No one is perfect. Not even the seemingly flawless characters on comic book pages. The superheroes and supervillains show that they can do several amazing things like leap tall buildings in a single bound, run faster than anything else on the planet and have the ability to literally move mountains.
Whether they were born on Earth or came from another planet, they have emotions behind their actions. Things that affected them early on can be the seeds planted into the force of good or evil they become as adults. It was the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents that led to him eventually becoming the crime-fighting vigilante named Batman.
With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there have been family issues for many of the most popular DC Universe characters. Many heroes have strayed away from their significant others or did emotional harm to their children. Others have also done physical harm to someone within their family – regardless whether it was intended or not.
Just because they have superpowers that can help them either save the universe or destroy it as we know it doesn’t mean they don’t have issues when they get home from work. Many of our favorite DC characters can be just as dysfunctional as many of us. Throwing in some superhuman powers and there may be a few extra injuries and deaths accumulated in their universe.
With that in mind, the following are 15 heroes and villains from the DC Universe who have done terrible things to members of their family.
15. Ocean Master Tries To Overthrow His Brother, Aquaman
Aquaman is not an only child. He had a half-brother who shared the same father with a different mother. While the parents have changed in the different telling in the DC Universe, Aquaman’s brother, who named himself Orm Marius, would actually try to take over the kingdom of Atlantis from Aquaman. He would also take on the role of Ocean Master; a supervillain with many similar abilities to Aquaman.
While Ocean Master never killed his brother, he would use terrorist-like attacks in trying to take over his brother’s kingdom. The fact that he decided to go to war with his brother makes him a pretty bad sibling. Of course, a sibling rivalry is pretty natural. Ocean Master is almost like the one brother who wants something he feels the other brother doesn’t deserve as much as he does.
14. Cobalt Blue Disgraces Half-Brother’s Legacy As The Flash
Within the pages of the New Earth in the DC Universe comics, Malcolm Thawne was someone who built up a lot of hate and jealousy towards his brother Barry Allen. The two were separated at birth due to a doctor covering up a mistake. Barry would grow up with the Allen family while Malcolm was raised by parents who were criminals who taunted him while he grew up. Eventually, he would see the kind of life his twin brother had and it angered him.
After Barry Allen’s death in the New 52, Malcolm would resurface as Cobalt Blue to destroy the Flash Museum and attacking his brother’s house and laboratory. He even tricked Wally West (Flash) to destroy Barry Allen’s tombstone. Even in death, the man who became Cobalt Blue would still hold a grudge and destroy anything that was dedicated to his brother’s legacy.
13. Felix Faust Attempts To Sell Souls Of Both Children For Power
The story of the sorcerer Felix Faust is interesting in that he has sold his soul more times than you would think is possible; continuously being able to buy in back through other kinds of deals. Eventually, he made attempts to sell the souls of both of his children to the demon known as Nebiros. In the case of his son Sebastian, the demon actually granted the powers to the boy; allowing him to have the powers of soul magic.
Felix Faust would try to do the same kind of deal involving his daughter Fauna. Once again, the same thing happened where the demon gave the supernatural powers to his daughter. Both would eventually run away from home after their cancer-stricken mother died in a car accident. To say that Felix Faust’s family was broken was an understatement.
12. Trigon Kills Parents; Not Great As Father, Either
It’s kind of hard to expect a demonic lord to be a good father figure. Trigon would take on a human woman to have his daughter Raven, who went on to become one of the Teen Titans. But his history of making family members suffer actually dates back to when he was able to absorb the Heart of Darkness. After that, he would actually kill the Three Divine members who were his parents. To add insult to injury, he wore their skin after shredding them apart.
Raven turned out to be one of many children of Trigon, who actually summoned women from a variety of worlds in an effort to make his evil spread through as many places as possible. But he was also not the greatest dad for Raven as he would try to influence her in an effort to be a kind of sleeper agent for him in his battles with the Teen Titans.
