Family is never easy. You don’t always understand them and they don’t always understand you. Sometimes you guys will argue about dumb and inane things like bills and whose turn it is to take out the garbage. Other moments will involve the lot of you bickering about what to have for dinner; no one who can push your buttons like family. The same is true for superheroes and their family members, but on an even larger scale. When super-powered families bicker, their arguments can rattle the entire planet. Unlike normal folk, their fights sometimes are matters of life and death.
For all the grief your own family gives you during Thanksgiving, it’s nothing compared to your bastard son trying to orchestrate your assassination or having to fight your cousin’s evil doppelganger. It doesn’t matter if you’re bickering with your alien cousin or trying to calm down your younger brother from an alternate future timeline, you can’t pick your family — no one ever said it would be easy. All you can do is hope to settle matters before you crack the planet or someone’s skull. Here at CBR we’re going to take a look at 15 times superhero relatives beat the stuffing out of one another.
15. WOLVERINE VS. DAKEN
Wolverine is generally considered pretty amazing at what he does, which unfortunately is killing people. Turns out, much to his surprise, he wasn’t necessarily at the best at what he did. When he first ran into his bastard son, Daken, Logan felt compelled to hand the title over.
First appearing in Wolverine: Origins #5, Daken made it his mission to beat the wolverine right out of Logan. Taking down his dad a couple times, each instance involving subterfuge, Daken also enlisted the mercenary Deadpool to help him capture Wolverine. With that done, he attempted to kill his father, but failed. Eventually, after a long time of trying to set Daken on the right path, Wolverine was forced to kill his son by drowning him in a small puddle of water.
14. VENOM VS. CARNAGE
As bad as you have it with your parents, it’s nothing compared to the perpetual alien blood feud that is the relationship between Venom and his “son” Carnage. While both of them hate Spider-Man with deep-seeded fury, Venom’s hate for Carnage takes precedence. The Venom symbiote came off Spider-Man when it merged with Eddie Brock; the two beings fused together over their common loathing for Spider-Man.
When Spidey eventually put Brock behind bars, the symbiote rescued him, but it accidentally left a piece of itself behind. That piece merged with Brock’s cellmate, the psychotic Cletus Kassady, and became Carnage. Ever since, Venom has tried to murder Carnage in battle after bloody battle. He’s even teamed up with his arch-nemesis Spider-Man to do so, hoping one day to destroy his fearsome offspring.
13. SUPERMAN VS. SUPERGIRL
Cousins from the planet Krypton, Superman accidentally landed on Earth decades ahead of his older cousin. When she arrived, Superman was the older of the pair and Supergirl found herself struggling to acclimatize to Earth and its people. In multiple versions of her arrival, she typically finds herself coming to blows with Superman.
When Supergirl arrived in issue #8 of Superman/Batman, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel try integrating her into society, but Darkseid captures her and brainwashes her to fight her cousin. In the 2006 Supergirl #3, Lex Luthor separates Kara from her dark side via some black kryptonite. One confusing mess later and it’s up to Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman to fight the two Supergirls. Clark and Kara would fight again in the New 52 Supergirl series, once out of confusion and the other time when the Kryptonian H’el nearly brainwashed her.
12. HULK VS. SKARR
Skarr is the son of Bruce Banner (the Hulk) and the Shadow Queen Caiera. With a Hulked-out appearance mirroring his father’s likeness, he has both the Hulk’s powers, i.e. insane strength, durability and speed, and the abilities granted to him by the Old Power. Given to him by his mother’s side of the family, the Old Power allows Skarr to literally move continents and forge the earth itself into weapons, a trick he would use on his father.
After he landed on Earth, Skarr went after the Hulk to make the hero pay for abandoning him on the world he grew up on. Their battle was long, painful, and full of emotion, but the Hulk and Skarr eventually made peace, with Bruce helping his son forge his own heroic path.
11. BATMAN VS. JASON TODD
After Dick Grayson (Robin) left Batman to pursue his own career as Nightwing, the Dark Knight found another stray boy to take under his wing: Jason Todd. Despite receiving similar training to Dick, Jason ended up getting killed by The Joker. When Jason was resurrected due to a hole getting punched in reality, he found Bruce had moved on and The Joker was alive and well. He was not amused.
