali Halfling. Living up to his Halfling name, Vali is the product of a liaison between Loki and a mortal woman. Along with his mischievous personality, Vali adopted many of his father’s sorcery techniques: shapeshifting, allspeak, a healing factor, etc.
One big distinction that separates Vali from his father is that Vali is immortal.
After Vali stole one too many secrets from Asgard and started using them for evil, Odin felt that he had no choice but to banish his grandson to Midgard (aka Earth) where he would forever retain the body of a teenager. While this does come with the perk of being immune to all earthling diseases and infections, Vali isn’t too happy with being a kid forever.
After they got married, Scarlet Witch and Vision had two twin boys together. Those young boys would grow up and become members of the Young Avengers as Wiccan and Speed. Wiccan adopted his magical abilities from his mother, which makes sense. Oddly enough, Speed did not adopt powers from either his mother or his father. Instead, he adopted powers from his uncle and Scarlet Witch’s brother, Quicksilver.
Like Quicksilver, Speed is, well, quick. He can run at the speed of sound at supersonic speed. He also looks closer in appearance to Scarlet Witch’s brother than Scarlet Witch herself or even her husband, especially with Speed and Quicksliver both sharing white hair. Looks like they both use the same hair dye and conditioner — and the same speed particles.
Quake’s backstory was covered pretty thoroughly when adapted to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but there are some minor differences worth noting here. Yes, in both the comics and the TV show, her dad is Mister Hyde, who has genius level intellect and super strength whenever he transforms, but her mother varies depending on what material readers are looking at.
In the show, Quake’s mom is Jiaying, an Inhuman who can drain the life force from another person’s body in order to retain her youth.
In the comics, Quake’s mom had no powers to speak of and was merely a lady of the night. Regardless of the source material, one constant distinction that remains between Quake and her parents is that she shares no powers with either of them — she has her own seismic capabilities.
This prominent Teen Titan in question is the half breed offspring of a mortal woman named Angela Roth, and of the demon overlord, Trigon. Much like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Trigon came to Angela as an angelic being when she offered to him by a cult. After planting his seed, he left her with child so he could go on and continue conquering worlds as the giant Azratheian being that he truly is.
Along with his own might, Trigon wields a staff that can attack, control, and manipulate others. While his daughter doesn’t have his father’s strength or his staff, Raven has mastered the arts of teleportation, telekinesis, healing, flight, telepathy, and can even project her “soul self” onto other people and allow it to fight on her behalf.
Although Gamora and her father Thanos share superhuman strength, both could not be further apart in terms of appearance, skill set, and personality. Particularly when it comes to skills, Gamora manages to one up Thanos as a trained assassin.
The same can be said for Nebula, although Nebula might have an edge over her sister when it comes to her intellect and her quick wit skills as a strategist.
Though, granted, Nebula’s advantages are genetically enhanced given the fact that she was turned into a cyborg, but that is neither here nor there. Bringing more focus to Gamora, Gamora is skilled in hand to hand combat, while Thanos’s battle techniques more or less derives from just pounding into something until its dead. So, yeah, Gamora with the strategic edge.
One interesting tidbit about Rogue that has yet to be implemented into the canon of the movie franchise is that she is the daughter of Mystique. Well, kind of. The canon for that kind of origin is tricky (as is all things X-Men), because different texts say different things and there is a lot of hearsay as far as what original plans were for connecting both characters to one another.
A general consensus of the canon reads that Mystique merely adopted and raised Rogue, along with another mutant named Destiny. X-Men writer Chris Claremont once revealed he originally had plans to reveal Rogue as the biological daughter of Mystique, but he left Marvel in 1991 before he could. Although the storyline reveal would be reused for the 2009 X-Men Forever series. She can shapeshift, and she can absorb powers with a touch making them as different as can be.
Darkseid, the ruler of the planet Apokolips, was forced by his mother to marry the New God Tigra in his youth. At one point in their relationship, he had Tigra isolated in Hyperfreeze for thousands of years. When she was finally released, she emerged from Hyperfreeze pregnant with Darkseid’s child. Prior to her giving birth, she was banished from Apokolips, though she remained there as a prisoner. She later gave birth to Orion.
Orion may not be nearly as powerful as Darkseid and unlike Darkseid, he cannot fly without the use of a jetpack.