11. Hawkgirl Cheats On Her Fiancée And Turns On The Thanagarians
Since her arrival on Earth, she’s been a valued member of the Justice League in the DC Universe. As fans of the cartoon will learn, she was actually a member of her native Thanagarian military as Shayera Hol. She was sent to Earth to be a scout to see what weaknesses the planet had. But over time, she became one of the planet’s top heroes and even formed a relationship with John Stewart, as seen in the Justice League animated series.
One thing to keep in mind is that before coming to Earth, she was actually engaged to Hro Talak, commander of the Thanagarian forces – also known as Hawkman. While it’s a stretch, she sort of left her native heritage behind and decided to stray from her fiancé. While it’s nice to know she helped save Earth from being taken over, it doesn’t excuse the fact she wasn’t 100 percent faithful.
10. Deathstroke Refuses To Keep Hostage Son Safe
Slade Wilson, better known as Deathstroke, has had an interesting career through the DC Universe. He’s mostly been a villain that works mostly as a bounty hunter and assassin. Unfortunately, that kind of work can be very dangerous not only for someone like Deathstroke, but also for his family. His son Joseph, who would later become Jericho, would actually be captured as a hostage by the terrorist Jackal.
Now any loving parent would do anything for the safety of their children. But apparently not Deathstroke, who refused The Jackal’s demands of information. Poor Joseph would have his throat cut enough to make him mute. This also led to Wilson’s wife leaving him and taking their two sons with her – Joseph and Grant. Not like anyone would blame her.
9. Jericho Takes Control Of Mother And Brother
The good news is that the New Earth version of Joseph Wilson was able to reconcile with his father Slade after the whole situation with Deathstroke not protecting his son from a terrorist kidnapping him. But as Jericho, he’s had to do some things to his family in the DC Universe. For one, he’s been able to take over the bodies of both his brother Grant and his mother, Adeline Kane.
The first few times seems a little harsh. He could have trained his abilities using someone else. The last time he had to do it was one that made sense. When both were part of the zombie army known as the Black Lantern Corps, in an effort to have the group destroy each other. While done for the right reasons, he still killed his mom and brother.
8. Red Arrow’s Career Puts Daughter In Danger
Roy Harper is best known in the DC Universe known as the hero named Red Arrow actually had a daughter with the villainous Cheshire, who would actually let their daughter remain in dad’s custody. Lian was often caught in danger as Harper continued his work with the Titans and the Justice League. For example, he had to deal with Vandal Savage trying to use bot Harper and his daughter to harvest their organs.
This didn’t really earn him nominations for any kind of “father of the year” honors. It was during his run as Red Arrow when Prometheus’ attack on Star City that led to Lian dying. While she was able to be resurrected later in the events of DC’s Convergence storyline, Harper has had his personal issues that have made him a less-than-stellar father figure.
7. Deadshot Accidentally Kills Brother Who Tried To Kill Their Father
Deadshot, one of the characters in the Suicide Squad, certainly has one of the most dysfunctional families out of all of the characters in the DC Universe. When he was a child, Floyd Lawton would always look up to his brother Edward. But both of them had a father who wasn’t too pleasant to anyone in the family. Things got so bad that their mother wanted Edward to kills the man of the house. Floyd tried to sit on a branch outside to shoot the gun out of his brother’s hand.
What results is missing his intended target and killing his brother instead. While his intent was meant to not harm anyone, it was the kind of mistake that led him to go on to improve his aim and become better at disarming criminals. The original origin story allowed the complexity of the Deadshot character. In DC’s New 52 series, they changed it to a more heroic origin after everyone in his family was shot by stray bullets.
6. Robin (Damian Wayne) Accidentally Kills Nightwing
While they aren’t brothers by blood, the different people who have taken the role of sidekick under Batman have become brothers in a lot of ways. Damian Wayne is the youngest of all of those who have taken the role as Robin. And like a younger brother who might not agree with or like all of the orders an older sibling might give him, Damian did not like some of Nightwing’s criticism of how the newest Robin does things.