Taking up the mantle of the new Red Hood, Jason sought to bring an end to crime in Gotham City via lots and lots of bullets. Batman caught on and the two fought repeatedly, Jason expressing rage at his “father” for not avenging him. Though the Bat-family would ultimately come together once more, Jason sees himself as an outsider, unwilling to be taken back into the fold completely.
10. ORION VS. DARKSEID
Orion and his father Darkseid have never been on the best of terms. Their dysfunctional relationship began when Darkseid and Highfather, the leader of the New Gods of New Genesis in the Fourth World, realized if they didn’t soon reach an accord, they’d probably kill each other.
There was plenty of political subterfuge and shady manipulations, but they came to an understanding, making a pact in which the two exchanged their sons; Darkseid raised Scott Free and Highfather raised Orion. They did it to have bargaining chips in case the other ignored their truce. Since then, Orion was influenced by Highfather’s relative benevolence and spends most of his time making sure Darkseid doesn’t destroy the universe. The two have fought multiple times and Orion has even killed Darkseid. Still, like moths to a flame the two New Gods keep coming back to each other, their family connection strong, albeit violent.
9. COLOSSUS VS. MAGIK
Brother and sister, Peter and Illyana Rasputin have enjoyed a long and oftentimes complicated relationship. Sometimes one will be alive while the other is dead and vice versa. You’ll even have moments where one of them is possessed by a demon, but perhaps one of their biggest feuds took place when they were both possessed by a fraction of the Phoenix Force.
After Iron Man accidentally splintered the cosmic entity, it divided off into several of the X-Men, Magik and Colossus included, and they went about taking over the world. However, they learned that when one of the possessed fell, the others would become stronger, dividing that power up among themselves. To that end, when Spider-Man encountered the cosmically-powered siblings, he took a hell of a beating, but then manipulated them into fighting and beating the tar out of one another.
8. TIM DRAKE VS. DAMIAN WAYNE
After Batman adopted Tim Drake, Robin, following the death of the teen’s father, the two grew closer — the Dark Knight saw unlimited potential in the young man. Assuming the name of Robin and then Red Robin, once Bruce “died”, Tim tried assuming the mantle too. It didn’t work out, but that’s beside the point. When Damian Wayne, Bruce’s legitimate son, was introduced to the mix, things got especially complicated; Damian thought Tim wouldn’t accept him as a family member and Tim initially thought Damian was too psychotic.
Despite Tim offering a figurative olive branch, the two youngsters simply couldn’t get along. In their first encounter, Damian nearly kills Tim, punching him off the giant T-Rex in the Batcave. The two stepbrothers, as it were, would fight many times after, Damian constantly trying to prove he was s superior Robin and therefore more worthy of their father’s love.
7. HULK VS. SHE-HULK
The Hulk and his cousin Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk, were best friends starting at an early age. Kindred spirits, the two outsiders found solace in the other’s company. Even when they both Hulked out later in life, they remained especially close, which made it all the more heartbreaking when the relatives threw down during the beginning of the World War Hulk mini-series. Granted they’d fought before, but usually the Hulk wasn’t in control of himself. This time, he is.
In issue #2 of World War Hulk, Hulk’s already beaten Black Bolt and Iron Man. The Avengers rush to the scene and She-Hulk tries to calm down her furious cousin. He gives her a chance to walk away, but she cannot — they fight. It’s brutal, fast, and She-Hulk realizes she’s never seen the Hulk quite so angry.
6. AQUAMAN VS. AQUALAD
While Aquaman and Aqualad might not be related by blood, Arthur Curry effectively adopted Garth. Training him as his protégé, the two heroes initially did everything together back in the old days of the Silver Age. Yet all good things must come to an end and it’s especially true in the brutal fight between Aqualad and Aquaman in the classic Adventure Comics #452.
