Top 10 Villain-Superhero Sibling Rivalries1 of 12There aren't a lot of happy families in superhero comic books. Many of the most popular characters in the history of the genre are orphans — Superman, Spider-Man, Batman — and the ones that do have parents usually aren't so lucky, either (Bruce Banner's dad has regularly been shown to be much more of a monster than the Hulk).
This doesn't just apply to parents and children, but siblings as well. As if the everyday jealousy between brothers and sisters isn't enough, things inevitably get much more complicated when one of them suddenly develops superpowers and starts dedicating their life to fighting evil. A prime example is Aquaman's half-brother, Ocean Master, who's starring in his own one-shot this September as part of DC's "Villains Month."
It looks like this trend could be continuing in a big way, with an upcoming original graphic novel, Spider-Man: Family Business, set to introduce a new character purported to be Peter Parker's sister. While much about that story is yet to be told — the book isn't expected out until 2014, after all — it certainly seems at least possible that their relationship may not be a friendly one.
WIth so many comic book siblings taking their rivalry one step further by assuming their own costumed identities and turning to crime as a day job, here are 10 of the best sibling rivalries in comics. (Albert Ching contributed to an updated version of this story.)
LOIS LONDON2 of 12Lois LondonSuperhero Relative: Dazzler (half-sister)
Supervillain Origin: Comics' non-Superman LL had every reason to go into the supervillainy business. Not only was she raised by an abusive father and addict mother, not only did her mutant superpower kill people with one touch instead of transmute sound into dazzling light shows like her X-Man half-sister, but she was also called Lois. With a name like that, you either fall in love with a hunky alien who masquerades as a mild-mannered reporter or you have serious reason to be angry at the world.
Jail or Family Therapy? Considering that she has allied herself with Selene and was part of the group of death-worshipping bad guys behind Necrosha, let's put her down as someone who Alison might want to steer clear of, should she ever wake up from her coma.
JAKARRA3 of 12Superhero Relative: Black Panther (half-brother)
Supervillain Origin: The less-successful son of T'Chaka, Jakarra's attempts to earn his father's attention seem, at best, a little misguided. If your half-brother has become a world-respected superhero and member of the Avengers, it would seem a better idea to maybe do something good for your country instead of trying a political coup and then, when it fails, transforming yourself into an overgrown purple scaly monster. But then, jealousy does tend to blur people's judgement...
Jail or Family Therapy? Definitely therapy. Jakarra may have to make things up to his brother, but it'd be much easier for him to get there if he could hear that he has his father's love — though since T'Chaka has been dead for quite a while, that might inhibit the healing process.
GRIM REAPER4 of 12Superhero Relative: Wonder-Man (brother)
Supervillain Origin: Driven insane — OK, more insane — by the apparent death of his brother, Eric Williams decided that he would avenge his family's honor in the only way he knew how: By replacing his hand with a scythe and wearing a skin-tight outfit with a ridiculous hood. Admittedly, this interest in family honor was a little late considering his past as a mafia — sorry, "maggia" — thug and general lowlife, but you have to start somewhere, right?
Jail or Family Therapy? Williams is set to resurface as one of the Horsemen of Death in Uncanny Avengers, opposite his now-pacifist brother. Which doesn't traditionally sound like a part of the healing process, but hey, the story hasn't been told yet...
OCEAN MASTER5 of 12Superhero Relative: Aquaman (half-brother)
Supervillain Origin: It's a classic brother-versus-brother story: One brother is the son of an Atlantean wizard and becomes king of Atlantis while also being in a relationship with a human girl, while the other brother the son of that same Atlantean wizard is secretly in love with said human girl and wants to become the king of Atlantis. Considering that backstory, can we really blame Orm for hating his half-brother Arthur?
Maybe not — but once he starts calling himself "Ocean Master" and selling his soul for super-powered tridents, maybe we can start being a little bit more judgey.
Jail or Family Therapy? He sold his soul for a super-powered trident. Clearly, Orm needs therapy, even if his half-brother doesn't necessarily have to be involved just yet.
MEKT RANZZ6 of 12Superhero Relative: Lightning Lad (brother), Lightning Lass (sister)
Supervillain Origin: OK, as a Legion of Super-Heroes villain, it's almost a given that Mekt's backstory is going to be a little wacky, right? The short version is this: He's jealous that he doesn't have a twin because everyone else on his planet does, so he'd declared war on the universe (and, in particular, his siblings) as a result. Which, let's face it, is as sensible as anything else in a world where Bouncing Boy exists.
