Super is in the Blood

<p>Being the child of a celebrity has got to be hard, considering the amount of press attention, criticism and public voyeurism involved. Just imagine how hard it would be to be the child of a superhero, in that case. The legacies to live up to! The pressure to remember such parental advice as "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility!" The embarrassment over parents' unfortunate costume choices! <p>No child could have it harder than the son of Batman, though, and Damian Wayne is living proof (give or take a death). While his story resumes in <I>Batman & Robin</I>, he found out the hard way that being the child of Batman was a blessing and a curse. (more on him later) <p>With that in mind, we look at some of the best and worst Super-children in comic book history.


Just imagine... Superman had a kid, and he grew up to be a jerk? Wait, you don't have to imagine: Superman Jr. one of writer Bob Haney's two "Super Sons," along with Batman Jr. fits that bill pretty effectively. <p>Perpetually tired of living in his father's shadow, Superman Jr. asserted his independence by dressing just like his dad, keeping his father's name and pouting a lot, which made him a far more accurate portrayal of more teenagers than may have initially seemed the case. Amazingly, the character wasn't a one-off joke; along with Batman Jr., he appeared in 13 stories throughout his career.


Wally West wasn't the only member of the Flash family to end up wiped out of continuity in the wake of <em>Flashpoint</em> and the New 52: His daughter Iris who, according to <em>Kingdom Come</em> continuity and strong hints in the main <em>Flash</em> book, would end up taking up the Flash name once Wally retired was also pushed into the great longbox void in the sky. <p>It's a shame; as <em>The Kingdom</em> and appearances in the "Chain Lightning" storyline of <em>The Flash</em> showed, Iris was a worthy successor to Wally, Barry and the rest of the super-speedsters of the DCU.


In many ways, Daken was a picture of archetypal teenage rebellion: Tattoos? He had 'em. A ridiculous haircut? That too. An oedipal attempt to replace his father? Norman Osborn helped him with that one, allowing him to go on and become "Dark Wolverine" in the Marvel Universe and even ousted Logan from his ongoing title for awhile. Sure he redeemed himself somewhat in the wake of Logan's death and now into <I>Wolverines</I>, but his dad will never know. <p>Personally, I think he was just trying to overcompensate for only having two claws on each hand, but which of us didn't have an especially motivating neuroses when we were kids?


And talking about Marvel characters with oedipal urges, poor Skaar had a lot to deal with before he met his father, such as the death of his mother and abandonment by his father. Oh, and also the increased aging thing, facing off against the Silver Surfer and Galactus, and also deciding that, yeah, maybe killing his dad would be a great idea, after all. <p>That he managed to turn himself around from those beginnings and become something akin to a good guy in <em>Dark Avengers</em> is a testament to... let's call it good genes, and the nurturing that is gamma radiation.


The spectacularly named Malcolm Dragon is one of the few superheroic kids who managed to grow up relatively normally, as long as you include the occasional bout of action, all-out battle and disappearing parents due to parallel universe shenanigans "normal." <p>Despite all of that, though, he's well-adjusted, a little uncertain and one of the more believable kids in superhero comics, as long as you can get over the green skin and the fin on his head. Not for him, teenage rebellion and smirking at authority; instead, he's even taken over the family business at a worryingly young age -- even becoming the new titular star of <I>Savage Dragon</I>, replacing his father.


As one of the first examples of superhuman offspring, it's no surprise that Franklin has seen it all in a lifetime that's both short and surprisingly long (He's been around since 1968!). <p>He's grown older, grown younger, meet a future version of himself as an adult, had godlike powers and lost them and regained them, joined Power Pack for awhile and even got to save the world on a couple of occasions and all of this before puberty. If Reed and Sue think he's been trouble so far, wait until he starts dating.


One of the most popular kids of a superhero out there, Mayday's appearances come and go (and are coming in the new <I>Spider-Island</I> series.) <p>In the MC2 corner of things, Mayday parker grew up to be a superhero that literally couldn't be kept down, no matter how many times her comic was cancelled. <p>It's easy to see why: She managed to be reminiscent enough of the original <em>Spider-Man</em> stories without being carbon copies, and adding an individual touch that appealed to readers of all-ages.


The original Huntress had a simple, yet wonderful, high concept: What would the daughter of Batman and Catwoman be like? <p>As it turned out, the answer was "dedicated" and "a fan favorite." After restoring her mother's honor by uncovering the truth about a doctored photograph that apparently showed Catwoman murdering a cop, she went on to join both the Justice Society and Infinity Inc. while continuing her work to keep her father's legacy intact and Gotham free of crime. The current incarnation of Helena in <em>World's Finest</em> has a lot to live up to.


Another descendant of the Bat-family, poor Damian Wayne died proving once and for all that he was indeed the hero that everyone else seemed unconvinced that he could be. Stubborn, conceited and very often just a short (and lovable) jerk, Damian found it hard to live up to everyone's expectations, and only truly came alive when he stopped caring about what everyone else thought, and just did what seemed right to him. <p>There's a heavy-handed metaphor in there, even if it's an unfortunate one that ultimately resulted in his death -- although he recently was revived in <I>Batman & Robin</I>.


Almost certainly <em>the</em> poster boy for confused and convoluted superhero offspring continuity, Cable is (deep breath) the child of Cyclops and a clone of his first true love that was created by an archnemesis, a child who was sent to the far future after becoming infected with a techno-organic virus, but eventually returned to his home time as an adult, where he came into constant conflict with his father, who didn't realize his son's true identity. <p>You just know that, somewhere, some soap opera writer is looking at Cable's backstory in awe and envy, wishing that they could create something so amazingly byzantine and melodramatic. And we've not even gotten to the bit where Cable went back <em>into</em> the future with the messiah of his entire race!

10 Mostly Super Super-Kids of Superheroes

Date: 26 March 2015 Time: 06:15 PM ET