In the issue, Black Manta has captured Aqualad, Aquaman and his son, Aquababy, threatening to kill Arthur’s child if Aqualad and Aquaman don’t fight to the death. Aquaman, fighting for the sake of his son, is willing to kill his long-time friend and attacks viciously, cutting Aqualad’s arm with a trident. Despite finding a way out of the mess, Arthur Jr. still dies and Aqualad, feeling betrayed, wants nothing more to do with Aquaman. Never fear, they’d become friends (and fight several times over) again.
5. BEN REILLY VS. KAINE
Ben Reilly and Kaine are both clones of Peter Parker, thanks to the mad genius of the insane Professor Miles Warren. While technically the same person, Kaine is slightly stronger and angrier, while Ben is more akin to Peter, they see themselves as brothers after a fashion. Despite their similarities, during the ‘90s, Kaine hunted down and fought Peter and Ben multiple times because of reasons.
These days, Kaine has become more of a hero, while Ben experienced time as full-blown supervillain. Taking on the mantle of the Jackal, Ben began cloning people willy nilly until eventually he was stopped by Spider-Man. Moving to Las Vegas, Kaine, now going by the moniker the Scarlet Spider, is in the process of hunting him down to make him pay for his sins.
4. THOR VS. ODIN
Thor is the God of Thunder while Odin, his father, is the All-Father and one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Constantly butting heads, neither one thinks the other knows how to behave or get things done. It’s the reason why Odin banished Thor in the first place, giving him the alter ego of Donald Blake. They are alpha males who no one has any right to question. While the two have argued and fought multiple times we’re looking at their encounter in Fear Itself #1.
With Asgard in ruins on Earth, Odin knows the gods need to leave; there’s an evil brewing and it must be cleansed. Thor disagrees, wanting to stay and protect the planet. They fight and Thor hits his dad over the head with his hammer Mjioinr. Odin loses patience, turns the hammer off and knocks Thor out, dragging him beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
3. CABLE VS. NATE GREY
Cable (Nate Summers) and Nate Grey are literally two sides of the same coin. From an alternate timeline, Mr. Sinister artificially created Nate Grey from the genetic material of Cyclops and Jean Grey. Cable was shanghaied to the future as a child, only to return decades later to the present when he was years older than either of his parents. They both are extremely powerful telepaths and telekinetics, two of the strongest in the world, and technically share the same parents.
Despite identifying themselves as “brothers”, the two men struggle to get along. In Cable #31, Cable and Nate meet, but Nate has been plagued at all sides by villains like Exodus and is in a frenzy. Even with Nate’s superior firepower, Cable holds on, trying to talk sense into his younger “brother”/alternate self. Finally, their battle ends, Nate collapses, and Cable rushes to his side to save him.
2. INVINCIBLE VS. OMNI-MAN
Mark Grayson is the son of Nolan Grayson, otherwise known as Omni-Man, and the world’s great hero. Think of it as if you’re the son of Superman and you discover you have all the powers of your super strong dad. You might be inclined to go out and follow in your father’s footsteps, fighting crime and righting wrongs. Yet what if you discovered that not only was your father an alien from a race of intergalactic bloodthirsty world conquerors, but he’d set his sights on Earth.
That was the exact dilemma Mark faced in the early days of Invincible. Nolan tries to convince Mark to join his side, but the young hero refuses, choosing instead to fight this father. Their battle takes them across the globe, and despite Mark’s resolve, Nolan eventually all but cripples him, before leaving the planet in tears.
1. WONDER WOMAN VS. DONNA TROY
Sisters in name, if not in blood, you’ll never find two women closer than Wonder Woman and the younger Donna Troy. Once Wonder Girl, Donna served as Diana’s protégé and best friend; their relationship was one of loving and kindness. Both characters have had their origins retconned numerous times, something they’d been able to bond over.
Later, in Gail Simone’s run on Wonder Woman, the two Amazons encounter the villain Genocide who can taint a person with darkness. Donna falls prey to Genocide and becomes consumed with the idea that Wonder Woman is to blame for the death of her family. In Wonder Woman #37, Donna tries to kill Diana. It takes a little time, but eventually Diana is able to make Donna see the truth and their fight comes to a close.
Are there any other family fights we missed out on? Let us know in the comments!
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