In a 2013 issue of Injustice: Gods Among Us, Damian grows tired of Nightwing’s comments by throwing an object at the original Robin. The blow to the head actually knocked Nightwing unconscious enough to fall on a rock that breaks his neck and kills him instantly. Brothers squabble and might hurt each other accidentally. Mind you, it’s possibly one of the silliest deaths in comic book history.
5. Darkseid Might Be A Powerful Ruler, But He’s A Terrible Father Figure
Darkseid is known as one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe. However, he’s also had a few children of his own in the comic storylines. The first born was Kalibak; born from his first wife Suli. But he was not the favorite after Darkseid would later marry Tigra and have a son named Orion. It was Orion who was favored more over Kalibrak; despite him being one of Darkseid’s top warriors.
Darkseid’s third son Grayven would be banished after he “shamed himself” by losing to Superman. If anything was learned through the New Earth storylines is that Darkseid is not only a ruthless tyrant bent on galactic control, but he’s a pretty poor father who hasn’t been able to be fair in his love and respect between his sons.
4. Green Arrow’s Actions Lead To Divorce From Black Canary
Oliver Queen has had a number of titles that including being a mayor and also a member of the Justice League. He was also called “husband.” Queen had long been infatuated with Dinah Laurel Lance, known as Black Canary. Their ceremony was the kind you would expect between two superheroes – they were in costume with their guests also dressed in their super attire inside the Justice League’s Secret Sanctuary.
However, he went against his wife’s wishes after he was found to murder Prometheus in Justice League: Rise and Fall released in 2010. On top of that, the Green Arrow had an illegitimate son named Connor Hawke, who called him out for not being the world’s greatest dad for him. When Green Arrow eventually turns himself in, Black Canary returns his ring to end the marriage.
3. Supergirl Starts Family Only To Leave Daughter Behind
A multiverse theory can be quite confusing, especially when a superhero decides to create a new life in a world that isn’t her own. Linda Danvers would secretly take the place of the Supergirl in the Pre-Crisis era of the DC storyline. She would then run into the Pre-Crisis Superman and would form a relationship with him. They would have a daughter together named Ariella. It seemed like she found a happy place.
Unfortunately, this was messing up the timelines and the Spectre stepped in by making Danvers return to her timeline. This led to a heartbreaking moment of having to leave her daughter behind. It was Danvers who made the decision to go to another timeline and trick Spectre in the first place. Ultimately, she was the person who caused the heartbreak to even be possible.
2. Batman Recruits Son Damian As New Robin
While he might not have pushed him into it at first, Batman actually allowed his son, his own flesh and blood, Damian to become his sidekick. Considering the turnover of the people who have portrayed Robin and the kind of work it requires, some people might consider this a form of child endangerment. He wasn’t 18 years old when he decided to start dressing up as Robin. However, Bruce did what he did with his adopted sons – made them sidekicks.
Of course, this lead to Batman putting his son in dangerous situations that even saw him killed by The Heretic in 2013. Damian was able to come back to life after a trip to Apokolips and is back to work. It just seems like being able to have a son would mean trying to be an actual father figure. Although it’s probably good that they are at least doing something together, right?
1. Superman Kills Pregnant Lois Lane
What happens when one of the most powerful superheroes is tricked into killing his pregnant wife? The story of Injustice: Gods Among Us provides one of the most interesting storylines involving the heroes and villains of the DC Universe. The Joker was able to use Kryptonite infused into fear toxin from the Scarecrow to trick Superman into thinking Lois Lane was Doomsday. After killing her by bringing her into space, her heart stopping set off a nuke that destroyed Metropolis.
It’s certainly not a matter of Superman purposefully killing his wife and unborn child. The man was tricked. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change the fact that the blood is on his hands. The story continued as it drove Superman to become a villainous leader using violent tactics to fight crime – essentially making him the kind of person he fought against.