<i>By <a href=http://twitter.com/albertxii>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/LucasSiegel>Lucas Siegel, Newsarama Editor</a></i> <p><b>***Spoiler warning! Upcoming developments in <i>Wonder Woman</i> are revealed below (specifically November's <i>Wonder Woman #3</i>), proceed with caution!***</b> <P>Wonder Woman has a new origin in the world of DC's "New 52," and the publisher announced Monday that means that, for the first time, she's got a father in the form of Zeus, pretty much the main man when it comes to Greek gods. It doesn't look like they'll be enjoying any fun daddy-daughter days anytime soon, as the company is promising that "the king of the gods will ensure that nothing goes as planned for his defiant daughter." <p>This means that Wonder Woman can now officially join the world of famous comic book families, prompting Newsarama to look at the rich legacy that fictional comic book families have in the history of the industry. Some get along just fine (well, most of the time), some are terribly dysfunctional and all have seen plenty of bizarre occurrences along the way. (You think your family is messed up? Wait until you get to our No. 3 entry. Or No. 5. And so on.) <p>Click "start here" in the upper-left corner for our list of 10 famous comic book families. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
The Guthrie family has been in and out of the spotlight since the eldest, Sam, entered the scene in <b>New Mutants</b> back in 1982, but Sam and his sister Paige are both joining Wolverine in re-starting the school in Westchester this fall in the "Regenesis" relaunch of the X-Men titles. <p>Aside from the human Cannonball and the girl that could peel away her skin as Husk, there are 8 other Guthrie kids running around (or that have been running around at some point). The X-Gene is prevalent in this family, and exactly why has never been explained (as opposed to the Summers or Greys who were groomed genetically for their potential). Jay Guthrie had wings and a healing factor, and is now dead. Elizabeth has never manifested in our universe, but in Age of Apocalypse, she had growth powers. Melody and Jeb both had powers prior to Scarlet Witch's tampering on M-Day. But hey, that still leaves us with a couple of Guthries to spare in case the X-Gene gets kicked back into high gear!
Jay Faerber's superheroic family in <b>Noble Causes</b> was unique for the size and complexity of the family. Marriages came and went, new members were brought in, and the dysfunctional life of the family was as much a problem as any supervillains. They also were unique in that their archenemies were actually another superpowered family, the Blackthornes. <p>This is a big, crazy family, and a great example of how comics, even superhero ones, can play out very much like soap operas. Faerber consistently used tropes from superhero books and placed them in the jacked-up conditions of this group, making it fun and f*(@ed up at the same time.
<b>The Incredibles</b> debuted in a 2004 Pixar film, but have definite comic book credentials after starring in a BOOM! Studios series that has since been reprinted by Marvel. <p>Plus, every frame of the Brad Bird-directed animated film makes it clear that the movie is heavily inspired by the comics medium, with superheroes and villains coming to vibrant life. At the center was the Parr family, each with their own unique superpower and clearly influenced by Marvel's first family, the Fantastic Four. (Safe bet that we'll hear more about them later in the list.) <p>While a few of the families on this list are uniquely nutty and prone to feuding, the fun of the Incredibles is that, hey, they really do get along, and it's a treat to see them working together in the film's third act and beyond, via the comic book page.
Don't get confused, as this is a <i>very</i> popular surname in the worlds of comics. In this case, we're talking about the first family of <b>Invincible</b>. And what a twisted little family of superpowered characters it is. <p>It starts with Omni-Man, Nolan Grayson, who is a member of the galaxy-conquering Viltrumites. Omni-Man masquerades as a hero for quite sometime, when he was technically supposed to be the envoy for a coming invasion. He has a son with a human, and Mark Grayson becomes Invincible. They fight after Omni-Man reveals his true colors and kills this Earth's super team, and Nolan disappears. <p>Well, Omni-Man just wound up on another planet, and had <i>another</i> kid with another native race. Oliver, through the story, winds up on Earth, and becomes Mark's protege. The Graysons are a great case study in nature-vs-nurture, and a nice example of how legacy can be built up quickly, even in a new universe.
Originally hailing from Earth-2 (and once again, it seems!), Alan Scott was the Golden Age Green Lantern. Fueled by the green energy of the mystical Starheart, Scott fought evil alongside the Justice Society of America. <p>Alan Scott also wound up having a couple of children in his day. He and Rose Canton, who was also the villain Thorn, had two children, Jennie-Lynn Hayden and Todd James Rice. Why all the different last names? Well, the twins were given up for adoption and split up by their mother who feared going crazy again and hurting them. The children, it turned out, both gained powers related to Scott's longtime exposure to the Starheart. Jade was essentially a Green Lantern who didn't need a ring. Obsidian was the darkness that balances the light, with the ability to merge with, possess, and control shadows in a manner similar to the constructs of GLs. <p>All three of these characters' current status in the DCnU continuity is unclear, though it's relatively safe to say at least Alan Scott will be in the <b>JSA</b> Earth-2 title coming in early 2012.
