Kids in Comics: 10 Superhero Children You Should Know
So much of comic book continuity focuses on the adult superheroes, but more credit should be given to their equally heroic offspring.
Many members of both the Marvel and DC universes have had children at various points throughout their histories, but for the focus of this article we are highlighting the natural born children of heroes. Sadly, this will remove several favorite “children” such as the Stepford Cuckoos (daughters of Emma Frost) and Connor Kent (Superboy), typically the result of cloning and scientific experimentation.
Quite a few superhero children are more powerful than their parents and deserve such recognition, stepping out of the shadow of their legacies. Here are 10 superhero children we think you should know about.
Lightning is Jennifer Pierce, daughter of Black Lightning. She became a superhero at a younger age than both her father and her sister (Thunder). Lightning is said to be the strongest of the Pierce family. Her first appearance in comics was Justice Society of America Vol 3 #12 from March 2008.
Lightning has multiple electrical powers: electrokinesis, electrical absorption, electrical blasts, electricity detection, electrical-technopathy, electrical transformation, electro-telekinesis, flight, and photokinesis. Lightning also possesses rapid healing powers, but they are not as strong as either her father’s or her sister’s.
Electrical transformation might be one of Lightning’s most interesting powers. This power allows her to generate an electrical field, which turns her into a sentient being of lightning. She can make herself intangible in this form as well. She can also use her electrokinesis to make electrical constructs such as lassos and can form electricity balls, which she can then use to throw at her opponents.
Lighting can be seen in action on the live-action CW show Black Lightning.
Spider-Girl is also known as Mayday Parker. She is the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. She first appears in What If? Vol 2 #105 from February 1998, where she appears as Spider-Girl. She does take on the Spider-Woman role in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 3 #15 from February 2015.
Peter and Mary Jane chose to hide from Mayday the fact that Peter had been Spider-Man. (In a future, alternate universe, Peter had retired after being severely injured in a battle with Green Goblin). The hope was that Mayday would not develop powers, but this was relatively short-lived. Mayday, who goes by May, came into her powers when she was 15.
Spider-Girl inherited her powers from her father, but they are proportionate to her size. While her father has great superhuman strength, she has a stronger Spider-Sense and more agility. Spider-Girl later went on to receive her own ongoing, self-titled comic series.
8. Helena Wayne
Helena Wayne aka Huntress is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Her first comic book appearance was in DC Super-Stars Vol 1 #17 from December 1977. When Helena was 19, her mother died due to a tragic mishap. After Selina’s death, a photograph surfaced of her defeating a policeman when she was Catwoman. Helena took up the mantel of Huntress to honor both her mother and father.
Dick Grayson became Helena’s mentor and she later joined the Justice Society of America. Helena was briefly part of Infinity Inc., which is a team made up of mostly children of the original JSA members. Helena, like both her parents, does not possess superhuman powers. She is, however, a highly skilled gymnast and hand-to-hand combatant. She is also an expert marksman, using her signature crossbow.
Helena will make her next appearance with a new costume in Batman/Catwoman #4.
7. Cassie Lang
Cassandra “Cassie” Lang is the daughter of Scott Lang, Ant-Man. She first appeared in comics as Cassie Lang in Marvel Premiere #47 in April 1979. Cassie spent time with both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers while living with her father. Cassie desperately wanted to be part of the hero world, which led her to secretly expose herself to Pym Particles.
After the passing of her father, Cassie went to live with her mother. Cassie planned to leave and join the Runaways, but ended up hearing about the Young Avengers. Cassie went to find Kate Bishop and join the Young Avengers. During an argument about becoming a member, Cassie suddenly grew. This surprised both the team members and herself. Due to exposure to Pym Particles, Cassie can grow and shrink at will. She does not require a special suit with the particles, like her father did.
She is skilled in hand-to-hand combat due to self-defense classes. Captain America and Wolverine trained her as well. Her suit is made of unstable molecules that allows it to conform to her regardless of size. Cassie became known as Stature and then as Stinger.
6. Jonathan Samuel Kent
Jonathan “Jon” Kent is the son of Superman and Lois Lane. He was named after both of his grandfathers. His first appearance is in Convergence: Superman #2. Jon should not be confused with Connor Kent, who also has the alias Superboy. As stated above, Connor is a clone of Clark, not his natural born son.
Jon grew up not knowing his parent’s history. He discovered his superpowers when his mother was kidnapped. Once Jon came into his powers, Clark helped him form his secret identity and he became Superboy. Jon eventually teamed up with Damian Wayne, and they become the Super Sons. The Super Sons even earned their own ongoing series.
Jon is half-Kryptonian. He has all the same powers as his father, but due to his hybrid DNA he has the potential to be more powerful. With being half-Kryptonian, Jon also shares the same weaknesses as his father.
5. Damian Wayne
Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. Damian eventually takes up the mantel of Robin alongside his father. His first comic book appearance as a baby is Batman: Son of the Demon from 1987. He first appearance as Damian Wayne in Batman #655 from September 2006.
Bruce was unaware that he had a child with Talia. Talia sped up Damian’s aging process and trained him with the League of Assassins. Damian was eventually sent to Gotham to meet Bruce. Even though the League’s training methods were brutal, Damian was still supported his father’s methods and wished to help him. Damian took on the mantle of Robin at age ten.