Jail or Family Therapy? Definitely the latter. The whole "Hating everyone because I don't have a twin" thing is classic transference. The man just needs a hug. Or someone to pretend to be his long-lost twin.
KALIBAK7 of 12Superhero Relative: Orion (half-brother)
Supervillain Origin: Unlike most characters on this list, Kalibak doesn't need an origin; he's the "normal" one, if you can call "being an evil monster raised on a planet of evil by his father, who is pretty much the most evil one in the universe" normal. Orion's the black sheep of this particular family (or, as Kirby would've put it "Orion is the 'black sheep' of this family!!!").
Jail or Family Therapy? Jail. Preferably a New Genesis jail, designed by Mister Miracle, that would ensure that Kalibak can't escape and knock us dead with his mammoth monster hands for even suggesting that he talk about his feelings.
BLACKFIRE8 of 12Superhero Relative: Starfire (sister)
Supervillain Origin: Did Komand'r (better known as Blackfire) turn out evil because everyone expected her to? Look at the evidence: Her people hated her for something she had no control over the slaughter of 3,000 people by their enemies to "celebrate" her birth and was deformed by the standards of that same populace that already were against her. Bearing that in mind, can you really blame her for wanting to punish everyone as much as she could? It's like the ultimate "I'll show you!" petulant response, only with added threats of genocide.
Jail or Family Therapy? Definitely therapy; much like Mekt above, Komand'r really just needs to be told that she's loved, deep down. And then, perhaps, have someone explain the whole "why declaring war on your entire race may be morally dubious" thing.
JUGGERNAUT9 of 12Superhero Relative: Professor Xavier (half-brother)
Supervillain Origin: It could be argued that it was the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak that turned Cain Marko into a supervillain, but countless flashbacks have revealed that the he was a pretty nasty piece of work since childhood (it's never been definitively stated, but we all know that he's probably behind Professor X going bald, right?). After all, what kind of person would grab a gem that promises not just power, but to turn them into a "human juggernaut"? Here's a clue: Not a good guy, that's for sure.
Jail or Family Therapy? Marko was recently depowered following Colossus temporarily taking on the Juggernaut role/curse in Fear Itself, so chances are therapy might be a good option — especially considering the morality he was rediscovering as a result of his work with the Thunderbolts. Why not get this former X-Man a good therapist and let the healing begin?
THOMAS WAYNE, JR.10 of 12Superhero Relative: Batman (brother, maybe)
Supervillain Origin: Much of the backstory of Thomas Wayne, Jr. — if that is his real name — remains mired in doubt. Introduced as a businessman named Lincoln March early in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's acclaimed New 52 Batman run, he revealed himself to Batman to not only be a part of the dastardly Court of Owls, but also claimed to be the brother Bruce Wayne never knew he had — something that Bruce didn't believe (or didn't want to believe), but hasn't been able to prove either way.
Jail or Family Therapy? That would depend on whether or not TWJ made it out of "Night of the Owls" alive, which is currently ambiguous — though, given his healing powers, it's a distinct possibility (and it's even more possible that Snyder and Capullo have further plans for the character).
LOKI11 of 12Superhero Relative: Thor (adopted brother)
Supervillain Origin: Does a trickster god really need an origin for their villainy? Probably not, but it's that very nature that turned the citizens of Asgard against him, which in turn made him all the more resentful and selfish. Can we say "vicious cycle"? And yet, Loki isn't necessarily evil, just... sneaky. After all, he gave the world the Avengers, and since his rebirth, has seemed as much on the side of the angels as anyone else in Asgard. Almost.
Jail or Family Therapy? Given what went down in both The Mighty Thor and Journey Into Mystery over the last year-and-a-half, it's possible that the new-and-improved "Kid Loki" doesn't need either — though, following what happened at the close of Kieron Gillen's JIM run and what we've seen so far in Young Avengers, his current morality is a complicated prospect.
1 of 12
2 of 12
3 of 12
4 of 12
5 of 12
6 of 12
7 of 12
8 of 12
9 of 12
10 of 12
11 of 12
12 of 12