Magneto will never win dad of the year, if such an award actually existed. (And in the Marvel Universe, maybe it does.) But he is trying to be a lot better these days, seen showing some real paternal concern for his daughter Scarlet Witch in the pages of <i>Avengers: The Children's Crusade</i> especially needed when many of the Avengers and X-Men would rather imprison her, or worse. <p>Of course, Magneto's family doesn't stop with the Scarlet Witch. He's also father to Quicksilver (Scarlet Witch's twin brother) and Polaris (whose mother was a college student named Suzanna Dane), and grandparent to Luna Maximoff (Quicksilver's child with Crystal the Inhuman) and, maybe, Wiccan and Speed of the Young Avengers, who appear to be reincarnations of Scarlet Witch's thoroughly improbable children with the synthezoid Vision, that had been thought to be shards of Mephisto's soul (pretty much Satan in the MU). Who wouldn't want to take a family vacation to Wundagore Mountain with this bunch?
The concept of family is so intrinsic to Captain Marvel and his extended supporting cast that they starred in 89 issues of a series simply titled "Marvel Family" starting in 1945. <p>Starting with the original Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, the rest of the gang got in the fun with his twin sister Mary Mary Marvel, yup and Captain Marvel Jr., their buddy Freddy Freeman. The family expanded with Uncle Marvel (not really an uncle, but an old, powerless dude that the kids humored for a while, which apparently wasn't considered creepy back in the '40s) and Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, who also was not biologically related to the Batsons as he was, in fact, a rabbit.
The Summers family (and the Greys for that matter) have a long, illustrious past in the Marvel Universe. These two families have actually been guided (and in some cases genetically engineered) with the express purpose of creating the ultimate mutant. In one timeline, that was Nathan Christopher Charles, or Cable. In another, it was Nate Grey, and in yet another, Rachel. <p>The sheer number of Summers that have been featured in the last few decades of Marvel comics is astonishing. There's Christopher, Scott, Alex, Gabriel, Nathan, Nate, Rachel, and that's not including Jean, clones and some question marks that are still floating around out there. <p>The fun on this one is when you really start playing connect-the-dots a bit. For instance, Scott Summers and Jean Grey's clone Madlyne Pryor had a baby, Cable. Cable was raised in the future by Scott and Jean in alternate bodies, and with the assistance of Rachel Grey as Mother Askani, his genetic sister from another timeline. If Hope winds up having some genetic connection to Jean, then it's possible that Nathan also raised a clone or partial clone/descendant of his genetic mother. Never change, Summers family. Never change.
For the Last Son of Krypton, Superman has a pretty big family. There's, of course, his cousin Supergirl, who also escaped Krypton (well, at least in most versions of the character's history), and Superboy, his half-clone who also happens to be half-Lex Luthor, as awkward of a pick for that other 50 percent of DNA as any. And of course, adoptive parents Jonathan and Martha Kent found him in Smallville and raised him since he was a baby. <p>But there's also Superman's dearly departed family the "House of El" most notably his parents Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, who were pretty super themselves. Jor-El, Superman's pops, was a noted scientist on Krypton and while Lara's history has varied greatly in different incarnations and generally less clearly defined, she's frequently portrayed as an accomplished individual in her own right. <p>In the pre-"The New 52" DC continuity, Power Girl was a distant as in, the relative distance of a parallel Earth cousin to Superman, as she was the Earth-2 equivalent of Supergirl.
The Fantastic Four is frequently called the "first family" of Marvel Comics, and there are lots of good reasons as to why. Debuting in 1961, they kicked off the "Marvel Age" as we still know it today, and they are, at heart, a family. <p>Consisting of Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic and his wife, Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, plus her brother Johnny Storm/Human Torch and their best friend, Ben Grimm, the Fantastic Four (despite numerous, ultimately temporary, membership changes over the years) have always been more of a family than a superhero team. And it's a family that's only gotten bigger: Reed and Sue now have two kids, Franklin and Valeria. Oh, and Valeria considers Doctor Doom the team's greatest enemy for essentially their entire existence to be an uncle to her. They say you don't choose family, and that might be a good reason as to why. <p>It doesn't stop there: Nathaniel Richards is the time-traveling father of Reed, who's currently playing a part in <i>FF</i> a book that's also featured several Reed Richards-es from alternate timelines.