However, what Orion lacks in powers from his dad, he makes up for in having original Astro Force abilities, a healing factor, and exquisite skills in hand-to-hand combat, making the Dog of War one New God not to be messed with.
6. GRAYDON CREED
The odd pairing of Mystique and Sabretooth aside, Graydon Creed does not share the same powers as either one of his parents. In fact, in a rare occurrence, he does not have any powers at all. Despite being an offspring from two mutant parents, Graydon Creed was born as a human. After Mystique gave birth to him, she put him up for adoption, although she continued to keep a close eye on him.
When he grew up and learned of the mutants who abandoned him, he grew a to hate all mutants and suddenly became hellbent on abolishing every mutant on the planet. He created and funded the Friends of Humanity to oppose mutant civil rights via acts of terrorism against mutants. He attempted to run for presidency, but was assassinated by his own mother.
5. FRANKLIN RICHARDS
When they are not fighting crime on a day to day basis as members of the Fantastic Four, Reed and Sue Richards are taking care of their two children, Valeria and her older brother, Franklin. While adopted the powers of her mom — she can generate force fields and turn invisible — Franklin did not quite adopt those same powers.
In fact, Franklin turned out to be far more powerful than either Sue or Reed ever would or could have ever thought.
Young Franklin has a power level that reads well beyond that of an Omega-level mutant. Omega is supposedly the most powerful mutation, which would make Franklin even stronger than another Omega mutant, like Legion. Franklin is an immortal who can warp reality, manipulate energy and has psionic capabilities.
4. DANCING WATER
Avalanche is a mutant with the abilities to create seismic waves with his hands. Usually portrayed as an antagonist to both the X-Men and The Avengers, Avalanche was first recruited by Mystique to join the Brotherhood of Mutants in her quest to assassinate Senator Robert Kelly. After Mystique turned The Brotherhood over to the government, Avalanche was forced to take part in the X-Force, which is essentially Marvel’s version of Task Force X (aka Suicide Squad).
Somewhere down the line, he married a woman named Helen and had a daughter who, in adulthood, would adopt the name Dancing Water. Dancing Water has the power to shapeshift into water and manipulate water near her, nothing like her dad’s abilities. She grew up to become a member of the Red Skull’s S-Men.
3. ASHLEY BARTON
Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) and Tonya Parker (the youngest daughter of Peter Parker) hooked up and together birthed Ashley Barton. Neither Tonya nor Clint have any powers to speak of, but Ashley did managed to adopt the powers of her good ol’ friendly neighborhood grandfather. Knowing that great power comes great responsibility, Ashley would also adopt a variation on her father’s costume and become Spider-B….well you know.
Of course, she would later be forced to change her name to a much more politically correct Spider-Woman.
Although, Ashley has a much higher mean streak than her dad, granddad, or her mother ever had, considering that she killed Kingpin in cold blood with a shotgun handle, then took over Kingpin’s territory for herself and her own team.
2. JACK JACK
In The Incredibles, despite being a one-year old baby, Jack Jack is far more advanced with his powers than any of his superheroic family members. He may not have the elasticity of his mother or share super strength like his father, but Jack Jack has just about every other superpower in the book that one can imagine.
So far, we have seen Jack Jack shapeshift, float, shoot lasers from his eyes, teleport, become intangible, and turn into fire, bulletproof steel, and small — well, smaller, since he’s already a small baby. With a brand new sequel to The Incredibles coming to theaters near all of us very soon, we can expect Jack Jack to have a whole new arsenal of powers equipped to him. He might just be the most unstoppable member of the team.
When Magneto first brought Quicksilver and his twin sister Scarlet Witch into the Brotherhood of Mutants, he had no idea that they were his children. Yes, Scarlet Witch and Magneto don’t have the same abilities (his is magnetic-based and hers is more in the realm of magic) but her mutation is a little easier to relate to her parents than that of her brother.
Quicksilver is a little harder to see the relation between him and his father’s mutation abilities.
Magneto has never had super speed. Hell, we rarely see Magneto walk around on his feet, as he often opts to float and fly himself around. We could argue that Quicksilver gets his powers from his mother, but his mother wasn’t a speedster either; she had the same powers as Scarlet Witch.
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