Damian struggled to fit into his father’s world, as his upbringing in the League of Assassins had trained him to be a killer. Apart from Batman, he has teamed up with many others. He worked with Jason Todd to take down top members in the League, and he was part of the Teen Titans and Super Sons.
Damian’s League training has arguably made Damian a more skilled fighter than his father. He is an expert at archery, martial arts, and swordsmanship.
Legion is the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller. His real name is David Charles Haller. David did not learn that Professor X was his father until after the formation of the New Mutants.
David was born a mutant. His powers did not become active until assassins were sent to kill him and his family. Due to the trauma experienced in this encounter, David ended up creating multiple personalities. David’s first full appearance in comics is New Mutants #25 from April 1985. He is mentioned in the previous issue, but does not appear until issue 25.
David can absorb the consciousnesses of others, but in doing so creates individual personas within his mind. These combined personas refer to themselves as Legion, and Legion is an omega level mutant. He can create spontaneous mutations. Due to his high-level powers and his mental instability, he creates a new persona to rule over each mutation. He has at least 200 split personalities, each with incredibly strong and dangerous abilities.
Legion was the subject of his own self-titled television series on the FX network.
Xiomara Rojas, aka Crush, is the daughter of Lobo. Her mother is still unknown, but she is believed to be human. Crush makes her first appearance in Teen Titans Special #1 from August 2018. It is unknown how Xiomara ended up on Earth, but she crashed down during the Burning Man festival shrouded in her chain weapon called Obelus. She was found by David and Lisa Rojas.
Obelus is sentient, but allowed the Rojas to pick up Xiomara. Xiomara was adopted by the Rojas. Where she went, Obelus followed. The Rojas family told Xiomara that her parents were superheroes who left her with them while they went to protect the universe. While walking through a town center, a news bulletin about Lobo fighting Superman came on and she realized she was looking at her father. She returned home and confronted her adoptive parents. She stormed away in anger, and when she returned, she found her home burned and Obelus missing.
Xiomara went on the run and earned a living by fighting in illegal fighting rings. This is when she assumed the name Crush. During this time, Robin approached her as he wanted her to join the Teen Titans. She agreed as she hoped Robin could help her find who destroyed her home and killed her parents.
Lobo is not typically considered a hero, so as his daughter, Crush has some of his less conventional personality traits. She can be intimidating to others and uncaring. Like her father, she has all the attributes of being half-Czarnian: accelerated healing, enhanced sense, superhuman durability, superhuman stamina, and superhuman strength.
Unlike Lobo, Crush does not possess immortality, ages at a human rate, and her eyes have pupils.
Cable, born Nathan Summers, is the son of Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Madelyne Pryor (clone of Jean Grey). Nathan was raised by his parents until the real Jean Grey returned. Upon her return, Scott left Madelyne and Nathan to go be with Jean.
Mr. Sinister (Madelyne’s creator) sent the Marauders to kill Madelyne and kidnap Nathan. After Nathan’s capture, Mr. Sinister erased the existence of both Madelyne and Nathan to the point that Scott believed that they had moved away.
Nathan was eventually rescued by a combined effort of the X-Men and X-Factor. He was then cared for by Scott and Jean. Sadly, Nathan did not get to spend much time with this new family before being infected by a techno-organic virus by Apocalypse. Scott was forced to send his son into the future in order to save him from the virus. Nathan was taken 2000 years into the future to an alternate reality ruled by Apocalypse, and was regarded as a messiah figure.
Like his mother, Nathan is telekinetic and attempted to prevent the spread of the virus, but not before it gave his left side the cybernetic appearance he is known for. Nathan later returned to the 20th century to try and foil Apocalypse. Upon his return, he was called Cable.
In addition to being telekinetic, Cable is telepathic and is believed to be an Alpha-Level Mutant. He has a long list of abilities: cyberpathy, psionic shield, psionic blasts, astral projection, and many others. Cable is both mutant and cyborg, with his left half being ravaged by the virus, only held at bay by his psionic abilities.
The baby Nathan Summers first appears in Uncanny X-Men #201 from January 1986. His first appearance as Cable is in New Mutants #86 from February 1990.
1. Franklin Richards
Franklin Richards is the son of Reed and Sue Richards. Franklin is more powerful than both is parents and is arguably one of the strongest beings in the entire Marvel Universe. He is easily the most powerful of the offspring on this list. Due to his parents being exposed to Cosmic Radiation, he was born with an activated X-Gene.
Franklin was born a mutant and his extreme psionic and reality-altering powers became active at a very young age. The Celestials stated that Franklin was beyond Omega Classification and Galactus thought he was the most powerful mutant ever born. Franklin’s major weakness is that he can burn his powers out and lose access to them, however.
Currently in the Marvel Universe, Franklin is depowered. He is not truly a mutant due to his powers being able to deplete, but is considered a human mutate. Franklin has an extensive history throughout the Fantastic Four comics. He has over 600 appearances in comics, but Franklin first appears in Fantastic Four Annual #6 from November 1968.
These ten superhero children are just the tip of the iceberg. They are some of the most powerful offspring of heroes (and antiheroes) in the multiverse, though given the chaotic nature of their worlds, their powers, and their parents, most of them had rather difficult upbringings.
Which other superhero children do you think deserve mention? Let Your Geek Sideshow and tell us in the comments!